LEXINGTON, Ky. – The championship season begins for the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track team on Friday afternoon with the first day of the Southeastern Conference indoor track and field championships in Lexington, Ky.
The Lady Razorbacks are hoping to improve upon last seasons’ finish at the conference meet while also looking to post more qualifiers for the NCAA Championships which looms two weeks away.
“I think that it could be a four-team race,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “Last year it only took 100 points to win the conference championship and I think that it will take the same this year. There are too many good teams and athletes diluting the strengths of the great teams. We have a more balanced team along with Tennessee. Georgia is heavy in the field events and LSU has great power in the sprints.”
For Arkansas to be successful at the 2007 meet it will have to rely heavily on its distance runners and pole vault. The Lady Razorbacks have loaded the 3,000 and 5,000-meter runs and have two of the top three pole vaulters in the conference. Big points in those three events could give Arkansas a shot at the conference crown.
Getting off to a solid start will be key for the Lady Razorbacks and that duty falls on the shoulders of junior transfer Etienne Chaplin who begins competition on Friday with the pentathlon. Chaplin is ranked fourth in the conference in the event and nearly qualified for the NCAA Championships in her one and only attempt at the tough five-event competition. The multi-events are the only contests scheduled for Friday with the remainder of the action slated for Saturday and Sunday.
Last year, the Lady Razorbacks finished a disappointing fifth at the conference championship, but had several bright spots despite the team outcome. Arkansas’ last time in Lexington was also rough with a sixth-place finish, but in 2001, the Lady Razorbacks came away from the bluegrass state with its second consecutive league title.
For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to LADYBACKS.COM.