FAYETTEVILLE – Tina Sutej, member of the No. 6 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team, has been named the Southeastern Conference Female Field Athlete of the Week for the second time this season. The selection comes on the heels of a meet-record clearance of 14-7.25 in the pole vault at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational in New York last weekend.
"We saw another national leader out of Tina this weekend," head coach Lance Harter said. "The thing nobody really knows is that Tina was taking attempts at the collegiate record using someone else’s poles. Even with the travel issues of getting their equipment to New York, she and Tara (Diebold) went 1-2 in the pole vault and competed very well."
Sutej continued her strong start to the 2011 indoor season by winning her fourth competition in as many meets. Already the owner of the nation’s top mark, she extended that distinction with the meet-record clearance. The jump represents the No. 1 mark in the nation, the second-best clearance in school history and Sutej’s fourth NCAA automatic qualifier of the season.
She earned her first weekly award from the SEC last week (Feb. 1) after a clearance of 14-6 at the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville. In her four victories this season, Sutej has cleared at least 14-3.25. She now owns the top five marks in school history, tied with former Razorbacks April Steiner and Katie Stripling at 14-3.25 for the No. 5 clearance all-time.
In the Feb. 8 release of the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association (USTFCCCA) Top 25, the Razorbacks hold steady at the No. 6 position, a spot they have been all season. The SEC is tied with the Big 12 for the most teams (five) represented inside the rankings. Arkansas is joined by third-ranked LSU, No. 5 Tennessee, No. 9 Auburn and No. 21 South Carolina.
After its second weekend on the road, Arkansas returns to Fayetteville for the 2011 Tyson Invitational which will be held Feb. 11-12 at the Randal Tyson Track Center. Included in the field are 14 teams ranked inside the week’s top-25 national poll. Competition gets under way Friday at noon with the evening session scheduled for 6 p.m. (CT).