FAYETTEVILLE – The No. 8 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team continues its 2011 outdoor season with a pair of competitions this weekend. The Razorbacks will split between the 53rd Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., and the John Jacobs Invitational in Norman, Okla. Competition out west begins Thursday evening while the Jacobs Invitational gets going Saturday.
"This weekend, a majority of our crew takes off to compete," head coach Lance Harter said. "We’ll take some of our younger, developmental people to Oklahoma for their invitational meet and our distance crew will fire up at Mt. SAC, an all-day distance festival."
Between the two meets, Arkansas is set to have 42 entries over 16 events. With the opportunity to run in her home state, Shelise Williams will join the distance crew at Mt. SAC. Including the Razorbacks, the field of competition in California is scheduled to include No. 3 Oregon, No. 4 USC, No. 9 Arizona, No. 15 Texas Tech, No. 17 Colorado, No. 18 Washington State and No. 20 Washington.
Entering the fourth meet of the outdoor season, Arkansas has six top-10 national marks in five events. Tina Sutej carries the national lead in the pole vault with her clearance of 14-9 last weekend at Texas Relays. Tara Diebold is currently ranked ninth in the event. Williams (400 meters) and the 4×400-meter relay own the No. 2 times in their respective events. Makeba Alcidehas the No. 4 point total in the heptathlon andMiranda Walker is the No. 10 runner at the 5,000-meter distance.
In their last outing, the Razorbacks collected three event titles at the 84th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays with wins in the 4×1,500 and sprint-medley relays and pole vault. Overall, Arkansas now has 17 Texas Relays titles, seven of which have come during the last two seasons. For her championships performance in the pole vault, Sutej was named the SEC Field Athlete of the Week.
Arkansas moved up one spot to No. 8 in the country in the April 12 release of the USTFCCCA national poll. It is the first movement of the season for the team, which started the outdoor season ranked ninth. The Razorbacks are one of five SEC teams in the top 25, joining No. 2 LSU, No. 11 Auburn, No. 13 Tennessee and No. 19 Alabama.
The Razorbacks return to their home track April 22-23 for the John McDonnell Invitational in Fayetteville. For meet-day coverage and more information, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.