The Gateway: The Lady Razorbacks next challenge puts them against some of the nation’s best runners at the NCAA Mideast Regional, the gateway to the national championships. Competitors must finish in the top eight at the regional in any individual event to even have a chance at qualifying for the meet in Sacramento, while the top five get an automatic bid. In the relays it’s the top three that go while the next two are considered.
Success at the Regional: In the three years of existence for the NCAA Regional Championships, Arkansas has had modest success with three individual champions and three top five finishes. In what is widely considered the toughest of the four regions, the Mideast is packed with quality sprinters from the south and distance runners from the north. In fact, nine of the top 25 teams in the country will face off for opportunities at the national championships.
Last Year at the Meet: Arkansas scored 40 points at the 2005 NCAA Mideast Regional which placed them fifth overall by just 1.33 points. Nearly claiming a third straight NCAA Regional trophy, Arkansas was passed by Ohio State who tallied 18 points in the final event contested, the triple jump, to push the Lady Razorbacks outside the trophy stand. Individually, former Lady’Back Aneita Denton claimed Arkansas’ first regional championship by an individual runner with four others earning automatic bids to the NCAA meet.