The NCAA Championships: It didn’t take long for the NCAA Championships to come rolling around, closing the indoor track season. After seven weeks of competition, Arkansas is poised to do well at the meet and have eight student-athletes ready to compete in five different events.
The Eight: Scheduled to compete at the NCAA Championships this weekend are Jessica Cousins in the 400 meters, Christine Kalmer and Dacia Barr in the 3,000 meters, Jodi Unger and Stephanie Irwin in the pole vault, Cousins, Tominque Boatright, Paige Farrell and Sasha Rolle in the 4×400-meter relay and Barr, Boatright, Farrell and Kalmer in the distance medley relay.
Expected: Of Arkansas’ 15 marks and times qualified for the 2007 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, the Lady Razorback coaches only expected seven to qualify for the meet. The staff was dead on as the Lady’Backs picked up one in the 400, two in the 3,000, two in the pole vault, and one in each relay.
Potential: At most NCAA Championships, bodies count more than anything, but Arkansas’ 2007 lineup includes mostly quality. Arkansas is near the top of the athlete count with seven marks and times, but more impressive than that is the fact that six of the seven are ranked among the top eight in the nation and could score this weekend.
If All Goes Right: If everything goes as it looks on paper and each of the Lady Razorbacks finish in their current slot, Arkansas would score 20 points at the NCAA Championships. A 20-point weekend could put the Lady’Backs in the top 10 in the nation after spending the entire season ranked in the mid to lower teens.
The Last Time Arkansas Finished: In the top 20, was 2005 when it scored 12.5 points to finish 19th. Prior to that the Lady Razorbacks ran off a string of five consecutive top 10 performances between 2000-2004 which included Arkansas’ highest finish ever, third at the 2000 Championships. That winter, Arkansas tallied 37 points.
Last Year at the NCAA Meet: It wasn’t the best of weekends for the Arkansas Lady Razorbacks in 2006. Bringing six athletes to the competition, three in individual events, only two scored and the Lady’Backs had their worst showing at the indoor national meet since 1997. As a team the Lady Razorbacks placed tied for 51st with just two points. Then junior Jodi Unger and sophomore Tominque Boatright each picked up eighth-place finishes in their events to account for Arkansas’ scoring.