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Track & Field Fact Sheet #2 – Razorback Invita

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Track & Field Fact Sheet #2 – Razorback Invita

A Great Start: The Lady Razorbacks got off to a tremendous start at the Arkansas Invitational last Friday evening. While only picking up a single NCAA qualifier in sophomore pole vaulter Stacie manuel, there were seven near misses which makes the Arkansas coaches believe that there is plenty more to come. Those that were close included Jodi Driggers and Danielle O’Rielly in the pole vault, Erica Sigmont in the 800, Kasia Williams and Beyonka McDowell in the 60 hurdles, Paige Farrell in the 400 and Brandy Blackwood in the weight throw.

Freshmen Shine at Arkansas: Who said anything about first-meet jitters. If anyone said it around the Lady Razorback freshmen, they weren’t listening. Perhaps its being young and naive or maybe its a complete lack of appreciate for the level they have acheived, but Arkansas’ freshmen looked like seasoned veterans at the Arkansas Invitational. The best of the 13 newcomers last weekend had to have been Paige Farrell and Danielle O’Reilly who each nearly made the NCAA provisional standard.

Up Next: The Lady Razorbacks participate in the Razorback Invitational next at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville. A two-day affair, the schedule calls for many field events and several running events on Friday with the remainder of competition taking place on Saturday. Added to the 2005 event are both men’s and women’s combined events.

Fourth Time With a Pole: The 2003 SEC Indoor Freshman of the Year, Stacie Manuel was on the fast track to the top when she won the SEC indoor pole vault title that same season. She also looked impressive that spring but a series of injuries have kept the all-America on the sidelines. After taking eight months off from jumping Manuel picked up her polls for the first time after Jan. 1 and was using them for just the fourth time when she provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships.

Good But Not Impressive: If Stacie Manuel had it her way, she would be back to flirting with 14 feet in the pole vault, but following a series of injuries that just allowed her to return to action Manuel cleared just 12-11.5. While the mark is good, it is not nearly the impression that Manuel wishes to make on her road to becoming a all-American again.

Tops in the SEC: Its one thing to open the season with a provisional qualifier after an eight-month hiatus, but to lead the toughest conference in America is something else. Stacie Manuel’s vault of 12-11.5 is four inches above her next closest competitors and teammates Jodi Driggers and Danielle O’Reilly.

Already an All-American: Stacie Manuel earned all-America honors in her first indoor season with the Lady Razorbacks and because of injury has not returned to that plateau. Determined and ready, Manuel is shooting for not just an all-America honor but a significant placing at the NCAA Championships in 2005.

The Razorback Invite Schedule: While scheduled for two long days, the actual events at the Randal Tyson Track Center will not be nearly as action packed as one might think. On Friday afternoon only the combined events will be taking place with other action at the Randal Tyson Track Center not starting until 6:00 p.m. when the men’s 200 takes center stage. Saturday’s action is slated for another early start (12:30) with regular events beginning at 1:00 and running through 4:30.

The Trackwire Rankings: The first trackwire rankings of the season came out last week and there was one thing missing, Arkansas. For the first time in several years the Lady Razorbacks did not make their way onto the inital Trackwire rankings list and remain absent with the publish of week two.



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