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Track & Field Fact Sheet #3 – The New Balance

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Track & Field Fact Sheet #3 – The New Balance

A Weekend Off: After two solid weeks of competition, the Lady Razorbacks took a weekend off to prepare for the New Balance Collegiate Invitational in New York, NY. The weekend hiatus probably did the Lady’Backs some good as they prepare for the more important meets coming up quickly.

The New York Meet: Arkansas’ participation in the New Balance Collegiate Invitational is its second in three seasons. Scheduled to compete in the highly competitive competition are the likes of SEC rivals LSU, South Carolina and Tennessee as well as some of the top teams in the nation.

Last Time in New York: The Lady Razorbacks were not spectacular, but they performed very well the last time they went to the New Balance Collegiate Invite. Finishing fourth as a team in a star studded event, Arkansas had several season best performances on the 200-meter banked track located at the Armory in New York City.

The Razorback Invitational: Arkansas looked spectacular at the Razorback Invitational, Jan. 21-22 at the Randal Tyson Track Center. Picking up seven NCAA qualifiers, Arkansas’ athletes looked very strong for a team that lost many of its top talent from a year ago. Arkansas’ qualifiers included Aneita Denton in the 800, Laura Jakosky in the 5,000, Kasia Williams in the 60 hurdles, Brandy Blackwood in the weight throw, Beyonka McDowell in the pentathlon and Jodi Driggers and Danielle O’Reilly in the pole vault.

The All-Time Lists: While some things tend to fly under the radar, Lady Razorback athletes cracking into the top five all-time performances tend to come to the top quickly. Four Lady Razorbacks ran or performed at the elite level at the Razorback Invitational with Brandy Blackwood throwing the second farthest weight throw, Beyonka McDowell notching the third-best pentathlon competition, Kasia Williams sprinting the fourth-best 60-meter hurdles time and Aneita Denton running the fifth fastest 800 meters.

Looking Good: One of the most impressive performances at the Razorback Invitational was that of Brandy Blackwood in the weight throw as she uncorked a career best toss of 64 feet, one-half inch. The throw was a personal best by almost four feet as Blackwood continues to improve in the event.

Number Two: Brandy Blackwood’s weight throw at the Razorback Invitational was not just a personal best for the Miami, Fla., native, but also the second best throw is Arkansas history. Just two inches behind Marie LeJour’s UA record set in 2002, Blackwood has a real chance to tie or eclipse the mark in New York.

Looking Ahead: On the horizon for the Lady Razorbacks following their jaunt to New York City is the Tyson Invitational at the Randal Tyson Track Center. Always a tremendous atmosphere, the Lady Razorbacks will welcome some of the world’s best athletes to their home on Friday evening for a USATF run meet followed by a large collegiate meet on Saturday. Action for the Tyson Invitational is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday.

The New Balance Schedule: The Lady Razorbacks are counted on to compete at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational all day every day as the schedule calls for events beginning at 9 a.m. on both Friday and Saturday. Freshmen Whitney Anderson and Sydney Scarbrough kick things off on Friday with the high jump at 9:05 a.m. with most of the action concluding at 4:30 p.m. Seniors Kasia Williams and Beyonka McDowell could have a chance to compete at the Millrose Games on Friday night at 9:15 p.m. depending on qualifying. Saturday’s action begins with the pole vault at 9:10 a.m. and runs through 5 p.m.

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

Trackshark.com: Another set of rankings that has picked up steam over the past couple of years is the Trackshark.com rankings. While not updated as regularly as the Trackwire rankings, Trackshark.com calculates numerous factors and reminds many of the BCS in football with its list of numbers and decimal points. However, in stark contrast to its absence in the Trackwire rankings, Arkansas ranks fifth on the nation in the Trackshark.com list.



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