Continued Improvement: The Lady Razorbacks began the year with lots of questions the biggest being how would a young team deal with the pressures of track in the Southeastern Conference. So far the answer has been pretty well. Arkansas has continued to show improvement in each of their first three competitions heading into the Powered by Tyson Invitational and could shock some people as the year progresses.
New York Summary: Arkansas broke a pair of school records, won a Millrose Games championship, qualified six marks for the NCAA Championships and had several breakthroughs at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational and Millrose Games in New York City last weekend. Brandy Blackwood broke the UA weight throw record with a monster toss of 65 feet, 11 inches while the distance medley relay team of two freshmen and two seniors dropped the Arkansas record by two seconds when they ran 11:09.09. Kasia Williams was the Millrose Games victor in the 60-meter hurdles.
Third Place: The New Balance Collegiate Invitational was a scored meet for the Lady Razorbacks and despite not running all of its runners in their primary events they still managed to finish third in the competition behind second-ranked LSU and seventh-ranked South Carolina but ahead of the likes of third-ranked Stanford.
The Powered by Tyson Invitational: For the sixth year, the University of Arkansas in conjunction with Tyson Foods, Inc. is proud to present the Powered by Tyson Invitational at the Randal Tyson Track Center. The opening meet for the Randal Tyson Track Center in February of 2000, the atmosphere has always been electric especially with the addition of USA Track & Field’s Visa Championship series in 2001. Numerous World bests and track records have fallen over the years at the Tyson meet making it one of the necessary stops for teams looking to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
The Visa Championships Series: For the fifth time, Arkansas and USA Track & Field are working in conjunction to bring the best athletes in the world to Fayetteville, Arkansas to compete. Scheduled to make appearances at the Friday night built for television schedule include former Lady’Back and two-time gold medalist Veronica Campbell, bronze medalists Lauryn Williams and Melissa Morrison-Howard and a host of others.
Welcome Back: The University of Arkansas welcomes two-time gold medalist Veronica Campbell and four-time pole vault all-American April Steiner back to Fayetteville to compete in the Visa Championship Series.
Last Season at the Tyson Invite: It was a record setting weekend for the Lady Razorbacks at the 2004 Tyson Invitational. Veronica Campbell broke the UA marks in the 60 and 200-meter dashes while assisting on Arkansas’ record-setting 4×400-meter relay. Numerous athletes qualified for the NCAA Championships at the meet as well, but perhaps the best race was Campbell’s 200 meters where she ran the world’s fastest time (to that point) at 22.51.
The Tyson Schedule: The schedule for the Tyson Invitational has flip-flopped from year’s past as the professional athletes take the stage on Friday night while the collegiates make their mark on Saturday. Set to begin at 7:00 p.m. on Friday the Powered by Tyson Invitational schedule calls for a made-for-TV spectacle that will encompass just two hours. Saturday’s action will last all day beginning at 9:00 a.m. and running through 10:00 p.m.
Seeded and Un-Seeded: Some of the events on Saturday, Feb. 12, will take just the top 15 entries in what will be designated the seeded section of those events. The remainder of the field competes in the un-seeded sections which typically take place earlier in the day.
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 five.
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.