OXFORD, Miss. – Following a fabulous opening weekend, the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track team is on the road again, this time to Oxford, Miss., to compete at the Ole Miss Invitational as it seeks to increase its number of NCAA qualifiers.
While Arkansas’ distance team and select others started in California a week ago, the Lady Razorback sprinters and field event personnel get their seasons started in Oxford. Some of the Lady’Backs that make their season debut’s include SEC pole vault champion Stacie Manuel, UA record holder Brandy Blackwood and heptathlete Whitney Anderson.
“We had a great start to the season and now its time to just keep the ball rolling,” Arkansas head track coach Lance Harter said. “I am confident that this crew will be just as successful as last weeks as they prepare for the Texas Relays and beyond.”
The Ole Miss Invitational is scheduled for Saturday beginning at 10 a.m., but a pair of Lady Razorbacks will compete on both Saturday and Sunday as they participate in their first heptathlons of their careers. Beyonka McDowell, the SEC pentathlon champion indoors and Anderson get their first looks at the seven event, two-day competition this weekend as they seek to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
Arkansas’ pole vaulters also see their first action outdoors when they compete on Saturday afternoon. Led my Manuel, Arkansas also gets to see 2004 NCAA regional qualifier Jodi Driggers, and freshmen Stephanie Irwin and Danielle O’Reilly jump. Irwin, a Mt. Ida, Arkansas, native, cleared a career best 13-1 in her final competition of the indoor season and hopes to duplicate the effort in Oxford.