FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track team signed four athletes to national letters of intent at the close of the fall signing period, three distance runners to bolster its already stout roster and a pole vaulter, Arkansas head coach Lance Harter announced.
Distance aces Jillian Rosen, Catherine White and Lydia Woodward join pole vaulter Tara Diebold as the start of Arkansas’ 2007-08 freshman class.
“This is just the beginning,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “I am very pleased with these recruits and feel that they can come in and make an impact at the SEC and NCAA levels. A majority of our recruiting takes place in the spring so to have such a good fall class gives us a lot of positive momentum.”
Rosen won the Texas state cross country championship just a few weeks ago and has been to the Foot Locker Championships. She is a region and district champion on the track and holds career bests of 2:10 for 800 meters and 4:53.01 for the mile. She holds a pair of course records in cross country and has led Richardson High School to district cross country and track titles over her first three seasons.
A Roanoke, Va., native, White has also been exposed to the national scene at the Foot Locker Championships and has been a force at those competitions. She holds personal bests of 4:51.39 for 1,600 meters and 10:28.6 in the 3,200-meter run and has been consistent with her marks, a task that is not easy for such a novice competitor. White has broken several course records in her time on the cross country trails and is already regarded as one of the best distance runners to ever compete in the state of Virginia.
Arkansas’ distance trio concludes with Woodward who has the potential to be as good if not better than her incoming teammates. Hailing from Lake Charles, La., Woodward is more known for her racing than from her times as she has won or finished as the runner-up in 10 district, regional and state competitions during her sophomore and junior seasons. She has four all-district accolades in cross country and holds A M Barbe High School records in the two mile on the track and two and three-mile cross country runs.
Diebold hails from nearby Branson, Mo., and has many of the gifts that could make her the next outstanding jumper in Lady Razorback history. Standing at 5-6, she has already cleared 12-10 in competition and has broken not just the Branson High School record but also Missouri’s all-class mark when she took the state title as a junior. Diebold’s success has led to an undefeated record in the vault over the past two seasons in high school competition. She placed second at the USATF Juniors in the vault last summer when she cleared 12-5. A strong athlete, Diebold has also contributed as a long jumper and as a member of Branson’s volleyball team.
“Tara certainly fits the mold of what we are looking for in a pole vaulter,” Arkansas assistant coach Bryan Compton said. “Out of all the recruits that we looked at, we felt that she was the best fit for us and we are happy that she feels the same way.”
The Lady Razorback track team begins competition on January 12, when they host the Fayetteville Invitational at the Randal Tyson Track Center. For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.