FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track team began its 2005 spring signing period with a trio of standouts in JUCO transfer Stacey-Ann Livingston, South African Christine Kalmer and native Arkansan Brooke Higgs, Arkansas head coach Lance Harter announced on Thursday.
“This is a great start to our signing class,” Harter said. “We lose a lot of quality athletes to graduation this year and we need to replenish those athletes with quality individuals and I think that we have started to do that. Stacey-Ann was one of the most recruited athletes out of high school and Christine is someone that can run in several events and be competitive at all of them. Brooke is a multi-time state champion and is one of the best to come out of Arkansas this year.”
Livingston joins the Lady Razorbacks as a transfer after spending two seasons at Long Beach City College where she raced predominantly in the 800-meter run. Owning a career best of 2:06.16 in the competition, she was a World Junior Championships participant in Jamaica in 2002 for the host Jamaica. She holds four state championships for Long Beach City and has extensive relay experience.
“We see Stacey-Ann as an Aneita Denton type of runner,” Harter said. “She can sprint on the 4×400 relay and run a solid 1,500, but her primary event will probably be the 800.”
Kalmer is perhaps the most polished of the group with a career best of 4:20 in the 1,500 meters, 9:21 for 3,000 meters and 16:50 for 5,000 meters. She was a national champion at 3,000 meters when she was a freshman and as a junior represented South Africa at the World Youth Championships. She has extensive international experience at the World Youth, World Junior and World Cross Country meets.
“Christine’s resume is tremendous,” Harter said. “She has twice finished in the top 25 at the World Cross Country Championships and is someone that could come in and make an immediate impact at the SEC and NCAA Championships.” The Lady Razorbacks wrap up their first wave of signees with Higgs who only journeys 200 miles to Fayetteville from Bryant, Ark. Entering her senior season of outdoor track, Higgs has already won seven individual state championships and led her Bryant High School Lady Hornets to two state titles. She is a 13-time all-state selection and 10-time all-conference honoree and currently holds the Arkansas 5-A Central Conference record for 800 meters at 2:17.32.
“Brooke’s credentials are as good as anyone that we have recruited from the state of Arkansas,” said Harter. “She has a great work ethic and with some additional training could be a vital component of next year’s class. I am really looking forward to her days as a Lady Razorback.”
Arkansas’ trio of signees are the first of what the Lady Razorback coaching staff expects to be a large group that could enter double digits when all is said and done. The Lady’Back signing class makes their debut on Arkansas’ campus in mid-August for training camp.