FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas men’s and women’s track and field team collected 33 All-America honors Monday with the release of 2011 indoor accolades by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The Razorback men tallied 18 total honors and the women’s team earned 15 selections. In a departure from previous years, the 2011 All-America honors were given first- and second-team status.
The men totaled 18 honors spread among 12 student-athletes and nine events. Tarik Batchelor (long jump, triple jump), Chris Bilbrew (4x400m, DMR), Neil Braddy (400m, 4x400m), Marek Niit (200m, 4x400m), Duncan Phillips (mile, DMR) and Ben Skidmore (400m, 4x400m) each earned two All-America nods. LaShawn Butler (200m), Bryan Cantero (DMR), Dey Tuach (800m), Raymond Higgs (long jump), Kevin Lazas (heptathlon) and Travis Southard (DMR) were also recognized.
The Razorbacks tied with LSU for the most total All-America selections in the nation. Batchelor (fifth place, long jump) and the members of the 4×400-meter relay (third place) are first-team members. Phillips and Skidmore have now each collected four indoor All-America accolades while Batchelor and Bilbrew bring their career total to three each.
Arkansas’ women have 15 All-America honorees spread among 10 student-athletes in six events. Whitney Jones (400m, 4x400m, DMR) led the way with three selections while Stephanie Brown (800m, DMR), Regina George (400m, 4x400m) and Shelise Williams (400m, 4x400m) each claimed two honors. Makeba Alcide (pentathlon), Tara Diebold (pole vault), Gwendolyn Flowers (4x400m), Kristen Gillespie (DMR), Samantha Learch (DMR) and Tina Sutej (pole vault) also picked up All-America recognition.
The Razorbacks earned the third-most honors in the NCAA. First-team honors went to Diebold (sixth place, pole vault), George (second place, 400m), Sutej (first place, pole vault), Williams (third place, 400m) and the members of the 4×400-meter relay (second place).
Jones and Williams run their career indoor totals to six apiece, George is up to four awards, Brown has three accolades while Diebold, Gillespie and Learch each have two selections. The weekend also saw the women post a fourth-place national showing.
In total All-America awards, including first- and second-team honors only, the SEC led all conference in men’s certificates with 69, followed by the Big 12 (53), Big Ten (53), Pac-10 (39) and ACC (27) to round out the top five. On the women’s side, the SEC again bested the conference list with 65, followed by the Big 12 (63), Pac-10 (38), ACC (37), Big East (27) and Big Ten (27).
First-team honors were given to those who placed in the championships’ top eight or were a member of an eight-person final. Second-team honors were handed out to those who earned final classification between ninth and 16th place. Others who participated earned honorable mention.
The 2011 NCAA Championships will air on tape-delay Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. (CT) on ESPN2. With the indoor campaign over, the Razorbacks will turn their attention to the outdoor season which begins the weekend of March 25. The men’s team will split between a tri-meet with Texas and UCLA in Austin and the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif. Arkansas’ women will also compete at the Stanford meet.
Download: USTFCCCA AA list.pdf