FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Junior Miranda Walker and the Arkansas Razorback women’s cross country team opened the 2009 season with a win at the Arkansas Invitational in Fayetteville on Friday night.
"We were just looking to get some competition started," head coach Lance Harter said. "Also, we were able to welcome back Miranda Walker from being redshirted last season and she started off with a bang in getting a win. The team did a nice job. They ran well together early. We have some things to take care and master real soon, but it’s still early in the season."
Walker, back from redshirting the 2008 season because of an injury, took the 4,000-meter race win with a time of 14:01.5. She led her teammates to a win in the team race with 25 points. The Razorbacks finished five runners in the top 10, seven in the top 12 and all competitors in the top 14. Missouri Southern finished with 34 points.
"I felt really good today," Walker said. "It was a good chance for everyone to get that first race out of the way. This is a good way to open up the season."
Sophomore Samantha Learch was fifth overall and Arkansas’ second scorer. She clocked a time of 14:21.7. Freshman Alyssa Allison made her Razorback debut as Arkansas’ third finisher with her sixth-place finish. She clocked a time of 14:23.1. Senior Megan Jackson was eighth overall, fourth for the Razorbacks and clocked time of 14:33.6.
Also making her Razorback debut, sophomore Kristen Gillespie was the fifth Razorback to cross the finish line and was ninth overall (14:45.4). Sophomore Cali George rounded out the Arkansas seven with her 11th-place finish and 4K time of 14:49.1.
Also competing for the Razorbacks were redshirt freshman Taylor Johnson (12th; 14:55.8) and senior Ashley Williams (14th; 15:03.7.
The Razorbacks will compete next at the Missouri Southern Stampede, Sat., Sept. 19 in Joplin, Mo. For more information on Arkansas Razorback women’s cross country, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.