FAYETTEVILLE — The No. 12 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team begins a busy week of competition Wednesday with the start of the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin. Additionally, the Razorbacks will compete this weekend at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif., and their home Spring Invitational in Fayetteville. This is Arkansas’ second week of competition during of the 2013 outdoor season.
“This week, we’ll divide things up,” head coach Lance Harter said. “The sprint, hurdle and jump crews head to the Texas Relays for some warm weather. Stanford will host its distance carnival which is absolutely stacked with the nation’s best distance runners.”
Competition at the Texas Relays for the Razorbacks begins Wednesday with Makeba Alcide in the heptathlon, her first multi-event entry since finishing third at the NCAA Indoor Championships in the pentathlon. In addition to a handful of individual events including NCAA leader Sparkle McKnight in the 400-meter hurdles, Arkansas will have weekend entries in the 4×100-meter, 4×400-meter and sprint-medley relays.
All four days of the 2013 Texas Relays will be televised by the Longhorn Network. Wednesday’s coverage window will begin at 2:30 p.m. (CT). Over the course of the weekend, 18 hours of coverage will be available. For a full schedule of television coverage of the Texas Relays, please visit the Longhorns’ web site. The official hash tag of the Texas Relays is #TXRelays13.
“Texas Relays is traditionally where you get an opportunity to run lightning fast relays,” Harter said. “A lot of the marks from this weekend usually stay in the books all the way through the season. It’s also a very good place to jump for the pole vault, high jump, long jump and triple jump. We’ll have our athletes in their primary events trying to post qualifying marks to secure their positions for the regionals.”
In the program’s all-time appearances at the Texas Relays, the Arkansas women have claimed 17 event titles and former standout Tina Sutej owns the meet record in the pole vault with her clearance of 4.55m/14-11 last year. The Razorbacks won a single-season best four Texas Relays titles in 2010 with victories in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, 4×400-meter relay, 4×800-meter relay and pole vault. Senior Regina George has won three Texas Relays titles in her career (4x400m — 2010; 4x800m — 2010; sprint-medley relay — 2011).
At the Stanford Invitational, the Razorback distance crew will make its first appearance of the 2013 outdoor season. The annual meet, highlighted by its distance competitions, will be held Friday and Saturday at Cobb Track & Angell Field in Palo Alto, Calif. Arkansas has scheduled entries at 800 meters, 1,500 meters, 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters and in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
“Just like Texas Relays, we’ll look to get some qualifying marks at Stanford,” Harter said. “We’re going to ease in the distances this year, using the weekend to run in non-primary events. This will give them some diversity and an opportunity to either test their speed or test their strength with the idea that a couple weeks down the road, we have some great opportunities to compete.”
The Razorback Spring Invitational begins Saturday at 9:30 a.m. with field events and 1:30 p.m. with the running events. The field of competition will include Drake, Minnesota, No. 19 Nebraska, Oklahoma and Wichita State. General admission tickets for home meets during the regular season are $5 and will be sold at the northwest entrance of John McDonnell Field. Fans 17 years and younger are admitted free and University of Arkansas students get in free with their valid student ID.
For more information regarding Razorback track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Fans can also keep up with Arkansas cross country and track and field through the team’s sport-specific RazorbackTF Facebook and Twitter pages.