to Represent the Lady Razorbacks in Athens
By Phil Pierce, UA WOMEN'S COMMUNICATIONS
FAYETTEVILLE - It has been a banner year for
the University of Arkansas Women's Athletics Department when it comes
to Olympic competition as five current and former Lady Razorbacks are
slated to compete in Athens, Greece, next month at the 28th Summer Olympiad.
Headlined by a quartet of track and field
athletes, three from the United States, Arkansas' women's athletics programs
have never sent more than a pair of current or former competitors to any
Olympic Games. Representing the United States are track and field standouts
Deena (Drossin) Kastor, Nicole Teter and LaShaunte'a Moore. Arkansas'
quintet of performers is completed with Jamaican track and field sensation
Veronica Campbell and Hungary native Zsuzsa Csobanki.
Each Lady Razorback took their own road to
the summer games, but all of them earned their spots by placing well at
their respective national championship competitions. Kastor is the only
Lady Razorback in the group competing in her second Olympic Games after
qualifying for the Sydney Olympics four years ago. She earned a spot in
both the marathon and 10,000 meters during the course of the past year,
but elected to compete only in the longer 26-mile race which follows the
same path taken by Philippedes in his run from Marathon to Athens in 490
B.C. and is considered one of the highlight events of the 2004 games.
For Teter, the Olympics have been a long time
coming. Having won several U.S. titles in the 800 meters, she has been
a member of several world championship teams, but never an Olympic squad.
Teter finished second in the half-mile race at the U.S. Championships
with a time of 2:00.25 to qualify for the games and should be considered
a strong candidate for the semi-finals and finals.
Moore added her name to the Olympic list thanks
to a fabulous spring season. Upon winning Arkansas' first-ever outdoor
200-meter title at the NCAA Championships in June, Moore continued her
fabulous running at the U.S. Championships, making the final of the 200
meters. Her efforts both during the collegiate season and at trials placed
her as one of the potential athletes in the United States' 4x100-meter
Moving off the U.S. coast, Campbell was a
force throughout the year for the Lady Razorbacks during indoor and outdoor
track. The fastest woman in the world during the indoor season in the
200 meters, Campbell qualified for the championships after winning the
Jamaican national title in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes. Her 200-meter
time from the Jamaican nationals of 22.18 ranks as the fastest in the
world outdoors this year. Campbell could compete for her homeland in the
100, 200, 4x100 and 4x400-meter relays.
Rounding out the Lady Razorback experience
is the only returning member of the five-person squad, Csobanki in the
swimming pool. Qualifying for the games in the 50-meter freestyle for
her native Hungary, Csobanki is an all-American for the Lady Razorbacks
as a member of their 2003 400-freestyle relay and owns Arkansas' 100-yard
butterfly school record.
Competition at the Olympics begins on Wednesday,
August 11, with opening ceremonies taking place on Friday, August 13.
Lady Razorbacks begin competition on Saturday, August 14, with swimming,
while track opens on Wednesday, August 18.