Seek National Championship Bids
La. - The University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track team heads to Baton
Rouge, La., this weekend in the hopes of picking up numerous qualifiers
for the NCAA Championships at the Mideast Regional to be held at Bernie
Moore Stadium on the campus of Louisiana State Univ., Friday and Saturday,
The second year for the four regional sites
in track and field, Arkansas faired well a year ago at the Mideast Regional
held at Ohio State University, picking up a pair of NCAA qualifiers that
may not have made the championship otherwise. The 2004 meet brings 19
Lady Razorbacks to the meet, Arkansas' largest contingent, and could produce
as many as 10-12 national championship qualifying marks.
"The NCAA added this meet a year ago to increase
the number of athletes that participate at the national championship,"
Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. "I think that if we have a great
weekend we might take as many as 14 or 15 athletes to the national meet,
which would be our biggest team ever for an outdoor championship. All
of our major players should get in no matter what happens this weekend
off the descending order list, but I'm pretty confident that we can get
a few more through."
In order to advance to the NCAA meet, athletes
must finish in the top five of an individual race or in the top three
on a relay. Currently, the Lady Razorbacks have 10 athletes or relays
that rank within those parameters making their chances to advance solid.
Headlining Arkansas' contingent to the regional
meet is junior sprinter Veronica Campbell who picked up a pair of Southeastern
Conference titles and three school records two weeks ago. Campbell is
scheduled to pull triple duty once again at the regional in the 100, 200
and 4x100-meter relay and must even run rounds of the relay making her
triple all the more difficult.
"It's hard for any sprinter to do what Veronica
is going to attempt," Harter said. "The schedule at the regional is not
conducive for it, but we might be able to replace her in the opening rounds
of the relay to give her a break, but it all depends on who is in our
race and what the situation is."
Arkansas' busiest event is the pole vault
where three Lady Razorbacks seek to punch their ticket to the NCAA Championship.
Jennifer (Culp) Lincoln comes in with the team's best outdoor mark at
12-11 ½. The two-time all-American indoors was a national championship
participant a year ago and hopes to make a return to the big dance. Helping
her along are junior Erin Anderson and freshman Jodi Driggers. The pair
tied for fourth at the SEC Championships and are looking as good as they
have all season in practice.
Other competitions that will feature Lady
Razorback athletes include the 800 meters, 1,500 meters, steeplechase,
5,000 meters, 100 hurdles, high jump and hammer throw.
For more information about Lady Razorback
track or about Arkansas women's athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.