Sheet #4 - The Meyo Invitational
Another Solid Weekend: The Lady Razorbacks
put forth another solid weekend of competition at the J.D. Martin Invitational
in Norman, Okla. Junior Erin Anderson posted her first NCAA qualifier
in the pole vault while Kasia Williams and Aneita Denton won their respective
Coming Up: Arkansas makes its first real road trip of the season,
not just a day trip, to the University of Notre Dame and the Meyo Invitational.
Held at Notre Dame's Loftus Center, the track is an oversized flat track
that is known for its speed.
Last Year at the Meyo: Last year at the Meyo Invitational, the
Lady Razorbacks only brought a handful of athletes, but received big results
as the distance medley relay team set the school record and several Lady
Razorbacks qualified for the NCAA Championships.
Preparing for the Tyson: While Arkansas is gearing up for the Meyo
Invitational this weekend, the Tyson Invitational is in the back of every
athletes mind. Arkansas' major indoor meet of the season, the Lady Razorback
coaches are expecting their athletes to perform well at home and will
use the Meyo as a means to achieve those goals.
Who to Watch: The Lady Razorbacks have not even come close to finalizing
a lineup for the Tyson Invitational, but there are several key athletes
to watch for including Veronica Campbell, Erin Anderson, Erica Sigmont
and Jennifer Lincoln. Campbell should be competing in the short sprints
and possibly the 4x4 relay, while Sigmont will take a stab at the mile
or 800. Anderson and Lincoln will compete in the pole vault.
Returning Lady'Backs: The Tyson Foods Invitational is always a
time of great competition and a time for camaraderie. Several former Lady
Razorbacks come back to compete in the Golden Spike Tour portion of the
competition on Saturday and 2004 is no exception as at least three, Christin
(Wurth) Thomas, April Steiner and Nicole Teter and on the slate to return.
Other Lady Razorbacks that have made return trips to Fayetteville include
Tracy Robertson and Sarah Schwald.
Taking on the Best: Hosting the NCAA Indoor Nationals has always
been good for the Lady Razorbacks in terms of competition. They have never
needed a reason to lure other squads from competing at the Tyson Foods
Invite. Every school in the country wants a piece of the action and 2004
should be no exception.
Amazing Crowd: Last year at the Tyson Foods Invitational, the Arkansas
track teams enjoyed the eighth-best crowd in Randal Tyson Track Center
history when 5,031 fans rocked for the golden Spike Tour. Could 2004 call
for an even larger crowd?
The Meyo Schedule: The Meyo Invitational spans two days with Friday's
competition featuring most of the field events and several distance races.
Some off events are also scheduled including the 300 and 500-meter runs.
Saturday's schedule starts early with slow sections followed by a quick
finals schedule in the afternoon.
The Competition: 23 teams and a few more clubs are scheduled to
travel to Notre Dame for the Meyo Invitational. SEC rivals, Kentucky and
Alabama will be there as well as Big Ten schools Michigan, Michigan State
and Missouri. All told it will lead to unbelievable competition. The Tyson
Foods Schedule: Split between two days of competition, the Tyson Foods
Invite features collegiate action on Friday with a short Golden Spike
Tour event on Saturday. Friday's competition is scheduled to begin at
10:30 a.m. while the Saturday Golden Spike meet starts at 1:00 p.m. and
runs for just two hours.
The Trackwire Ranking: The first Trackwire poll of the season placed
the Lady Razorbacks sixth in the nation. Since then, the lack of Lady
Razorback qualifiers has caught up to them as they have now fallen out
of the top 10 to 11th in the third week of the poll. The Lady Razorbacks
are currently predicted to score 20 points at the national championships
with all of them coming from Veronica Campbell, but as has happened in
years past, Arkansas always gets more at home.
||6th, 29 pts.
||9th, 23 pts.
||T10th, 22 pts.
||11th, 20 pts.
Trackshark: Arkansas opened the year ranked 15th in the Trackshark
rankings, but fell after the second rankings were released to 22nd. Trackshark
ranks teams based on other polls, rankings and dual meet competitions.
The Trackshark Poll has not been released for week three.
The USTCA Power Rankings: The United States Track Coaches Association
also has a rankings system, but theirs is based solely on performance.
The USTCA tracks the top two competitors in every event and assigns a
numeric value to that performance. The sum of the performances ranks the
team. The Lady Razorbacks opened the year 13th, but fell to 23rd in the
Anderson Posts a Qualifier: Junior Erin Anderson entered the University
of Arkansas this fall with a career best 12-5.5 in the indoor pole vault,
13-1.5 outdoors. Last weekend at the J.D. Martin Invite, she equaled her
career best while qualifying for the NCAA Championships with a vault of
Following in Her Footsteps: Erin Anderson is the second Lady Razorback
pole vaulter to come to Arkansas from Paradise Valley Junior College.
The first was a pretty good competitor in four-time all-American and SEC
Champion April Steiner. The interesting thing to note about Anderson and
Steiner is that at this point in their first seasons at Arkansas they
have nearly identical heights on their competition vaults.
Competing at Nationals: While Erin Anderson's pole vault of 13-1.5
doesn't crack into Arkansas' top five in the event, it does place her
seventh in the nation giving her a golden opportunity to stay in Fayetteville
and compete at the national championships. Each event typically goes 14
or 15 deep, so sitting at number seven looks good so far, despite her
Fastest in the World in 2004: Junior Veronica Campbell clocked
the fastest time in the world in 2004 at the Razorback Invitational when
she scorched the Randal Tyson Track Center track for a time of 23.28 in
the 200 meters. Her time just edged that of Tatyana Levina of Russia who
ran 23.34 on Jan. 18 in Moscow. Since that time, Campbell's mark has been
passed by two individuals, Ivet Lalova of Bulgaria who dipped under 23
seconds at 22.87 and DeeDee Trotter of Tennessee who ran 23.19 at Penn
#2 in the Nation: With the number three time in the world this
year one would think that Veronica Campbell's 200 time would lead the
nation, but not true. Tennessee's DeeDee Trotter, who had run 23.52 earlier
this year edged Campbell's mark with a blistering 23.19 at Penn State
A Bad Start?: Veronica Campbell claimed after her record-breaking
performance that she got off to a slow start in the 200 meters when she
ran 23.28. Coach Rolando Greene said that she eased into the finish. Campbell
ran 22.63 last season at the Tyson Foods Invitational. Could she eclipse
that time this year?
The School Record: Veronica Campbell eclipsed the first of what
could be many records this year when she clocked 23.28 at the Razorback
Invitational. She beat former Lady'Back Gi-Gi Miller's time of 24.06 by
more than three-quarters of a second. Not so bad in a distance race, but
in a sprint it is unheard of.
Getting a 60 Qualifier: Veronica Campbell already has an automatic
qualifier in the 200-meter dash, so she will go after the 60-meter qualifier
at the Meyo Invitational.
The Numbers to Watch: It is safe to say that with talent like Veronica
Campbell's one should constantly be on the lookout for falling records.
The NCAA provisional qualifier for the 60 is 7.44 seconds while the automatic
is 7.30. Arkansas' school record in the event is held by Elisha Brewer
and Kyla Shoemake at 7.26 seconds set in 1998. The top five times in the
world are7.13, 7.15, 7.16, 7.19 and 7.20 with the top mark held by Yuliya
Tabakova of Russia. The top collegiate time is Lauryn Williams of Miami
at 7.21 with Muna Lee holding the SECs top mark at 7.29.
Getting to Crunch Time: The Lady Razorbacks are three weeks into
their indoor season and it is already crunch time when you look at what
is left. Arkansas only has one competition following the Meyo Invitational
before the indoor conference championship making the Meyo and Tyson Foods
Invite incredibly important.
Jakosky Makes a Breakthrough: Laura Jakosky made a big breakthrough
in her 3,000-meter time at the Razorback Invitational by dropping her
career best by 10 seconds. Entering the competition with a time of 9:56.17,
Jakosky's 9:46.21 effort was even more impressive considering that she
ran two-thirds of the race alone without competition.
Jakosky #2: Junior Laura Jakosky joined teammate Veronica Campbell
atop a Southeastern Conference list last week with her sparkling, yet
solo, effort in the 3,000 meters. Running 9:46.21, Jakosky edged Tennessee's
Katie Flaute who ran 9:53.17. But not unlike Campbell, Jakosky dropped
to number two this week after getting edged by another competitor, in
Jakosky's case, Angela Homan of Auburn (9:45.11).
With a Little Help From My Friends: Joe Cocker sang it, but Erica
Sigmont carried it out in Fayetteville last week. Sigmont ran the open
800 meters, then came back and played rabbit to Laura Jakosky for the
first 1,000 meters of her 3,000-meter run. When asked why she assisted
her teammate, Sigmont simply replied that Jakosky needed help and that
she used it as a workout.
4x4 Looks Strong: One athlete was fresh, one was in her second
race, one her third and the last her fourth, but the heart that they showed
proved that Arkansas' sprinters are here and ready to compete. The Lady
Razorbacks ran 3:41.27 at the Arkansas Invitational and had LSU in their
rear view mirror for most of the race before the third-place team from
the 2003 NCAA Championships nipped them at the end.
Williams Improving Each Week: Junior Kasia Williams had a slow
start to the indoor season, but as the weeks wear on, Williams continues
to improve and is now just shy of the NCAA provisional standard. Beginning
the season with a time of 8.71, she has dropped that mark to 8.50 and
now owns the fastest 60 hurdles time on Arkansas' roster. Her next challenge
is to eclipse the NCAA provisional mark of 8.43.
Taking Her First Win: Kasia Williams picked up the first win of
her Lady Razorback career at the J.D. Martin Invite when she took top
honors in the 60-meter hurdles. The win was also a season best for the
Defending SEC Champions: No one expected them to do it, but the
Lady Razorbacks shocked many when they easily won the SEC Indoor Championship
in Gainesville, Fla., last winter. Can this new group get the achievement
done again? Only time will tell.
Returning all-Americans: The Lady Razorbacks return five all-Americans
to their indoor roster with another two getting added outdoors. Arkansas'
indoor all-Americans include Dawnyell Fletcher (two times), Jennifer Lincoln
(one time), Stacie Manuel (one time), Erica Sigmont (four times) and Jamie
Walker (one time). Joining the Lady'Backs between seasons are Londa Bevins
(five times) and Jessica Johnson (two times).