Sheet #5 - The Tyson Foods Inc., Invitational
Another Solid Weekend: The Lady Razorbacks
traveled to the frozen tundra of South Bend, Ind., to compete at the University
of Notre Dame last weekend and experienced another solid week of competition.
Improving in just about every event, Arkansas posted a pair of NCAA qualifiers
and picked up event wins as well as personal bests from top to bottom.
Doubling the Qualifiers: Thanks to Veronica Campbell, 60 meters,
and Kasia Williams, 60 hurdles, the Lady Razorbacks doubled their number
of NCAA qualifiers at the Meyo Invitational. Campbell posted her second
automatic mark of the season, this time in the 50 with a time of 7.30
while Williams ran the hurdles with a provisional time of 8.43.
Two Times: Junior Veronica Campbell qualified for the NCAA Championships
two times this season. Her latest qualifier came in the 60-meter dash
when she posted a 7.30. She is also qualified in the 200-meter dash with
a time of 23.28.
Third Fastest: Veronica Campbell's 60-meter time of 7.30 is the
third fastest time in Lady Razorback history. She posted the mark during
finals at the Meyo Invitational, but in prelims, she set the then third,
now fourth fastest time at 7.39.
Second in the Conference: Veronica Campbell's times of 7.30 and
23.28 in the 60 and 200-meter dashes rack second in the Southeastern Conference
for both events. She sits one-hundredth of a second behind LSU's Muna
Lee in the 60 and nine-hundredths of a second behind DeeDee Trotter of
Tennessee in the deuce.
This Weekend: Originally scheduled to compete in the 60-meter dash
and 4x4 relay, Veronica Campbell is now penciled in for the 60 and 200-meter
dashes. The Lady Razorbacks decided to scratch their 4x4 and elected to
allow Campbell to attempt to improve her marks in the individual races.
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.
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 four individuals with Ivet Lalova of Bulgaria who dipped under
23 seconds at 22.87 leading the way.
The Tyson Invitational Schedule: The Tyson Invitational schedule
begins early and ends late. Starting at 10:30 a.m. with the unseeded sections
of the 3,000 meters, the Tyson schedule runs throughout the day with finals
beginning at 7:00 p.m. Field events also begin at 10:30 a.m. and run throughout
The Golden Spike Schedule: The Golden Spike portion of the Tyson
Foods Invite schedule is condensed to a two hour window for television.
Beginning at 1 p.m., the meet runs through 3 p.m. and jam packs 17 events
into the window.
The Competition: Competition at the Tyson Foods Invitational should
be fast and furious as teams from across the nation descend on the Randal
Tyson Track Center. On the women's side, top 10 teams like Florida and
Tennessee are schedule to compete as each event should push the envelope
for stadium records.
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 fourth 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.
||11th, 20 pts.
Trackshark: Arkansas opened the year ranked 15th in the Trackshark
rankings, but fell after the second rankings were released to 22nd. Back
in the top 20 at 19th, Trackshark ranks teams based on other polls, rankings
and dual meet competitions.
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, and after falling to 23rd
have moved back up to 20th.
Williams Records First Qualifier: Junior hurdler, Kasia Williams
posted her first collegiate qualifier at the Meyo Invitational last weekend
when she ran 8.43 in the hurdles. Just meeting the NCAA provisional standard,
Williams improved 0.17 seconds from prelims to finals at the competition.
Getting Better with Each Race: Kasia Williams is the living embodiment
of improving with each competition. Starting the year with a somewhat
disappointing time of 8.67, she dropped the mark a week later to 8.60.
In week three she ran 8.50 and produced her first NCAA qualifier last
weekend at 8.43.
What to Watch: Lady Razorback athletes will compete all day on
Friday with the first ones toeing the line at 10:30 a.m., and the last
competing at 9:50 p.m. The Lady'Backs look to load the 3,000 and 5,000-meter
runs on the distance side of things with each sprinter competing in multiple
events. Junior Kerri-Ann Mitchell looks to be the busiest Lady'Back as
she is entered in four events, the 60, 400, long jump and triple jump.
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. Two weeks ago at the J.D. Martin Invite, she equaled
her career best while qualifying for the NCAA Championships with a vault
Last Weekend: Erin Anderson was poised to eclipse her season and
career best mark last weekend at the Meyo Invitational, but after skipping
a height, to go after 13-3, she was unable to clear the bar after three
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
ninth 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 nine looks good so far, despite her provisional
Tyson Center Crowds: The fans in Arkansas are among the best in
the nation and that gets proved again and again as the Randal Tyson Track
Center draws some of the largest crowds for indoor track meets every year.
Last season's Golden Spike Tour was also one of Arkansas' most successful
meets with the eighth largest crowd ever.
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.
Dropping the PR: Laura Jakosky dropped her personal best once again
at the Meyo Invitational by running 9:44.04 against some stiff competition.
Looking more comfortable at the distance, Jakosky could drop the time
significantly in coming weeks.
Jakosky #2: Junior Laura Jakosky joined teammate Veronica Campbell
atop a Southeastern Conference list earlier this season 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. Despite improving her mark by a couple seconds,
Jakosky has moved number two on the list after Kentucky's Caity Phillips
ran 9:37.25 at Notre Dame.
5,000 Dominance: The Lady Razorbacks have a long history of dominance
when it comes to the Southeastern Conference level and the distance races.
The 5,000 meters is certainly one of those events and it appears that
the Lady'Backs have the upper hand thus far. Alison Zeinner holds a 19
second advantage in the event and could increase the margin after she
competes in the race at the Tyson Foods Invitational.
Saffa Joins the Distance Frenzy: True freshman Sarah Saffa has
never concentrated solely on running, but despite that Arkansas' coaches
took a chance on the Tulsa, Okla., native and so far have been pleased
with the results. Running in her first collegiate 3,000-meter race, Saffa
clocked 10:01.62 to just miss the SEC's top 10 list. Running alone and
in a slow heat, Saffa waited for her moment, and then pounced on her competition
to take an event win in her first race.
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 four, Christin
(Wurth) Thomas, April Steiner, Sarah Schwald and Nicole Teter are on the
slate to return. Another Lady Razorbacks that made a return trip to Fayetteville
is Tracy Robertson.
Crunch Time: The Lady Razorbacks are four weeks into their indoor
season and it is crunch time when you look at what is left. Arkansas only
has one competition before the indoor conference championship making the
Tyson Foods Invite incredibly important.
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).
Blackwood Wins: Similar to her former Barton County and now Arkansas
teammate, Kasia Williams, Brandy Blackwood has improved with every competition
this season and at the Meyo Invitational, she picked up her first event
win when she threw the weight throw 57 feet, five inches. The mark was
a career best and is a potential sign of good things to come.
4x4 Goes Again: A few weeks ago the Lady Razorbacks ran their 'B'
relay team and nearly put a NCAA provisional qualifier on the board. Last
weekend they ran their 'C' relay and performed well. Now with their 'A'
team healthy and ready to compete, who knows what could happen. The Lady
Razorbacks are scheduled to run their squad of Kerri-Ann Mitchell, LaShaunte'a
Moore, Aneita Denton and Veronica Campbell in the 4x400 relay on Saturday
afternoon which could make the end of the Golden Spike competition very
The Campbell 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. Already automatically qualified in both the 60 and 200 meters,
Campbell is chasing history and international recognition. In the 60 meters,
Campbell is shooting for Arkansas' school record of 7.26 by former Lady'Backs
Elisha Brewer and Kyla Shoemake, the 2004 SEC best of Muna Lee of LSU,
7.29, the 2004 collegiate best of Lauryn Williams of Miami, 7.21, and
the world best of Yuliya Nesterenko of Belarus, 7.10. In the 200, Campbell
already owns the UA record at 23.28, the 2004 SEC and collegiate best
is held by DeeDee Trotter of Tennessee at 23.19 and the world best is
now held by Ivet Lolova of Bulgaria at 22.87.