Shines in Opener, Lady'Backs Look Strong
FAYETTEVILLE - It was a grand opening for junior
LaShaunte'a Moore and the rest of the sixth-ranked University of Arkansas
Lady Razorback track team on Friday night when they opened the 2004 indoor
track season at the Arkansas Invitational in the Randal Tyson Track Center.
Moore began her Lady Razorback career by posting
the third fastest 60-meter dash mark in Arkansas history, tying teammate
Kerri-Ann Mitchell on the career charts. Taking the race out quickly,
Moore cruised to a 7.45 mark in her first collegiate race since transferring
from Barton County Community College and joining Arkansas at the semester.
"I think that LaShaunte'a really made a name
for herself tonight," Arkansas head track coach Lance Harter said. "As
a team we performed well and were able to accomplish some things, but
we still have a lot in the tank and I think that we are only touching
the surface right now. It was a good opener."
Following Moore's stellar preliminaries performance,
which coincidentally was one-hundredth of a second off the NCAA provisional
standard, she returned to action in the finals with a fourth-place finish.
"We have been training with a lot of volume
this week," Associate head coach and sprints coach Rolando Greene said.
"The sprinter's legs are a little tired from all the work ,so to see that
kind of performance after a week like we've had is very encouraging."
In the pole vault, senior Jennifer (Culp) Lincoln
and junior Erin Anderson spent a lot of time waiting, but entered the
competition after the rest of the field was finished, then tied for the
championship in the event by clearing identical heights of 12 feet, 7.5
inches. Lady Razorback freshman Jodi Driggers finished fifth in the competition
while senior Ashley Sutton finished tied for sixth.
Arkansas concluded the day with a spectacular
4x400-meter relay. Starting off with a solid leg in Mitchell, the Lady'Backs
handed off to junior college transfer Veronica Campbell who completed
her two-laps in an awe-inspiring 52 seconds. Campbell handed off to Moore
who had another great split before Shaneatra Neely completed the race.
Arkansas' time of 3:41.27 was also a near NCAA qualifier, but more importantly
showed the defending NCAA third-place team that the Lady Razorback sprinters
could run with the nation's best.
The 3,000-meter run saw three Lady Razorbacks
take center stage, with freshman Kristina Smith finishing third with a
solid time of 10:16.15. Smith, who had a phenomenal freshman cross country
campaign, maintained her ground from the opening gun and held of several
charges from opponents before using her speed over the final lap to solidify
her position. Sophomore Jessie Gordon and redshirt freshman Laura Kerr
finished fifth and ninth, respectively.
Arkansas picked up another encouraging performance
from freshman high jumper Michelle Martin who opened her Lady Razorback
career with a fifth-place finish. One bar away from tying for first, Martin
cleared 5-4.5 with relative ease before barely clipping the next bar.
The Lady Razorbacks are back in action next
weekend when they compete at the Razorback Invitational at the Randal
Tyson Track Center, Friday and Saturday, Jan. 23-24.