Doubles, Lady'Backs Win Championship
OXFORD, Miss. - Junior Veronica Campbell won Southeastern
Conference championships in the 100 and 200 meters to pace the University
of Arkansas Lady Razorbacks to its third SEC Outdoor Championship in five
years as Arkansas took the league title in Oxford, Miss.
Campbell looked unbeatable as she warmed up
for her races and then proved it as she defeated the three-time defending
SEC Champion Muna Lee of LSU in the 100 meters by 0.13 seconds, then came
back in the 200 to decimate the world-class field by a half second. Campbell's
200-meter time of 22.41 was nearly the SEC Championships record and is
the fastest time in the world this year.
"Any time that you have an athlete of Veronica's
caliber, you know that you have a chance to be potent," Arkansas head
coach Lance Harter said. "She is a great athlete and as a team we were
able to feed off that and win a championship. We thought that we had a
chance to win coming in, but that we would need help. We got the help
and our kids stepped up to the challenge."
The Lady Razorbacks won their third SEC outdoor
title and first since 2001 with their resounding victory. The title is
also Arkansas' 16th overall, but none seemed as sweet considering that
the Lady Razorbacks finished sixth at the indoor championship.
"We finally got our team healthy," Harter
said. "We had so many injuries and illnesses indoors that we made the
doctors think twice about what they were looking at. As a staff we thought
that we took a major hit when we lost Stacie Manuel to injury last week,
but the team rallied to win the title."
While Campbell stole the headlines with her awe-inspiring
performances, it was Arkansas' depth that led it to its championship.
Junior LaShaunte'a Moore earned nine points between the 100 and 200-meter
runs, finishing third in the longer of the two races. Junior Erica Sigmont
led a 2-4-8 finish in the 1,500-meter run as she ran 4:18.15, nearly a
personal best, and held off a strong surge from Tennessee's Brooke Novak
for the needed points. Seniors Londa Bevins and Shannon Spaulding rounded
out Arkansas' 1,500-meter finishers.
Arkansas' day got off to a bang when the 4x100-meter
relay finished second overall, its best finish at an SEC competition.
Getting a good start out of the blocks from senior Shaneatra Neely, the
stick went to Campbell who blistered the backstretch and put the Lady'Backs
in position to win. Junior Kasia Williams was Arkansas' third leg and
ran a flawless curve before handing off to Moore who held off a surging
South Carolina to solidify Arkansas' position.
The Lady Razorbacks day was concluded with
the 5,000-meter run where Sigmont was once again on top of her game. Running
the first 5,000 of her career, Sigmont clocked 16:38.61 to post a regional
qualifier and notch herself among the top distance runners in the country.
Arkansas' next competition takes it to Baton
Rouge, La., to compete at the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships in an
effort to qualify for the NCAA Championships in early June. For more information
about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women's athletics, please
go to www.ladybacks.com.