Topple Two School Records
FAYETTEVILLE - Junior Veronica Campbell and the rest
of the University of Arkansas women's 4x400-meter relay team set two Lady
Razorback school records on the second day of the Tyson Foods, Inc. Invitational
against some of the world's best athletes.
Campbell started the day with a school record
in the 60-meter dash when she ran 7.23 to finish third against some of
the best sprinters in the world. Getting a decent start, Campbell accelerated
through the middle of the sprint and was just behind American Olympic
medalist Gail Devers and Bahamian Olympian Debbie Ferguson. Campbell beat
such notables as Americans Torii Edwards and Christie Gaines and the collegiate
national leader Lauryn Williams of Miami.
"This was a fabulous weekend for us," Arkansas
head coach Lance Harter said. "We ran two races today and set two school
records and picked up two national qualifiers. You can't ask for a much
better day than that."
Campbell broke the record that was shared
by former Lady'Back greats Elisha Brewer and Kyla Shoemake when she competed
her race. The pair had run 7.26 six years ago in Colorado Springs, Colo.
In the relay, Campbell ran the second leg of the
record team as she was joined by Kerri-Ann Mitchell, Aneita Denton and
LaShaunte'a Moore. Mitchell, who posted her first NCAA qualifier yesterday,
came out of the blocks strong and looked good at the handoff to Campbell.
Caught in the confusion of the relay exchanges, Campbell had to fight
her way through the first 20 meters of her leg but still placed the Lady
Razorbacks in great position.
Denton took the baton from Campbell and also
looked strong despite having spent a majority of the season ill, then
left the race in the hands of Moore who started with a bang and held on
to complete the Lady'Backs NCAA provisional mark and school record 3:36.21.
Arkansas finished the race with the fifth fastest collegiate time in the
country despite only being a provisional mark.
"Coach (Rolando) Greene put it in perspective
today," Harter said, "when he told me that we have the fifth fastest time
in the country and the third fastest time in the Southeastern Conference."
The Lady Razorbacks rank behind Texas and
Miami from the Big 12 and Big East and SEC foes Florida and Tennessee.
Arkansas' relay topped the 2000 race of Nicole Savary, Gi-Gi Miller, Kyla
Shoemake and Tawa Babatunde. That squad ran 3:36.46 in Fayetteville at
the NCAA Championships.
Arkansas is back in action in two weeks when
it competes at the SEC Championships in Lexington, Ky., Feb. 27-29, at
the University of Kentucky.