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Williams Posts Qualifier, Nears Record
Kasia Williams        GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Junior Kasia Williams posted another NCAA provisional qualifier and nearly hit the auto standard for the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track team at the Florida Fast Times Last Chance meet in Gainesville, Fla., on Saturday afternoon.
        Already holding a provisional qualifier, Williams improved on her mark from the Southeastern Conference championships when she cruised to a mark of 7.65 in the 55-meter hurdles. Her time was by far the best she ran this season and nearly eclipsed the six-year-old school record of former Lady Razorback Kyla Shoemake who ran 7.63 in 1998.
        "I knew that Kasia could do this," Arkansas associate head coach Rolando Greene said. "One of the reasons we came to Gainesville is that we knew that this was a fast track. After Kasia's performance at the SEC meet, I knew that she was ready for a breakthrough and we got that today. Now we prepare for the NCAA Championships next weekend and see what happens."
        Due to facility constraints, Williams competed in the 55-meter hurdles and not the 60 meters in which she is accustomed. Both distances are honored by the NCAA for championships qualifying and using a conversion to the longer distance of 0.54 seconds, Williams converted time comes to 8.19, which is a huge drop in time from her previous best of 8.31.
        Holding a career best of 8.5 in the 60 hurdles prior to this season, Williams is arguably Arkansas' most improved athlete this season. She has improved in every facet of her race including the start and technique over the hurdle. Williams next challenge pits her against the nation's best at the NCAA Championships. She currently stands tied for ninth on the national qualifiers list.
        Other Lady Razorbacks competing at the Florida meet included Beyonka McDowell in the long jump and Aneita Denton and Shannon Spaulding in the 800-meter run. McDowell flew to a season best 19-8.25 to finish fourth overall. Denton and Spaulding were each just hundredths of seconds off their season best marks when they finished their races in 2:09.59 and 2:10.56, respectively.
        The Lady Razorbacks now wait to see who the NCAA tack committee invites to the indoor championships which take place at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville next Friday and Saturday, March 12-13.

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