Posts Qualifier, Nears Record
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
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,