Jump in Rankings, Now Fourth
- Thanks to a remarkable performance by the University of Arkansas women's
track team in winning the Southeastern Conference title, the Lady Razorbacks
jumped from 11th to fourth in the nation according to the latest Trackwire
Spending the majority of the season between
nine and 11, the Lady Razorbacks shocked the experts with a string of
stunning efforts that brought the conference crown back to Fayetteville
for the third time in five years. Arkansas was predicted to score approximately
20 points at the national championships, but in the seventh week of the
Trackwire rankings, the Lady Razorback's predicted score skyrocketed
to 44 points.
"Wow," Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said
when told of the ranking. "Considering we weren't even picked to finish
that high at the SEC meet, it's remarkable. A lot of the coaches had us
for fifth or sixth at the conference championship and now we are fourth
in the country."
The backbone of Arkansas' scoring throughout the
year has been junior Veronica Campbell in the 100 and 200-meter dashes.
Ranked number one in the 200 and number two in the 100 throughout the
year, Campbell moved up to the one spot in both events in the latest rankings
thanks to her incredible races at the SEC Championships. At the conference
meet, Campbell clocked the world's fourth fastest 100-meter time and fastest
200-meter time. She nearly eclipsed the SEC Championship and collegiate
records in both races and destroyed the UA records with her times of 11.10
in the shorter race and 22.41 in the deuce.
"These young ladies really stepped it up last
weekend," Harter said. "Now we have to continue to build off that and
see what happens."
The Lady Razorbacks 4x100 relay took a huge
jump, going from not ranked to fourth overall. The team, made up of Shaneatra
Neely, Campbell, Kasia Williams and LaShaunte'a Moore, finished second
at the SEC meet this weekend with an Arkansas record time of 44.09 which
ranks eighth among the qualifying marks. Arkansas moved up the list to
fourth based on the fact that it beat a team like South Carolina, who
holds the fifth-best mark, head-to-head.
In the 1,500-meter run, the Lady Razorbacks also
made significant improvements. Senior Londa Bevins and junior Erica Sigmont
were tabbed eighth and 12th a week ago, but again based on the achievements
of the SEC meet, the duo went to fourth and sixth, respectively. Bevins
has a season best of 4:16.56, but a career mark of 4:15.35, while Sigmont
has run her personal best this year at 4:17.40. The tandem rank third
and ninth on the national list.
Rounding out Arkansas' scoring potential at the NCAA
meet as determined by Trackwire, is sophomore Maureen Scott in the grueling
steeplechase. With only one collegiate steeplechase under her belt entering
the 2004 season, Scott took to the event like a fish to water and has
dropped her personal best by and astounding 34 seconds from 10:50.13 to
10:16.01. The SEC Champion in the event, Scott edged the defending champion
and teammate Shiloh Whiting for the conference crown and has a slight
advantage in the rankings as Whiting ranks 12th.
The Lady Razorbacks are back in action with
the NCAA Mideast Regional, May 28-29, at Louisiana State University in
Baton Rouge, La. Arkansas plans to qualify as many individuals as possible
at the regional for the NCAA Championships to be held in early June in