Sheet #13 - The SEC Championships
The SEC Championships: The Lady Razorbacks
return to the SEC Outdoor Championships as the defending runner-up and
look to reclaim their crown in Oxford, Miss. Arkansas hopes to rebound
from its disappointing SEC Indoor finish and appears to have the firepower
to do so after a fantastic outdoor season.
Oxford: Arkansas' trip to Oxford, Miss., is its first ever to compete
in track & field. In fact, it is the first time that Ole Miss has hosted
a conference outdoor track & field championship. The last time Ole Miss
played host to a championship was in 1996 when it hosted the SEC Cross
Last Season at the SEC Meet: The Lady Razorbacks finished second
at the 2003 SEC Outdoor Championships behind a formidable Florida squad
that scored an impressive 159 points. Arkansas did its best to stay in
the hunt until the last event, but couldn't overcome the points that Florida
scored in the throws. Arkansas took four SEC Individual Championships
at the meet with three of those returning in 2004.
2003 SEC Outdoor Track Championships
Tom Black Track o Knoxville, Tenn.
Returning Champions: The Lady Razorbacks return three SEC Champions
to the conference meet in 2004. Senior Jessica Johnson looks to defend
her high jump title, while juniors Shiloh Whiting and Penny Splichal hope
to repeat in the steeplechase and 10,000 meters, respectively.
More Champions: While three Lady Razorbacks return to the conference
meet as defending champions, Arkansas hopes to pick up a few more when
it gets to Ole Miss. Junior Veronica Campbell is one of those that could
make an impact. The SEC indoor champion and record holder at 200 meters,
Campbell looks for her second SEC title and first outdoors. Others that
could factor in include Jennifer Lincoln in the pole vault, Londa Bevins
and Erica Sigmont in the 1,500 and Maureen Scott in the steeplechase or
The SEC Schedule: The Lady Razorbacks are in competition mode beginning
on Thursday, May 13, when Jessica Johnson takes the track at 4:30 p.m.
for the heptathlon. The 2004 SEC meet has very few morning competitions,
as many of the events are scheduled for the afternoon and evening.
When to See the Lady'Backs: Arkansas athletes are scattered throughout
the 2004 SEC Outdoor Championships. With the exception of some field events
and the 400 hurdles, a Lady Razorback should be in every preliminaries
competition and most of the finals.
Grabbing Points Early: It is imperative for whoever hopes to win
the SEC title that they grab points early in the competition. Very few
teams have the kind of firepower to come from behind at the SEC meet.
The Trackwire Ranking: The Lady Razorbacks began the 2004 outdoor
season where they ended the indoor campaign in the polls, 12th. Several
weeks later, Arkansas improved to 11th with 22 points thanks to Stacie
Manuel's solid vaulting at the John McDonnell and the 4x4 relay. The Lady
Razorbacks are one of six SEC teams in the top 12.
||12th, 22 pts.
||25th, 196.66 pts.
||10th, 25 pts.
||34th, 216.63 pts.
||9th, 25 pts.
||46th, 253.49 pts.
||11th, 22 pts.
||T11th, 21 pts.
||46th, 310.93 pts.
||11th, 22 pts.
||50th, 310.93 pts.
Trackshark: Arkansas finished the 2004 indoor season ranked 11th
in the Trackshark rankings, just off their indoor nationals finish of
10th. Like the Trackwire rankings, Arkansas is 10th in the first week
of the Trackshark poll. Trackshark ranks teams based on other polls, rankings
and scored competitions.
The USTCA Power Rankings: The United States Track Coaches Association
also has a rankings system, but it is based solely on performances. The
USTCA tracks the top two competitors in every event and assigns a numeric
value to that performance. The sum of the performances ranks the team.
The Lady Razorbacks opened the outdoor season at 25th, dropping to 46th
in week three, but that is still without several sprint and relay performances
which should be factored in shortly.
Scott Steps Up: Sophomore Maureen Scott ran very well for the Lady
Razorbacks as a freshman and was good during the beginning part of her
sophomore year, but the Mahomet, Ill., native is taking off during the
outdoor season. Already eclipsing her personal bests in the 1,500, steeplechase
and 5,000 by a combined 38 seconds, Scott picked up a huge victory at
the Texas Relays in the steeplechase.
Steeplechase Champion: Maureen Scott became Arkansas' second ever
steeplechase champion at the Texas Relays when she took the 2004 title
on April 1. Following in the footsteps of former Lady Razorback Lilli
Kleinmann, Scott was at the lead from wire to wire as she ran stride-for-stride
with Amber Ferner of Purdue.
Conference Leader: Maureen Scott's time in the steeplechase (10:18.83)
is not just a 2004 Lady Razorback best, but the top times in the Southeastern
Conference. Her 5,000 mark is second in the conference behind Vanderbilt's
Erika Schneble and the steeplechase time is 14 in front of teammate Laura
High on the National List: Maureen Scott's steeplechase mark is
one of the best in the nation and should give her a ticket to the big
dance in Austin, Texas, next month. She is currently ranked 14th in the
nation and third in the NCAA's mideast region.
Competitors: The Lady Razorbacks bring 23 athletes to the 2004
SEC Championships. While not everyone will see double and triple duty,
a good majority of Arkansas' contingent should be on the Ole Miss track
numerous times. The busiest Lady Razorbacks will be Veronica Campbell
and LaShaunte'a Moore who are scheduled to take the track for the 100,
200, 4x1 and 4x4.
Johnson's Return: After sitting out the indoor season, Jessica
Johnson returned for her final season of collegiate eligibility and opened
at the Texas Relays. Jumping a modest, 5-8, Arkansas' coaches were happy
with the performance since it was her first in almost nine months.
Penn Relays: Who knows what it is, but Jessica Johnson likes jumping
at the Penn Relays and she showed it again in early April when she cleared
a season best 5-10.5. The runner-up at the competition a year ago, Johnson
finished fifth at the competition this season, but it was the height that
made the track coaches happy as it was her best jump since her 6-1.5 performance
Trackwire Dandy Dozen: The Trackwire Dandy Dozen is the basis for
the Trackwire Poll and four Lady Razorback individuals or teams are ranked
in the top 12. In the 100 and 200-meter dashes, Veronica Campbell ranks
second and first, respectively. In the 1,500, Londa Bevins and Erica Sigmont
sit at eighth and 12th, while the 4x400-meter relay sits at number nine.
Stacie Manuel is currently sixth on the pole vault list.
SEC Titles: The Lady Razorbacks have enjoyed success over the past
decade in track and field, but that success really showed during and after
the 2000 track season. Since then the Lady Razorbacks have won five conference
track and field titles (three indoor, two outdoor) and have been one of
the most successful teams in the conference.
SEC Female Runner of the Year: For her efforts indoors, Veronica
Campbell was recently named the SEC Female Runner of the Year. She is
the third Lady Razorback to take and athlete of the year honor indoors
and earned only Arkansas' fourth track athlete of the year award.
SEC Athlete of the Week: Veronica Campbell was named the SEC Female
Runner of the Week on April 21 after breaking the UA school record in
the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.19, one tenth of a second faster
than the old record. The award is Campbell's second athlete of the week
Fastest in the Conference: Veronica Campbell's 11.19 in the 100-meter
dash is the fastest time in the Southeastern Conference this season, ahead
of Muna Lee's 11.31.
Fastest in the World: Junior Veronica Campbell ended the 2004 indoor
track season holding the fastest time in the world for 200 meters at 22.43.
The Jamaica native scorched the Randal Tyson Track Center surface on way
to her first NCAA title.
Collegiate Record Holder: Veronica Campbell's NCAA Championship
and subsequent time of 22.43 set the collegiate indoor record in the event.
She edged Muna Lee's (LSU) time of 22.49 which had been set at the NCAA
Championships in 2003.
Unbeaten: Veronica Campbell seems to like the 200 meters more than
the 60 and looking at the results, one can tell. Campbell went unbeaten
in preliminary or finals action at the distance running the race six times
this indoor season and blowing away the competition in each race.
SEC Champion: She didn't break her season best, but Veronica Campbell's
200-meter time of 22.67 at the SEC Championships was good enough to win
in convincing fashion. She breezed past a world class field that included
defending national champion and former collegiate record holder Muna Lee
SEC Record Holder: Veronica Campbell's 200-meter time at the SEC
Championships of 22.67 was astonishing to watch, but it also destroyed
the SEC Championship record for the event by two-tenths of a second. The
record had been held by LSU's Dawn Sowell (22.87) which she set in 1989.
USTCA Regional Athlete of the Year: Veronica Campbell's performances
were so awe-inspiring during the indoor season that she was named the
United States Track Coaches Association's South Central Region Track Athlete
of the Year.
Silver Medalist: We mention it in the media guide, but it is worth
mentioning again. Veronica Campbell is also an Olympic silver medalist
in the 4x100-meter relay for her native Jamaica from the Sydney Olympic
Qualifiers: The Lady Razorbacks have25 marks or times currently
qualified for the NCAA regional or national championships. Comprising
those marks are 19 individuals making this one of the Lady Razorbacks
best all around teams. Last season, Arkansas also took 19 to the regional
Welcome Back Londa Bevins: It took some time to get back into competition
form, but Londa Bevins' performance at the Mt. SAC Relays should only
be the first step to returning to all-America form for the Wylie, Texas,
native. Bevins clocked 4:19.44 in the 1,500-meter run to claim the ninth
fastest time in the country in the event.
Fourth Fastest: Londa Bevins improved on her Mt. SAC Relays time
when she competed at the Cardinal Invitational two weeks ago. Bevins clocked
4:16.56 to post the nation's fourth fastest time. Unfortunately, the conference
leader in the event is also the national leader, Tiffany McWilliams.
A Five-Time All-American: Only nine women in Lady Razorback history
have earned at least five all-America honors during their careers, with
Londa Bevins being among that elite company. Should Bevins take another
honor this season she would place herself in the elite company of seven
other Lady Razorbacks who have earned more than five.
Placing Well in the Conference: The Lady Razorbacks, on paper,
appear to be a much stronger team during the outdoor season than they
were indoors. Despite not running their full compliment of athletes, Arkansas
is still scattered throughout the Southeastern Conference performers list
which tracks the top 10 marks in the SEC. The Lady Razorbacks have a presence
in 14 of the 21 SEC and NCAA Championship events and are the conference
leaders in two of the 14.
Williams Getting Better: Junior hurdler Kasia Williams entered
the 2004 season with a career best of 13.63 in the 100 hurdles, but after
a fabulous indoor season that saw her compete at the NCAA Championships,
Williams came out of the blocks like gangbusters at the Stanford Invitational
and ran a career best of 13.20 during finals to take the invite championship.
Building On Success: Perhaps she is coming of age, perhaps it's
coaching, who knows what the trigger mechanism has been for junior Kasia
Williams, but Arkansas' coaches are hoping that her trend of spiraling
her best marks down continues. Williams improved nearly every week during
the indoor season and capped off the year with a trip to the NCAA Championships
after nearly breaking Arkansas' school record for 55-hurdles.
Texas Relays Finalist: Kasia Williams was once again on top of
her game at the Texas Relays by making the finals of what could shape
up to be a precursor to the NCAA Championships final. Led by Texas' Nicole
Denby and LSU's Lolo Jones, Williams was with the leaders finishing fourth
overall. While not her season best time, William's 13.27 at the race proved
that her 13.20 at Stanford was no fluke.
Sigmont Makes Strides: Junior Erica Sigmont struggled with illness
most of the indoor track season and is just now showing the signs of what
made her a three-time all-American in 2003. The Australia native ran 4:20.37
for 1,500 meters at the Mt. SAC Relays, just off her personal best of
4:19.46 to notch the 14th fastest mark in the nation this season.
Second Woman: Sophomore Stacie Manuel became the second woman in
Lady Razorback history to clear the 14-foot mark in the pole vault at
the John McDonnell Invitational. Her performance is a personal best for
the Willmar, Minn., native and puts her in elite company as only a handful
of collegiates have ever accomplished the feat.
Arkansas' Record: Stacie Manuel's pole vault of 14 feet matched
Arkansas' all-time record in the event, but unfortunately because of the
weather, won't count as Arkansas' all-time mark. Despite it being an outdoor
meet, Manuel and the rest of the field were forced to jump indoors because
of safety concerns so her mark will not count as Arkansas' record.
One of the Nation's Best: Despite missing the entire indoor season,
Stacie Manuel has returned to action outdoors as one of the nation's best
vaulters. Already ranked among the nation's elite by Trackwire, should
Manuel clear 14 feet again, this time outdoors, she would be only one
of three collegiate vaulters to accomplish the task in 2004.