Sheet #14 - The NCAA Mideast Regional
SEC Champions: It wasn't expected and certainly not forecasted,
but the Lady Razorbacks brought the conference hardware back to Fayetteville
thanks to a stunning 124 points at the Southeastern Conference Championships.
Veronica Campbell was a double champion with victories in the 100 and
200-meter dashes while Maureen Scott took top honors in the steeplechase.
In fact it was the steeplechase that put Arkansas in a position to win
as the Lady'Backs claimed five of the top eight spots on way to 28 points.
Other big scoring events were the 10,000, 200, pole vault, 1,500 and
100 with 16, 16, 15, 14 and 13, points respectively.
Individual Champions: For just the second time in six wins, the
Lady Razorbacks won a conference title with just three individual championships.
Veronica Campbell won the 100 and 200 while Maureen Scott walked away
with the steeplechase crown. The only other time Arkansas won with just
three individual titles was in the winter of 2003.
Depth: When it comes to the SEC Championships, having big guns
up front helps, but it is depth that wins titles. Arkansas brought only
25 athletes to the conference championship, but 22 scored at least one
point. Arkansas competed in just 16 of the 21 contested events, but
picked up points in 11.
NCAA Mideast Regional: In its second year of existence, the NCAA
regional system is the gateway to the national championships. Four regionals
have been set up across the country, with Arkansas competing in the
mideast. Other regions include the east, midwest and west. Other top
schools in the mideast region are LSU, Tennessee, Michigan, Indiana,
Illinois, Ohio State, Missouri and Auburn.
Last Year at the Mideast Regional: The Lady Razorbacks finished
tied for fourth at the 2003 Mideast Regional in Columbus, Ohio. A scored
meet, Arkansas tallied 45.5 points in a regional championship that was
dominated by LSU who ran away with 95 points. April Steiner was Arkansas'
lone champion with a victory in the pole vault while Londa Bevins and
Jessica Johnson each finished second in the 1,500 and high jump, respectively.
2003 NCAA Mideast Regional Outdoor Track
Jessie Owens Memorial Stadium o Columbus, Ohio
Regional Schedule: The NCAA regional schedule is compact compared
to the SEC Championships schedule. Contested over two days, the regional
meet begins at noon on both Friday and Saturday with prelims dominating
the first day events. Five finals are to be competed on Friday, mostly
field events, while Saturday's action features one final after another.
Top Five: That's what it takes to earn an automatic berth into
the NCAA Championships to be held June 9-12 at Mike A. Myers Stadium in
Austin, Texas. Any athlete finishing in the top five at the regional meet
earns a ticket to nationals with the remainder of the field working off
the national descending order list.
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. Following their
stunning victory at the SEC meet, Arkansas jumped all the way to fourth
in the rankings with 44 points.
||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.
||4th, 44 pts.
||30th, 348.28 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, since then, Arkansas has settled into 30th overall after
hitting a season low 50th in week six.
Arkansas Competitors: The Lady Razorbacks bring 19 athletes to
the NCAA Regional Championship with the possibility of sending another
to the NCAA Championships in the 10,000. Events to watch include the 100
and 200 meters where Veronica Campbell and LaShaunte'a Moore set up their
blocks and the 1,500 with Londa Bevins, Erica Sigmont and Shannon Spaulding.
As for field events, look to the pole vault for a quartet of Lady'Backs,
Erin Anderson, Jodi Driggers, Jennifer Lincoln and Stacie Manuel.
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 has taken off during the
outdoor season. Eclipsing her personal bests in the 1,500, steeplechase
and 5,000 by a combined 53 seconds, Scott began the season with 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.
Steeplechase Champion2: Maureen Scott made it two steeplechase
championships this season when she blistered the Ole Miss track for the
Southeastern Conference title. Her time of 10:16.01 is the fastest at
the SEC Championships since former Lady Razorback Lilli Kleinmann ran
10:13.89 back in 2001, the inaugural year for the competition for women.
Nationally Ranked: Sophomore Maureen Scott was never even a blip
on the radar screen for many in the track and field world when the 2004
outdoor season began, but the SEC Champion is making heads turn as she
has dropped an astounding 34 seconds off her personal best in the steeplechase
this year. Now holding the 12th fastest time in the nation, Scott is forecasted
to finish eighth at the NCAA meet according to the Trackwire Dandy Dozen,
but first she must get through the regional championship where she holds
the third fastest mark.
Trackwire Dandy Dozen: The Trackwire Dandy Dozen exploded for the
Lady Razorbacks following their SEC Championships victory. Veronica Campbell
is ranked number one in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes while Londa
Bevins and Erica Sigmont each moved into the 1,500 rankings at 4th and
sixth. Maureen Scott ranks eighth in the steeplechase while the 4x100-meter
relay is tabbed for fourth. Others on the charts but not among the scorers
include LaShaunte'a Moore in the 200 (11) and Shiloh Whiting in the steeplechase
A Key Factor: One of the many reasons that the Lady Razorbacks
were able to walk away with a conference championship was that everyone
met the challenge before them. That was never more true than in the case
of sprinter LaShaunte'a Moore who scored an astounding 11 points at the
SEC outdoor meet after being shut out indoors. Moore was the sixth-place
finisher in the 100, but returned in the deuce to finish third. She was
also a key component to Arkansas' 4x100 relay, running the anchor leg
and holding off a charging South Carolina squad.
Double Champion: She won one title indoors and followed it up with
a pair of outdoor titles. Veronica Campbell took SEC Championships in
the 100 and 200-meter runs to lead the Lady Razorbacks at the conference
championship. Campbell was also an integral part of Arkansas' second-place
4x100-meter relay. She scored 22 of Arkansas124 points at the conference
Arkansas Record Holder: Veronica Campbell's awe-inspiring times
of 11.10 in the 100-meter dash, 22.41 in the 200-meter dash and 44.09
as a part of the 4x100-meter relay are all Arkansas Lady Razorback records.
Prior to the championship, Campbell had held the 100 mark, but crushed
her own time, then the times of former Lady'Backs Elisha Brewer in the
200 and Precious Madison, Brewer, Daphne Harris and Kyla Shoemake in the
Number Two and Six: Veronica Campbell's performances at the SEC
Championships rank her among the world's elite sprinters. She currently
holds the second fastest 200-meter time at 22.41, just 0.07 seconds behind
the world leader, Tonette Dyer (USA) of San Diego State. In the 100, she
holds the sixth fastest time and is the fifth fastest woman at 11.10.
Those ranked ahead of her include Lauryn Williams (USA-Miami (Fla.)),
Marion Jones (USA), Torri Edwards (USA) and Christine Arron (France).
SEC Female Runner of the Year: For her efforts indoors, Veronica
Campbell was 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 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 or 100 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. Outdoors, she has competed in the 200 just twice at the SEC Championships
and continued her unbeaten streak which now moves to eight.
SEC Record Holder: Veronica Campbell's 200-meter time at the SEC
Indoor 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
Welcome Back Londa Bevins: It took some time to get back into competition
form, but Londa Bevins' performance at the Mt. SAC Relays was only 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 at the time.
Fourth Fastest: Londa Bevins improved on her Mt. SAC Relays time
when she competed at the Cardinal Invitational. 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.
Toughness and Speed: Londa Bevins looked very strong at the SEC
Championships as she competed and scored in two events, then helped the
Lady Razorbacks in the 5,000 meters. Bevins began the competition with
the prelims of the 1,500 where she ran a modest 4:26.48. She came back
later that evening with a fourth-place finish in the steeplechase at 10:50.67.
The next day, Bevins ran 4:20.24 for fourth in the 1,500, then finished
her competition by rabbiting the 5,000 for 2/3 of the race before dropping
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.
28 Marks: The Lady Razorbacks qualified 28 marks for the NCAA regional
and national championships this season, a solid number for any institution.
Leading the way was the pole vault and steeplechase with four qualifiers
each, but interestingly, Arkansas athletes qualified in 12 of the 21 events.
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
Another Record: Jessica Johnson eclipsed the heptathlon high jump
mark which she set a year ago when she cleared 5-10.75 at the SEC Championships.
Johnson's previous record had been 5-10.5, also set at the SEC meet.
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.
Turning it Up: Erica Sigmont eclipsed her personal best in the
1,500 meters at the Cardinal Invitational by running a fabulous time of
4:17.40 and to prove that it wasn't a fluke she backed it up with a time
of 4:18.15 at the SEC Championships for second-place honors.
Taking One for the Team: Knowing that the Lady Razorbacks needed
an exclamation point on its sixth SEC track title, Erica Sigmont stepped
up by finishing fourth in her first ever 5,000-meter run with a regional
qualifying mark of 16:38.61. The fifth fastest time in the Southeastern
Conference this season, the time ranks 57th nationally, but 12th in the
mideast region, not bad for an 800/1,500-meter runner.
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.