Sheet #4 - The NCAA Championships
Whiting Carries the Torch: Sophomore
Shiloh Whiting has carried the torch for the Lady Razorbacks this fall
with her best season of competition that has translated into an at-large
bid for the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Arkansas' lone entrant in
the competition, Whiting qualified for the championship by placing fifth
at the NCAA South Central Regional.
Fifth at Regional: Shiloh Whiting ran perhaps the best cross country
race of her career on Saturday, Nov. 15, when she smoked the Cottonwood
Golf Course for a 6,000-meter time of 21:08. The time placed Whiting fifth
overall as she led the Lady Razorbacks to a third-place team finish.
One of Two: Shiloh Whiting's invitation to the NCAA Cross Country
Championships is more than just a simple choice. She was one of just two
at-large choices by the NCAA Cross Country committee after they selected
the 31-team field and took the required individuals from each of the nine
regions. Whiting joins Kelly Cordell of Georgia as the only individual
A Second Appearance: The 2003 NCAA Cross Country Championships
marks Shiloh Whiting's second appearance at the national championship.
As a redshirt freshman, Whiting accompanied the Lady Razorbacks team to
the championship, finishing as Arkansas' sixth runner in 131st place overall.
All-SEC and All-Region: The Lady Razorbacks typically have numerous
all-SEC and all-Region selections in any given year, but 2003 saw only
a pair in Shiloh Whiting and sophomore Laura Jakosky. Whiting was the
13th-place finisher at the SEC meet to take second-team all-conference
honors, and then earned an all-region selection by finishing fifth.
A Breakthrough Year, Kind Of: To say that Shiloh Whiting had not
done much before the 2003 cross country campaign would be a stretch, especially
if you include her track and field accomplishments. While Arkansas' Felton,
Calif., native hadn't been one of the Lady'Backs go to individuals over
the past year in cross country, she had taken a USATF Junior National
title and a Southeastern Conference title in the steeplechase over the
past two years.
Continuing the Streak: Shiloh Whiting's appointment to the 2003
NCAA Championships continues a long line of excellence achieved by current
and former Lady Razorback athletes. She extends Arkansas' streak of individual
or team competitors at the national championship meet (NCAA or AIAW) to
26 years dating all the way back to 1978 when Jody Rittenhouse became
the first Lady Razorback to earn the honor under former had cross country
coach Ed Renfrow.
A Streak Snapped: For every ying, there is a yang and this time
it is with Arkansas' participation at the NCAA Championships. While Shiloh
Whiting continues Arkansas' presence at the championship, the 2003 season
marks the first time since 1989 that the Lady Razorbacks did not send
a team to the meet.
The FinishLynx Poll: After a two-week hiatus from the national
scene, the Lady Razorbacks used their NCAA South Central Region performance
to claw their way back into the FinishLynx Division I Cross Country Poll,
albeit just receiving votes. The Lady Razorbacks ranked among the nation's
elite to start the year, but because of a weaker schedule and not many
watching the Lady'Backs compete, they dropped all the way out of the top
30 and even out of the teams receiving votes. Now Arkansas makes a return
after finishing third in the region at 37th overall.
The NCAA South Central Regional: In what was perhaps the closest
NCAA Regional, the Lady Razorbacks finished third overall as a team despite
earning five all-region selections. Arkansas began the race strong and
were able to pass several along the way before eventually getting passed
themselves in a pair of instances over the final 2,000 meters. The Lady
Razorbacks were a mere four points and three seconds away from finishing
first at the regional meet, but took third behind Texas (66) and then
#18 Baylor (68).
Out of Nowhere: The Lady Razorbacks knew that they had their hands
full with #18 Baylor and #30 TCU at the NCAA South Central Regional, but
never saw the Univ. of Texas come charging as the race started. The Longhorns
established themselves early and at the race and held on to take the regional
title, their first since 1988.
Whiting Consistent: Sophomore Shiloh Whiting has quietly and consistently
been one of the Lady Razorbacks top runners over the past two seasons
and proved that once again at the SEC Championships where she was Arkansas'
number two, earning her second all-SEC honor. The Felton, Calif., native
is in her third season with the Lady'Backs after sitting out nearly the
entire 2001 season because of an injury.
Baby Steps: It may seem like the right phrase to use when it comes
to Shiloh Whiting's cross country career, but that would probably be a
disservice to what she has accomplished. Whiting improved from 14th to
13th at the SEC Championships this fall, but while the number is similar,
if you take a look at where she finished amongst her team, you get the
bigger picture. Whiting improved from Arkansas' sixth runner at the 2002
SEC meet to second in 2003.
Season Record Not So Shabby: There are many that believe that since
the Lady Razorbacks were not able to record their sixth-straight SEC title,
that things in Fayetteville are in a desperate state. Not the case, in
fact, Arkansas has accumulated a very respectable 81-12-1overall record
in their six scored meets.
Athletes of the Week: The Lady Razorbacks opened the 2003 season
with a pair of Southeastern Conference Athletes of the Week in Alison
Zeinner and Maureen Scott. Each won their first career collegiate cross
country race and paced the Lady'Backs to victories.
Scott Wins Georgetown: No one expected it, perhaps not even Maureen
Scott, but the sophomore was a force to be reckoned with at the Georgetown
Invitational when she won the competition going away. Scott completed
the 5,000-meter course in 18:17.12, beating her competition by eight seconds.
Zeinner Looks Over the Young Ones: To say that Alison Zeinner is
a cross country veteran seems strange, but the junior has the most experience
of any current Lady Razorback and is in her fourth year at the University.
Zeinner, a 2001 all-SEC performer, has been looked upon to provide leadership
to Arkansas' young runners and as it turns out, she came back to campus
in the best shape of her career and has been one of the Lady'Backs most