No. 2 Arkansas will have 32 entries in the NCAA West Preliminary rounds next week as the Razorbacks return to Cushing Stadium in College Station, Texas, after claiming the SEC Outdoor title at the venue last week.
The NCAA West Preliminary rounds (May 26-29) are the first two rounds of the NCAA Championships, and the top 12 in each event advance to the semifinal and final held in Eugene, Oregon (June 9-12).
“The first step of the championship season was the SEC meet, and that went really well,” said Arkansas women’s head coach Lance Harter. “Our kids were able to rise to the challenge from a lot of those great SEC teams. Many of them will now be in the NCAA East, so we’ll see a lot of new people from the West.
“We’re looking forward to our large contingent, one of the larger groups that’s entered, and the challenges back in College Station.”
Arkansas ranks third among entries nationally, trailing Texas Tech (36) and BYU (35). Among SEC schools the Razorbacks sport a leading total over LSU (31), Ole Miss (26), Texas A&M (24), and Alabama (21).
“Our kids know where all the coffee houses and restaurants are in College Station,” quipped Harter. “It’s going feel like a second home. They know the track and they know the facility. I think it’s a matter know of keeping their composure, realize the competition is going to ante up another level.”
Among the 32 entries for Arkansas, it includes 13 events and 28 athletes. Multiple entries in events have five Razorbacks in the pole vault, five in the 1,500m, four in the 5,000m and three in the 100m hurdles.
Other events with a pair from Arkansas include the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 10,000m, and Steeplechase along with a one entrant in the long jump.
“We blanket a lot of those events with great depth,” noted Harter. “Some of the events are incredibly more competitive than ever before. It’s by far the most competitive national meet that I think we’ve ever seen.”
In addition to Nastassja Campbell leading the collegiate pole vault, the Razorbacks have three athletes who rank second in the NCAA West along with the 4×400 relay. They include Shafiqua Maloney (800m), Krissy Gear (1,500m), and Lauren Martinez (pole vault).
Others seeded among the top 10 include Tiana Wilson in the 100 (4) and 200 (6), Kennedy Thomson (6) in the 1,500m, Mackenzie Hayward (6) in the pole vault, Katie Izzo (10) in the 5,000m, along with the trio of Daszay Freeman (4), Yoveinny Mota (8) and Jayla Hollis (9) in the 100m hurdles, and the 4×100 relay (5).
Arkansas women | 32 entries (13 events, 28 athletes)
|100:||3) Jada Baylark, 4) Tiana Wilson|
|200:||6) Tiana Wilson, 13) Jada Baylark|
|400:||9) Paris Peoples, 12) Morgan Burks-Magee|
|800:||2) Shafiqua Maloney, 21) Quinn Owen|
|1500:||2) Krissy Gear, 6) Kennedy Thomson, 12) Carina Viljoen, 21) Isabel Van Camp, 44) Maddy Reed|
|5000:||10) Katie Izzo, 15) Lauren Gregory, 16) Abby Gray, 30) Devin Clark|
|10,000:||14) Katie Izzo, 22) Devin Clark|
|100H:||4) Daszay Freeman, 8) Yoveinny Mota, 9) Jayla Hollis|
|Steeple:||16) Gracie Hyde, 20) Logan Morris|
|4×100:||5) Arkansas (Mota, Baylark, Hollis, Wilson, Effiong, Freeman)|
|4×400:||2) Arkansas (Maloney, Peoples, Effiong, K. Campbell, Burks-Magee, Wilson)|
|PV:||1) Nastassja Campbell, 2) Lauren Martinez, 6) Mackenzie Hayward, 15) Bailee McCorkle, 16) Kaitlyn Banas|
|LJ:||13) G’Auna Edwards|