Photo Courtesy: UA Athletics (Walt Beazley)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The No. 11 University of Arkansas women's track and field team travels to Tempe, Ariz., this weekend for the 34th Annual Sun Angel Classic. The Razorbacks begin competition Saturday at Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium. The meet is set to feature over 20 colleges and universities and more than 1,000 collegiate and post-collegiate competitors.
"This weekend, our sprinters and jumpers will head out to Arizona to get some warm weather and have some good competition," head coach Lance Harter said. "We'll have some runners finally getting to run in their primary events. If you look at someone like Regina (George), she still hasn't run at 400 yet so some of those things are still yet to come."
Along with the Razorbacks, the field of competition in Tempe will include eight teams ranked this week by the USTFCCCA. Arkansas is the No. 11 team in the country this week and will be joined at the Sun Angel Classic by top-ranked Kansas, No. 8 and host Arizona State, No. 16 Illinois, No. 17 Iowa State, No. 23 Oklahoma, No. 24 Colorado and Division II No. 8 Academy of Arts.
Entering the weekend, the Razorbacks have five top-10 national event rankings. Based on their respective performances at the season-opening meet, Regina George is the top-ranked runner at 800 meters and Sparkle McKnight has the No. 2 time in the 400-meter hurdles. Makeba Alcide in the heptathlon and the team's 4x400-meter relay are both fourth in the country, while the 4x100-meter relay team is ranked No. 10 in the country.
Both relays are scheduled to be on the track at the Sun Angel Classic. Last weekend, the Razorbacks' 4x400-meter relay team of George, McKnight, Gwendolyn Flowers and Chrishuna Williams combined for a school-record time of 3:28.42 at the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. Williams is also the SEC leader at 400 meters with her performance of 53.79 at the Texas State Elite meet.
Through the first three weeks of the outdoor season, the Arkansas women own three of the top four 800-meter times in the conference with George, Martine Borge (No. 2 - 2:07.07) and Stephanie Brown (No. 4 - 2:08.38). The Razorbacks' top field performer is Tamara Myers in the triple jump where she has the fourth-best jump among SEC athletes this year. She is slated to compete in both horizontal jumps in Tempe.
Arkansas last competed last weekend with split entries at the Texas Relays and Stanford Invitational. In Austin, the Razorbacks collected four top-four performances including the school-record mark in the 4x400-meter relay. In other events, Arkansas was second in the sprint-medley relay, Alcide posted a third-place finish in the heptathlon and Kirsten Hesseltine was the runner-up in the 'B' section of the high jump.
At the Stanford Invitational, the Razorbacks had four personal-best performances from Diane Robison and Dominique Scott at 1,500 meters, Shannon Klenke in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and Rachel Carpino at 5,000 meters. Borge and Brown both had their season-best time at 800 meters at the meet in Palo Alto, Calif.
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