17th-ranked Lady'Back Harriers to open season

FAYETTEVILLE – The 17th-ranked University of Arkansas Lady Razorback cross country team begins their season on Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. when they host Missouri Southern University in a dual meet at the Agri Park Cross Country Course in Fayetteville.

The Lady Razorbacks, who finished 16th at the NCAA Championships last fall, enter the meet ranked 17th thanks to five returning members off last season’s NCAA team and seven returning competitors who have seen significant action. Coupled with a sprinkling of young talent that could challenge even the most veteran of Lady Razorback harriers and Arkansas has the makings of a special team.

“I’m really excited to get things started,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “We plan to rest some of our seniors and give the young ones a chance to compete for a spot on the travel squad. When we get to the NCAA meets we can only compete with seven athletes, so we need to find who will rise to the occasion.”

Leading the charge for Arkansas on Friday should be junior Laura Kerr and sophomores Tiffany Redlarczyk and Beth Fahey. Each saw significant time last season and know the Agri Park course well. Joining them are newcomers Christine Kalmer, Jennifer Harper and Kelly Vrshek who have impressed Arkansas’ coaches at every workout.

Arkansas took on Missouri Southern in a dual meet setting last season and came out with an impressive win. Taking the top four positions and five of the top six, the Lady’Backs dominated their opponent and walked away with a 23-point victory. In that race, Arkansas’ Penny Splichal took the individual title while Laura Jakosky, Kristina Smith, Lea Carruthers and Redlarczyk rounded out the scoring.

The Lady Razorbacks take to the course at 7:00 p.m. For more information about Arkansas cross country or about women’s athletics, visit LADYBACKS.com.