Arkansas runner-up in Terry Crawford Program of the Year

NEW ORLEANS – Arkansas finished runner-up for the Terry Crawford Program of the Year award, which is presented by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, based on its finish at the three national championship meets held this season.

This is the third time for the Razorbacks to finish second for the Program of the Year honor. Previous years were 2014-15 and 2015-16. Arkansas has finished third on four occasions which included 2012-13, 2013-14, 2016-17, and 2018-19.

“We’re consistent and always in the conversation,” said Arkansas women’s head coach Lance Harter. “This season is the year I thought we would have a great chance at it. Unfortunately, when we lost our sprinter to an injury at the national outdoor meet that changed the opportunities for us as a team.

“I’m proud that we are always in the top two or three, because there are a lot of universities out there trying to be program of the year. We are always a factor in those decisions. It’s very difficult to do it one time, let alone to do it repetitively, because there are so many good programs out there trying to do the same exact thing.”

Since USTFCCCA started the award in 2008-09, the Razorbacks have placed among the top three seven of the past eight seasons. After Arkansas claimed its first ever women’s cross country title in 2019, the 2020 NCAA Championships for indoor and outdoor track seasons were canceled due to the pandemic.

“That’s a reflection of how well our coaching staff have divided the strengths of our program,” noted Harter. “We’re able to really focus and be competitive in all three seasons on a national scale. Especially in the era of specialization, we are kind of the opposite of what most programs are doing.”

After winning the national championship while hosting the 2021 NCAA Indoor in March, two days later Arkansas competed in the NCAA Cross Country Championships, which were moved from its normal date in November, and placed 10th. The Razorbacks recently finished 15th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

The total of 26 for Arkansas had the Razorbacks only trailing BYU for the top honor as the Cougars had a total of 18 from seventh at NCAA Indoor, winning NCAA Cross Country and placing 10th at NCAA Outdoor.

Teams finishing among the top five were Alabama (29.5), Florida State (46), and North Carolina State (55.5).