Kalmer goes automatic in Seattle

SEATTLE, Wash. – Junior Christine Kalmer became the first University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track athlete to post a NCAA automatic qualifier late Saturday evening when she ran 9:13.62 over 3,000 meters at the UW Invitational in Seattle, Wash.

Kalmer’s time was good for sixth place overall and was the third collegiate finisher in the competition. She also came within three seconds of breaking the Lady Razorback school record which she set last year at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational in New York. Her 2008 time is the fourth fastest in Lady Razorback history.

“We had a great weekend on all fronts,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “We got a couple of qualifiers in Seattle and a couple in Norman making this a very productive weekend. Christine looked superb in her race and was within moments of surpassing some of the nation’s best distance runners. She should be ready for the upcoming championships.”

A pair of post collegiate runners would go 1-2 in the overall standings, but Kalmer and the rest of the Lady Razorback contingent made significant noise with their finishes. Behind Kalmer’s near record performance, senior Dacia Barr was just off the NCAA provisional standard of 9:34.00 when she ran 9:36.34. Not far behind her was freshman Jillian Rosen who clocked 9:40.69. Megan Jackson and Dani Parry completed the Arkansas lineup with times of 9:48.30 and 9:57.19.

Arkansas’ fantastic race also places its runners among the best in the Southeastern Conference. Kalmer’s time is 25 seconds faster than any other athlete in the SEC with Barr’s time coming in at second overall. Rosen currently ranks fifth in the league with Jackson at 10th and Parry 15th.

The Lady Razorbacks are on the road again next weekend when they travel to the New Balance Collegiate Invitational in New York City. For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.