NCAA Championship berth next goal for No. 11 Razorbacks in South Central Region

FAYETTEVILLE – No. 11 Arkansas hosts the NCAA South Central Region meet on Friday, racing over a 6,000m distance at 10:30 a.m. on the Agri Park course. The Razorbacks have an 11-meet winning streak in the region meet and have claimed the South Central team title 26 times dating back to 1982.

Admission and parking for the NCAA South Central Region meet is free. Live results will be available at this link:

“We’re planning to have a good line-up with a good showing,” said Arkansas women’s assistant coach Megan Elliott. “We just want to get the job done and hopefully move on to the national championships.

“We’re excited to get back out on our course and race over the 6k distance. Any time you can run in front of Razorbacks fans at home it’s a good day.”

With nine region meets being held on the same day, the top two teams from each region will earn automatic qualification to the NCAA Championships, which will be held on Saturday, November 18, at Panorama Farms and hosted by the University of Virginia.

The remaining 13 at-large teams will be determined based on a points system from season-long competitions. The top four individuals not on a team advancing also qualify for the national meet.

“It’s hard because these athletes are keyed up, tuned up and ready to go,” noted Elliott. “So, it’s a balancing act. This is the first time all season that we will have to turn around and run again in eight days.

“We want to give a good, strong effort. But we want to be our best again eight days after this meet. So, the goal is to get through as easy as we can but it’s never easy, you have to go out there and get the job done. We’re ready for any challenge that may arise.”

Arkansas is the lone nationally ranked team among the women’s field. Challenging for advancement to the NCAA Championships will be Tulane, SMU, and Texas A&M.

Tulane, who finished 10th in the region a year ago, is ranked second in the South Central Region this fall and they recently won the American Athletic Conference with Gemma Rebollo adding the conference individual title.

Texas A&M ranks third in the region. The Aggies recently finished sixth in the SEC meet and finished fourth in the South Central last year. SMU, who last won the South Central Region in 2009, ranks fourth in the region and finished third in the American Athletic Conference. Last season the Mustangs were fifth in the South Central meet.

Mia Cochran is the top returning Razorback from the 2022 South Central team title, placing fourth in the meet. Sydney Thorvaldson finished 12th while Mary Ellen Eudaly placed 21st.

“This season has been a lot of fun and also a learning experience,” said Thorvaldson, who recently placed sixth in the SEC Championships. “It’s a very young team, so it’s been about all of us trying to learn how we work together and what strengths we can have and utilize on the course.

“Racing at Agri Park for the region meet is really cool. It’s nice to have a little bit of a home field advantage. Just being able run where we train is cool for us and we all know the course pretty well. Hopefully, we’ll have a nice support squad out there as well.”

Teams are limited to seven runners in the region meet. Coach Elliott will select from the group of nine who finished second in the SEC Championships to determine the group representing Arkansas in the South Central race.

Additional Razorbacks to select from include Paityn Noe, Laura Taborda, Nyah Hernandez, Heidi Nielson, Tiana LoStracco, and Mackenzie Rogers.

“They’re in a good spot and have seen the fruits of their labor come to fruition now and I think it’s exciting for them,” noted Elliott. “They’re excited and eager to compete. We need to take care of the regional meet and then we’ll look onto the national meet after that.”

Thorvaldson added: “You have to kind of know your body. You can still run fast and not necessarily empty the tank. Hopefully, we’re all going to go out and run a smart race, and maybe it’s not exactly exerting ourselves entirely. We’re in a position where we can work to our strengths and use that to maybe not exhaust ourselves and save that for the next weekend.”

NCAA South Central Region | Rankings

  1. Arkansas, 2. Tulane, 3. Texas A&M, 4. SMU, 5. Texas, 6. TCU, 7. LSU, 8. UT Arlington, 9. Arkansas State, 10. Rice, 11. Lamar, 12. New Orleans, 13. Central Arkansas, 14. Houston, 15. McNeese State.

NCAA South Central Region | Arkansas Individual Winners (15)

2022- Isabel Van Camp, 2021 – Isabel Van Camp, 2019 – Taylor Werner, 2018 – Katrina Robinson, 2017 – Nikki Hiltz, 2016 – Devin Clark, 2015 – Dominique Scott, 2014 – Dominique Scott, 2001 – Andreina Byrd, 2000 – Lilli Kleinmann, 1998 – Amy Yoder Begley, 1995 – Megan Flowers, 1994 – Megan Flowers, 1993 – Deena Drossin, 1989 – Jackie Mota.

NCAA South Central Region | Women’s Team Finish

Year First Pts Second Pts Third Pts Host
2022 Arkansas 49 Texas 102 LSU 154 College Station
2021 Arkansas 27 Rice 96 Texas 101 Waco
2020 not held            
2019 Arkansas 15 Texas 63 Texas A&M 106 Fayetteville
2018 Arkansas 21 Texas 99 Texas State 122 College Station
2017 Arkansas 35 Texas 93 Baylor 116 College Station
2016 Arkansas 48 Baylor 62 Rice 93 Fayetteville
2015 Arkansas 40 Texas 105 SMU 132 College Station
2014 Arkansas 29 Baylor 82 SMU 113 Fayetteville
2013 Arkansas 33 SMU (tie 4-1) 116 Texas A&M 116 Waco
2012 Arkansas 44 Texas 68 Texas A&M 140 Fayetteville
2011 Arkansas 49 Texas 69 Texas A&M 90 Waco
2010 Texas 46 Rice 71 Arkansas 98 Waco
2009 SMU 43 Baylor 54 Arkansas 66 Waco
2008 Arkansas 51 Rice (tie 3-2) 61 Baylor 61 Waco
2007 Rice 54 Arkansas 70 Baylor 75 Fayetteville
2006 Arkansas 30 Baylor 83 Texas A&M 104 Waco
2005 Arkansas 45 Baylor 46 Rice 78 Waco
2004 SMU 50 Arkansas 61 Baylor 81 Waco
2003 Texas 66 Baylor 68 Arkansas 70 Waco
2002 Arkansas 29 Texas 74 Texas A&M 83 Waco
2001 Arkansas 36 Texas 85 Baylor 98 College Station
2000 Texas A&M 52 Arkansas 68 TCU 89 Denton