Razorback 2009 fall sports recap
By Ramsay FulbrightArkansas Media RelationsAlthough football is first on the minds of many members of the Razorback nation right now, the Razorbacks are currently competing in several other sports. Men’s and women’s cross country, volleyball and soccer teams have all been grinding it out this season as they prepare for upcoming championships.
Men’s Cross Country
The Razorbacks opened their season in perfect fashion with the Arkansas Invitational. The Hogs swept the top five spots in the event, and had all seven competitors finish in the top 13. Freshman Solomon Haile made the most of his Razorback debut and took the four-mile race win in a time of 19:43.9. Sophomore Eric Fernandez earned a runner-up finish with a time of 20:06.0.
Next up for the men was the Missouri Southern Stampede, where the Razorbacks scored 48 points to take their second straight win of the season. With a runner-up finish, Lane Boyer paced the team with a time of 23:23.05. He replaced his previous 8K personal best by more than one minute.
Arkansas then traveled north to Wisconsin for the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational and scored 174 points to finish fourth. For the second meet in his young career, Haile was Arkansas’ top finisher with a time of 24:25.2. He finished 17th overall, second among SEC runners and fifth among all freshmen runners.
Junior Dorian Ulrey made his cross country debut a memorable one with a fourth-place finish at the 21st annual Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival, in Fayetteville. Arkansas finished third in the team race with 89 points and the Hogs had three runners in the top 20 and all five scorers in the top 26. Ulrey crossed the finish line with a 10,000-meter time of 29:37.50.
The men’s cross country squad most recently finished second at the SEC Championships as the Razorbacks gave the No. 6 team in the nation, Alabama, all it could handle. Ulrey was the SEC runner-up and paced the Hogs to 61 points, just five off the Crimson Tide’s victory total.
Women’s Cross Country
The Razorback women have also put a lot of work in this season, and Miranda Walker in particular has had a standout year leading all Razorback finishers in every meet.
Arkansas opened the season with a win at the Arkansas Invitational and Walker led the pack taking the individual win with a time of 14:01.5. She paced the team race which scored 25 points. The Razorbacks finished five runners in the top 10 and each of the scoring seven in the top 12.
At the Missouri Southern Stampede Walker racked up her second win of the season. The Razorbacks would score a 23-45 win over the hosting Missouri Southern Lions and once again Arkansas scored five runners in the top seven and seven in the top 13. The Razorbacks cut the time between the first finisher and the fifth by 17 seconds with a spread of 50 seconds at the Arkansas Invitational and just 33 seconds at the MSSU Stampede.
At the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational, the Razorbacks scored 174 points and Arkansas was the highest finisher among SEC teams. For the third time, Walker was Arkansas’ top finisher with a time of 17:39.5, she finished 21st overall and second among SEC runners.
At the Chile Pepper Festival, Arkansas finished third in the team race with 87 points. The Hogs finished three runners in the top 20 and all five scorers in the top 27. Walker was Arkansas’ top finisher for the fourth time this year at ninth place.
The Razorbacks competed at the SEC Championships on Halloween and finished third overall with 72 points. Walker, Alyssa Allison, Kristen Gillespie and Samantha Learch all placed in the top 20 for the Razorbacks, but it was not enough to overcome a 1-2 finish by Florida’s top runners.
The ladies of the soccer pitch have also worked hard this season, completing their year on Oct. 31. Arkansas completed head coach Erin Aubry’s first season with a record of 8-7-4 (2-7-2 SEC).
The Razorbacks began the season undefeated in non-conference play, going 6-0-2. The Razorbacks picked up wins over Michigan, Air Force, Missouri State and Oral Roberts and posted six shutouts during that span.
Allie Chandler, Sophie Wentz and Ally Atkins led the team this season in scoring with each racking double-digit points. Chandler was the team leader with 12 points on a team high five goals and two assists. Wentz posted 11 points with Atkins scoring 10.
In goal, Britni Williams continued her historic career between the posts. She recorded nine shutouts on the year and over 1,745-plus minutes allowed just 16 goals for a school record 0.82 goals against average.
On to the Volleyball court, the Razorbacks have clawed their way to a record of 11-14 and 5-9 in SEC play.
Opening their season at the Texas Christian Invitational, the Razorbacks dropped their first two matches, before beating Grambling State in three sets for their first win.
In the home opener the Razorbacks had a strong showing knocking off Texas-Arlington 3-0 before traveling to the Virginia Tech Invitational.
The Hogs held the Arkansas Invitational to wrap up the non-conference schedule and began with a strong showing by beating Jacksonville State in three sets.
So far in conference action the Razorbacks have defeated South Carolina (twice), Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi State.
Amanda Anderson has been a standout for the Razorbacks as she has 201 kills and a team leading .320 attack percentage. Jasmine Norton is tops on the team with 331 kills. On the defensive side, Phoebe Bautista leads the way with 342 digs, and averages 3.93 per set.
The volleyball team has six games left on its schedule before the NCAA Tournament begins in early December.