Track opens season with Arkansas Invite

FAYETTEVILLE – The ninth-ranked University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track and field team opens its 2008 season on Friday with the Arkansas Invitational at the Randal Tyson Track Center beginning at noon with finals starting at 6:00 p.m.

The Lady Razorbacks return five all-Americans to the track this winter, led by four-time honoree Tominque Boatright in the 400 meters. Other Lady Razorback all-Americas include Springdale, Ark., native Paige Farrell, Dacia Barr, Mt. Ida, Ark., native Stephanie Irwin and Etienne Chaplin.

“Traditionally this meet has been an icebreaker for us,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “We have some loaded teams coming in this weekend who have already competed, but our philosophy has always been to use this meet as a measuring stick as to how fit our athletes are. For the most part, our athletes will run an event longer than their primary.”

One of the featured events for the Lady Razorbacks on Friday will be the pole vault where five Arkansas athletes are scheduled to take the runway. Irwin, a two-time all-America in 2007 leads the group that could have as many as three or four women qualify for the NCAA Championships on Friday. Competition in the vault is slated for 2:00 p.m.

Finals on the track are scheduled for 6:00 p.m. with the championship section of the distance medley relay leading off. That event is followed by the short sprint finals and concludes just two and a half hours later with the 4×400-meter relay which will showcase Arkansas’ entire sprinting unit which could include as many as three relay teams.

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