FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) - The No. 6 University of Arkansas women's track and field team will send 22 total qualifiers-21 individuals and one relay-to the 2013 NCAA West Preliminary which will be held May 23-25 at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas. The top 48 declared athletes were selected into individual events per region, while the top 24 relay teams declared per region also qualified.
The NCAA East Preliminary will be held the same weekend at Irwin Belk Track Stadium in Greensboro, N.C. Those who advance past the preliminary round will compete June 5-8 at the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. The top 12 from each region in each event, including relays, advance to the national meet.
Arkansas has a team-high three qualifiers each at 1,500 meters, 5,000 meters and in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. For the second-straight year, the Razorbacks will have three runners in the steeplechase, all within to the region's top 15. The Razorbacks' entries are led by SEC champion Grace Heymsfield (No. 4, 10:01.74) and includes Jessica Kamilos (No. 9, 10:10.11) and Shannon Klenke (No. 13, 10:13.42).
Stephanie Brown is Arkansas' top qualifier at 1,500 meters. She is seeded fifth in the West region with a season-best time of 4:14.60. She will be joined in the field by Keri Wood (No. 15, 4:21.07) and Paige Johnston (No. 36, 4:25.17). At 5,000 meters, Diane Robison and Semehar Tesfaye are ranked 14th and 16th with times of 16:01.94 and 16:04.78, respectively. Kaitlin Flattmann (No. 37, 16:23.33) will be making her second career appearance. Tesfaye is also entered at 10,000 meters with a time of 33:49.78.
For the second-straight season, Regina George is the Razorbacks' top qualifier at 400 meters and will be joined in the event by Chrishuna Williams (No. 32, 53.79). George, the two-time SEC outdoor champion at 400 meters, is seeded third in the event with a season-best time of 51.74. In the 400-meter hurdles, Sparkle McKnight (No. 4, 55.71) and Gwendolyn Flowers (No. 16, 58.74) will represent Arkansas.
Alcide is the team's second double qualifier with regional-eligible marks in the 100-meter hurdles and high jump. The Razorback senior is ranked second in the high jump with a pair of clearances this season at 1.88m/6-2. She is also entered in the 100-meter hurdles (No. 35, 13.60). Alcide will be joined in the hurdle event by Ivanique Kemp (No. 7, 13.10) and in the high jump by Kirsten Hesseltine (No. 21, 1.76m/5-9.25).
Martine Borge is Arkansas' lone representative at 800 meters. She enters the preliminary event with a time of 2:06.21, good for 12th among West qualifiers. In field events, the Razorbacks will also have single entries of Danielle Nowell (No. 15, 4.11m/13-5.75) in the pole vault and Tamara Myers (No. 10, 12.99m/42-7.5) in the triple jump. Last year, Myers competed in the long jump at the qualifying event.
Arkansas is also entered in the 4x400-meter relay as the No. 4 seed in the region. The team of Flowers, George, McKnight and Williams has a season-best and school-record time of 3:28.42 from the Texas Relays. The quartet is coming off an SEC title at last weekend's conference meet.
Along with the accepted entries for next weekend's preliminary events, the list of heptathlon qualifiers that will advance directly to the NCAA Championships was also released. Arkansas will be represented in the two-day, seven-event competition by Alcide who has an NCAA-leading score of 5,968 points. She is a two-time SEC champion in the heptathlon.
NCAA West Preliminary Events
3. Regina George, 51.74
32. Chrishuna Williams, 53.79
12. Martine Borge, 2:06.21
5. Stephanie Brown, 4:14.60
15. Keri Wood, 4:21.07
36. Paige Johnston, 4:25.17
14. Diane Robison, 16:01.94
16. Semehar Tesfaye, 16:04.78
37. Kaitlin Flattmann, 16:23.33
14. Semehar Tesfaye, 33:49.78
7. Ivanique Kemp, 13.10
35. Makeba Alcide, 13.60
4. Sparkle McKnight, 55.71
16. Gwendolyn Flowers, 58.74
4. Grace Heymsfield, 10:01.74
9. Jessica Kamilos, 10:10.11
13. Shannon Klenke, 10:13.42
4. Williams/McKnight/Flowers/George - 3:28.42
2. Makeba Alcide, 1.88m/6-2
21. Kirsten Hesseltine, 1.76m/5-9.25
15. Danielle Nowell, 4.11m/13-5.75
10. Tamara Myers, 12.99m/42-7.5
NCAA Championships Entries
1. Makeba Alcide, 5,968 points