SEC INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS :

SEC women’s field has no weak sisters

By: Bob Holt
Published: Thursday, February 27, 2014
Arkansas runner Brianna Swinton takes the turn as she tries to move up in the pack in the women's 400 meter dash at the Tyson Invitational track meet at the Randal Tyson Track Complex in Fayetteville.
Photo by Michael Woods
Arkansas runner Brianna Swinton takes the turn as she tries to move up in the pack in the women's 400 meter dash at the Tyson Invitational track meet at the Randal Tyson Track Complex in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE - There is good news and bad news for the Arkansas women’s track team regarding the national rankings going into this weekend’s SEC Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas.

“Five of the top seven teams in the nation are in the SEC,” Razorbacks Coach Lance Harter said. “I sometimes wonder if the rest of the conferences in the U.S. even try.

“It’s a situation where we’re presently ranked No. 4 in the nation and third in the SEC.”

Defending SEC champion Arkansas is No. 4 nationally behind No. 1 Oregon, No. 2 Florida and No. 3 Texas A&M. Other SEC teams in the top 15 are No. 6 Kentucky, No. 7 Georgia and No. 14 LSU.

“We’re doing a great job,” Harter said, noting how the Razorbacks have recovered from the losses of SEC champions Regina Georgia (400 meters and 1,600-meter relay) and Makeba Alcide (pentathlon). “I think a lot of people overlooked us.”

The Razorbacks, who won last year’s SEC title with 114.5 points with LSU taking second with 109.5, will be led by seniors Grace Heymsfield (mile and 3,000 meters) and Stephanie Brown (800 and distance relay), junior Dominque Scott (3,000 and 5,000) and freshman Regine Williams (60 and 200).

“It wasn’t so long ago the SEC was labeled as a sprints jumps conference and the distances were lacking,” Harter said. “This year we have more sub 4:40 milers than any conference in the United States.So the distances have exploded.

“There are no weak points anymore. We took advantage of that for a long time, but my peers decided we’re not going to do that anymore.”

Sports, Pages 19 on 02/27/2014

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