"We've been training diligently getting ready to open (the outdoor season)," head coach Lance Harter said. "The majority of our sprints and jumps crews will go to Texas Relays. The remainder of the team--the middle-distance and distance crews--will open up this weekend at home. We're really excited and looking forward to the start of this season and carrying over the momentum from the indoor season to outdoors."
In addition to the season-opening heptathlon at Texas Relays, the Razorbacks will be on the track in the 100 meters, 100-meter hurdles, 400-meter hurdles and 4x100, 4x200, 4x400 and sprint-medley relays. In field action, the Arkansas women are set for competition in the long jump, triple jump and pole vault.
The field of women's teams at Texas Relays is scheduled to feature 16 teams ranked in the preseason top 25, including eight of the top 10. Arkansas is one of four teams from the Southeastern Conference entered to compete in Austin, along with LSU, Florida and Kentucky.
The Razorbacks have collected 17 Texas Relays titles in program history, including three event wins last year in Austin. Those victories came in the pole vault, 4x1,500-meter relay and sprint-medley relay. The win by Tina Sutej in the pole vault came with a meet-record 4.50m/14-9 clearance. Of Arkansas' 15 Texas Relays titles, eight have come in the relay events.
The Arkansas Spring Invitational marks the first of three outdoor home meets this season. In addition to the Razorbacks, the field at the home meet will include Drake, Iowa, No. 10 Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, No. 20 Nebraska, South Dakota State, Tulsa, Wichita State, Iowa Central CC and Johnson County CC. The team's home slate this season also includes the John McDonnell Invitational (April 20-21) and Arkansas Twilight (May 4).
Arkansas begins its 2012 outdoor season as the No. 5 team in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) preseason poll. The Razorbacks are the second-highest ranked SEC team and one of six from the league slotted in the preseason top 25. Arkansas is joined by second-ranked LSU, No. 11 Florida, No. 14 Tennessee, No. 15 Auburn and No. 16 Georgia.
Live results for the Texas Relays will be available at http://www.texassports.com/livestats/tex-relays/. Follow action at the Arkansas Spring Invitational via live results and interactive blog. For more information regarding Razorback track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.