No. 4 Razorbacks face challenging field in Oregon’s Bill Dellinger Invitational

UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY

Traveling to Oregon this week, Arkansas enters the Bill Dellinger Invitational with an improved national ranking of No. 4 in the updated USTFCCCA NCAA coaches’ poll. In addition to the Razorbacks, the field includes four other nationally ranked programs as they race over a 6,000m distance at 6:40 p.m. (PT) on the Pine Ridge Golf Club in Springfield, Oregon.

A live stream of the race will be available through a pay service, RunnerSpace.com, at the following link: Bill Dellinger Invitational. Live results will be available at this link: https://live.athletictiming.net/meets/10994.

“We are going to see really good teams out West in this meet as well as some outstanding individuals,” said Arkansas women’s head coach Lance Harter. “It will be a real good test for the seven or eight we take out there.

“Even through the course has changed from our previous trip to the Dellinger meet, we want to go out there and test the waters. Last year we were restricted to SEC only competition, so we kind of had a limited exposure to what cross country was all about. This year we’ll go to Oregon and then Pre-Nationals to try to that exposure and get tested by some people.”

The Razorbacks, previously No. 6 in the preseason poll as well as week 1 poll, displayed their depth in winning the Missouri Southern Stampede this past weekend with a crew of seven runners, scoring 38 points with a finish of 3-4-8-11-12 among its top five to better the field by 92 points.

This week Arkansas will race with a group of eight runners, which includes Taylor Ewert, Krissy Gear, Lauren Gregory, Julia Paternain, Carmie Prinsloo, Kennedy Thomson, Meghan Underwood, and Isabel Van Camp.

“They did a good job in our first meet in Missouri and have had three weeks of training since then,” said Harter. “Now we’ll see what they can do running for the first time this season at 6km among some competition.”

Ewert raced in the streets of Springfield this past summer, finishing sixth in the 20km racewalk during the U.S. Olympic Trials.

“Her real focus for a few months there was strictly racewalking,” noted Harter of Ewert, the 2020 SEC Freshman of the Year in cross country. “After the emotion and results of the Olympic Trials she took a break and then started coming back a little bit later than in years past.

“She’s distinctly playing catch-up and what I keep reminding her is that she can’t get down on herself. She may be behind compared to year’s past, but we want to be ready, ultimately, for the SEC and NCAA meets.”

For the second consecutive week, BYU and North Carolina State share the women’s No. 1 ranking in the NCAA coaches’ poll with New Mexico at No. 3 and Alabama at No. 5. The rest of the top 10 includes Michigan State, Stanford, Colorado, Washington, and Minnesota. A third SEC team in the rankings is Mississippi at No. 15.

Nationally ranked teams scheduled to compete in the Dellinger Invitational include No. 17 Boise State, No. 23 Oregon State, No. 24 Oregon, and No. 25 Colorado State. Programs receiving votes for the top 30 poll include Utah, Ohio State, Portland, and San Francisco.

The Dellinger Invitational field will also include Air Force, Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton, Idaho, UC Davis, UCLA, Utah Valley, and Washington State.

NCAA Coaches’ Poll | Week 2 – Sept. 21, 2021
1. tie, BYU & NC State; 3. New Mexico; 4. Arkansas; 5. Alabama; 6. Michigan State; 7. Stanford; 8. Colorado; 9. Washington; 10. Minnesota; 11. Michigan; 12. Northern Arizona; 13. North Carolina; 14. Oklahoma State; 15. Ole Miss; 16. Georgetown; 17. Boise State; 18. Notre Dame; 19. Indiana; 20. Florida State; 21. Illinois; 22. Connecticut; 23. Oregon State; 24. Oregon; 25. Colorado State; 26. Providence; 27. Furman; 28. Princeton; 29. Wisconsin; 30. Iowa State.

Regional rankings among the Oregon field:
West | 3. Boise State; 4. Oregon State; 5. Oregon; 6. San Francisco; 7. UC Davis; 8. Portland; 11. Washington State; 12. UCLA; 13. Idaho; 14. Cal State Fullerton
South Central | 1. Arkansas
Great Lakes | 6. Ohio State
Mountain | 5. Colorado State; 12. Air Force.

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