Scott Second In Steeplechase

AUSTIN, Texas -- Arkansas came to the 78th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays with 12 qualifiers either for the Mideast Regional or the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

The Lady'Backs picked up a few more on Friday night.

Arkansas junior Maureen Scott came up short in her defense of the Texas Relays steeplechase title but still opened her season just a couple seconds off her debut a year ago.

Scott, who won the Relays steeple in 10:24.0 last April, was second Friday night in 10:26.95 to qualify for the regional meet May 28-29 in Bloomington, Ind.

Scott was followed by teammate Shiloh Whiting in third, also in a regional qualifying time of 10:40.71.

Barbara Kuncova, a junior transfer at Oklahoma State, won the race in 10:18.92, nearly breaking the event record of 10:17.74 set by former Lady'Back Lilli Kleinmann in 2001.

"Mo has been ready to go," said Lady'Backs coach Lance Harter of Scott, the 2004 Southeastern Conference champion and an All-American as a sophomore last year.

"That's a great opener for her. Shiloh, she's been on a rocky season and it was nice to see her bounce back and open up solid with a regional qualifier.

"That's a pretty good kid (Kuncova) out of Czechoslovakia."

Scott was semi-satisfied with her opener.

"I thought my water jumps were pretty good," she said. "It wasn't as good as I would have liked it to be."

Kuncova made her move early in the race and Scott let her get away.

"When the girl passed me, I kind of let her go," she said. "I should have been more aggressive there. I would have liked to run faster than I did last year."

Kasia Williams won her heat in the 100-meter hurdles to advance to the finals today. Williams posted a 13.38 and wasn't tested by the field with the runner-up coming in at 14.01.

Williams will be a contender for the Texas Relays title today at 2:45 p.m. along with hometown favorite Ashley Williams of Texas, who ran the fastest preliminary time in 13.17, RaNysha LeBlanc of LSU and defending NCAA champion Priscilla Lopes of Nebraska.

"It's a pretty good field," Williams said. "Everyone has the ability to run fast. I want to win and PR."

The last five winners of the 100-meter hurdles at the Texas Relays have gone under 13 seconds and with a loaded field nothing different should be expected today.

Williams posted her career-low two weeks ago at Stanford with a 13.19 and she's ready to go faster today.

"It's going to be a fast race," Williams said. "I just want to go out there and execute. That's my main goal. I'm very happy about my season. I'm improving every time I step on the track. That just makes me happy."

Arkansas will be loaded in the 'A' section of the pole vault with two-time Southeastern Conference champion and two-time All-American Stacie Manuel leading a group with sophomore Jodi Driggers and freshmen Danielle O'Reilly and Stephanie Irwin of Mt. Ida.

Irwin, fifth at the SEC indoor meet with a vault of 13 feet, 1 inch, has already met the NCAA Mideast Regional standard by clearing 12-5 last weekend at Ole Miss.

The sprint medley was a disappointment after Arkansas felt it had a chance to win its second relay title in as many days with NCAA indoor 800-meter champion Aneita Denton anchoring.

Williams led off for Arkansas, but freshman Tomanique Boatright's left hamstring cramped up and she had to pull out of the race.

Harter said the Lady'Backs would have added their third Texas Relays title ever had Boatright been able to reach freshman Paige Farrell of Springdale and the 400-meter leg preceding Denton.

"That would have been a win," Harter said. "Nobody would have held off Paigey and Aneita. We'll come back and run the (distance medley relay) instead."

"(Boatright) is a trooper. She told (sprints coach) Lonnie (Greene) before the race that she was cramping a little, but she felt she could work through it. Then it started grabbing at the 120 mark, she tried to go and then had to stop. "

Harter said Arkansas will likely lead off senior Erica Sigmont on the 1,200-meter leg of the DMR today followed by Farrell on the 400, Denton on the 800 and Dacia Barr on the 1,600.

Harter said Sigmont or Barr could be interchangeable on the first and last legs.

Farrell, Barr, Sigmont and Denton ran on Arkansas' winning 4x800 team on Thursday.

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