STILLWATER, Okla. – Arkansas, ranked ninth nationally, will compete with a full team for the first time this season, as the Razorbacks compete in the Oklahoma State Jamboree Saturday morning, amid a field that features six of the top nine teams in the country.
In total, 13 of the top 30 nationally ranked schools will run over 6,000m on the challenging OSU cross country course, which will host the NCAA Championship in November.
Race time is at 7:45 am and entry is free. Live scores will be available here: https://live.athletic.net/meets/18214
“Let’s run everybody,” said Arkansas women’s coach Lance Harter. “Six of the nine best teams in the country will be at this meeting, all with the same purpose as us, to understand how to race this course. It’s so challenging and demanding.
“This particular weekend they changed the start time to 7:45am because the heat index should be around 100 at the start of the day. It will be the final challenge for many of our youngsters, because the competition is going to be very fierce.”
Hosts Oklahoma State and Colorado lead the women’s field as they share the third spot in this week’s national coach poll. They are followed by No. 5 Stanford, No. 6. Washington, No. 7 BYU, and No. 9 Arkansas.
Other programs ranked nationally on the Jamboree include No. 12 Michigan, No. 17 Ole Miss, No. 20 Harvard, No. 21 Gonzaga, No. 22 Northern Arizona, No. 27 Utah Valley, and equal to No. 29. Kentucky.
Teams receiving votes in the national vote include Furman, Syracuse and Toledo. Other schools in the Jamboree field include Air Force, North Texas, Princeton, Tulsa and Wake Forest.
“I think we’re going to be polite,” Harter observed. “Because the quality of the competition is something we haven’t seen and as we have so many rookies in this competition that I hope to be in the top eight. If they are in the top six, I will be happy.”
Isabel Van Camp, who won three All-America awards last year – one during her cross country, indoor and outdoor seasons, makes her season debut alongside red rookie Sydney Thorvaldson and real rookie Mia Cochran.
“Isabel is on a continuous trajectory of progression,” noted Harter. “She had a fabulous cross country season last year, winning an All-American, then followed it up with All-America honors during both the indoor and outdoor seasons. To get three out of three is a very rare occurrence.
“She’s had a great summer and this will be her first race of the season. I think she’s excited to see the quality of the competitors that will be in the Jamboree run. Some of the athletes in this competition will certainly compete for the national title. We want her to experience these people as much as possible.”
The rest of the Razorback squad previously competed on the OSU course in a 3,000m race held in early September during the Cowboy Preview. They were led by individual winner Taylor Ewert.
Razorback transfers that have impacted two encounters this season include Katie McCune and Nyah Hernandez.
McCune, a veteran who competed in Drury, won the Missouri Southern Stampede with a time of 16:50.8 on a 5k course and was Arkansas’ second finisher behind Ewert in the OSU Preview.
Hernandez, a junior who previously competed for Kennesaw State, placed 11thº in the Preview as the fourth Razorback and finished fifth as the third Arkansas runner in the Stampede race.
“Both were pleasant surprises for us,” Harter said of McCune and Hernandez. “They have adapted to our training and are not used to seeing this level of competition. So, it’s the philosophy of learning by doing. I hope we learn quickly.”