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Posted: March 7, 2009  : Add to Mixx!

Athletics: Arkansas Track - Catherine White Hits 5K Auto Time, Hogs Clock Improved NCAA Times

Catherine White Hits 5K Auto Time

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas Razorback women’s track and field picked up one new and two improved NCAA qualifiers at the Last Chance meet at the Randal Tyson Track Center Friday night.

Sophomore Catherine White won the 5,000 meters with an NCAA automatic-qualifying time of 16:07.50. Her time is a personal best by seven seconds, automatically qualifies her for next week’s NCAA Championships, ranks tied for 12th in the NCAA and is the No. 5 time on the Arkansas all-time list.

“What a great run for Catherine,” head coach Lance Harter said. “She stayed strong and kept her form. It’s great to see her get into the national meet so we can see what she is capable at that level. Denise (Bargiachi) also ran pretty well. She got a PR and improved her qualifier, that’s all we can ask for. I think she is on the bubble right now.”

Senior Denise Bargiachi was right behind White in the 5K race. She finished second with a time of 16:15.65. Her time is a personal best, an improved NCAA provisional qualifier and ranks No. 18 on the NCAA list.

Sophomore Tara Diebold also got a personal best. She finished second in the pole vault with a clearance of 13-8.25. Her height is a career best, is an improved NCAA provisional mark and ranks No. 13 on the NCAA list.

“Tara did a great job of really competing tonight,” Harter said. “She knew what she had to clear to get to the national meet and I think she did it. And it’s a personal best for her. If she gets in, we’ll have three very strong vaulters in the NCAA meet when she joins up with Katie Stripling and Tina Sutej.”

Hogs Clock Improved NCAA Times

Arkansas Razorback men’s track and field saw four student-athletes improve their NCAA qualifying times at Friday’s Last Chance Meet at the Randal Tyson Track Center.

“We had some good things happen tonight,” head coach Chris Bucknam said. “(Chris) Bilbrew made huge strides in the 800 meters and is really starting to come into his own. His 800-meter time is No. 4 in the nation right now and he should get into the national meet. Alex McClary was so close and I hate that for him but he is also a vital leg of our distance medley relay.”

In the 800 meters, sophomore Chris Bilbrew won the event with a time of 1:48.40. His clocking is a personal best by more than a second, is an improved NCAA provisional time, ranks No. 4 on the NCAA and is No. 10 on Arkansas’ all-time list. He is the first student-athlete to crack the Arkansas 800-meter top 10 list since James Hatch in 2005.

Senior Alex McClary was right behind Bilbrew with a third-place finish and a time of 1:49.23. McClary’s time is also an improved NCAA provisional and currently ranks 17th on the NCAA list.

Sophomore Duncan Phillips won the mile with a time of 4:00.02. Just off the NCAA auto qualifier, his time is a personal best by more than one second, is an improved NCAA provisional and ranks No. 12 on the NCAA list.

“Duncan ran a great race and was just shy of the auto time,” Bucknam said. “At this point, I think he is close. It will be interesting to see what happens at the other last chance meets this weekdn. Duncan and Michael Chinchar, who also PR’d in the mile tonight, are potential DMR legs so we have a lot to figure out in the next few days.”

Sophomore Michael Chinchar was third in the mile. He clocked a personal-best and improved NCAA provisional time of 4:02.30. Chinchar has shaved nearly three seconds off his mile time in the last two weeks.

Sophomore Spencer McCorkel made huge strides in the pole vault Friday night. For the first time this season, McCorkel planted a pole and cleared numerous heights. His best measured 16-11.5, just off the NCAA provisional qualifier of 17-0.75. He finished third in the event.

Arkansas will run its 4x400-meter relay and McCorkel will pole vault at Saturday’s Iowa State Last Chance.

The accepted entries for the NCAA Championships will be released Mon., March 9 at 8 p.m. CST. For more information, visit

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