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Posted: May 31, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: Arkansas' Rosen, Williams Qualify for NCAAs

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Arkansas Razorback women's track and field automatically qualified five student-athletes for the NCAA Championships at the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships at Louisville's Cardinal Park this weekend.

The Razorbacks automatically qualified two student-athletes for the NCAA Championships on Saturday, in addition to Friday's three auto qualifiers. Arkansas also has a chance to add five entries using at-large bids.

"We really couldn't ask for better," head coach Lance Harter said. "Shelise Williams and Jillian Rosen advanced to the NCAA meet. We had a season best in the 4x400-meter relay and that was running out of the slow heat. That event has been a challenge for us all season because of injuries. Our freshman, Whitney Jones, ran a great anchor leg. Right now, Tara Diebold in the pole vault and our 4x400-meter relay are on the bubble, so we'll just have to wait and see."

In the team race, Arkansas finished seventh with 33 points. LSU won with 85.5 points. Tennessee was second with 69 points and Michigan rounded out the top three with 48 points.

Sophomore Jillian Rosen earned her spot at the NCAA Championships for the first time in her young career. She finished fifth in the 1,500-meter finals with a time of 4:26.82.

"I'm really excited to qualify for NCAAs and run in Fayetteville," Rosen said. "I haven't run at home this year and it's my favorite track to run on. I was just trying not to get stuck inside on the rail. We started slow but the pace picked up quickly and I had to be ready to move when the pack did."

Sophomore Shelise Williams ran another strong 400 meters. In the finals of her signature event, she earned a runner-up finish with another personal-best time of 52.32. Williams will run at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in an individual event for the first time in her young career.

Junior Karen Thomas, Williams, senior Etienne Chaplin and freshman Whitney Jones put together a season-best time of 3:36.38 to finish eighth overall and win their heat of the 4x400-meter relay. They are on the bubble for an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships.

Junior Megan Jackson, running in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, did not finish after a tough fall in the water pit.

The NCAA will release the complete list of accepted entries for the NCAA Championships, Tuesday, June 2. For more information and complete results, visit www.ArkansasRazorbacks.com.

NCAA Auto Qualifiers
Shelise Williams, 400 meters
Jillian Rosen, 1,500 meters
Denise Bargiachi, 5,000 meters
Katie Stripling, pole vault
Janice Keppler, pole vault
Etienne Chaplin, heptathlon

NCAA Provisional Qualifiers
Denise Bargiachi, 10,000 meters
Catherine White, 10,000 meters

NCAA Potential At-Large Qualifiers
Christine Kalmer, 5,000 meters
Catherine White, 5,000 meters
4x400-meter relay
Tara Diebold, pole vault
Tina Sutej, pole vault

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