FAYETTEVILLE — Among the Razorbacks signing class for 2021-22 are a National Gatorade Athlete of the Year along with three other student-athletes who have been awarded Gatorade State Athlete of the Year honors during their high school careers.
In total, Arkansas women’s track and field adds a combination of 15 newcomers and transfers to a program that claimed the 2021 NCAA Indoor team championship, finished second in program of the year tabulations, and earned its seventh SEC triple crown.
“The success of our team attracts talented athletes eager to join our program, either from the high school level or as a collegiate transfer,” noted Arkansas women’s head coach Lance Harter, who is in his 32nd year with the Razorbacks.
“When we attract such a talented group of newcomers and add them into the fold with the returnees that we have, which is the vast majority of last year’s team, I think we’re super excited about the cross country season, but even more so for the indoor and outdoor seasons.”
Sydney Thorvaldson of Rawlings, Wyoming, earned the 2020-21 National Gatorade Cross Country Athlete of the Year while state track and field honors have been garnered by Sydney Billington of Rogers, Arkansas; Sophie Galloway of Mayfield, Kentucky; and Britton Wilson of Henrico, Virginia.
Thorvaldson also has a collection of six Wyoming Gatorade Athlete of the Year honors, four in cross country (2017-2020) and a pair in track and field (2018, 2019). Galloway, meanwhile, has been named Kentucky Gatorade Athlete of the Year in track and field four consecutive times (2018-2021).
An international addition to the Arkansas program is distance runner Carmie Prinsloo of Pretoria, South Africa, who will be the fourth female distance runner from South Africa to become a Razorback. With impressive credentials covering a range of distances from 800m to 10,000m, Prinsloo’s versatility provides Arkansas with talent and additional depth for each of the three seasons.
Sprinter Joanne Reid joins a progression of talented Jamaican athletes who have elevated the Razorback sprint and hurdle event areas. Reid’s experience includes success at the Jamaica Boys & Girls Championships, Penn Relays, and Carifta Games.
Event areas covered by this incoming group of Razorbacks includes sprints and hurdles (4), distance (6), pole vault (1), jumps (2) and multi-event (2).
Five transfers who have previous collegiate experience includes Wilson from Tennessee, Amanda Fassold of Azusa Pacific, Ava Shackell from Arizona State, Ashanti Denton of Mississippi, and Jaden Wiley of Kansas.
Newcomers who ranked among the best U.S. high school marks for 2021 include Thorvaldson, No. 1 in the 3,000m (9:09.70i) and 2 miles (9:47.95i); Allie Janke of Spokane, Washington, No. 2 in the 1,500m (4:23.79); Heidi Nielson of Katy, Texas, No. 10 in the 1,500m (4:27.23), Billington, equal No. 8 in high jump (5-10), and Galloway, No. 3 in heptathlon (5,111) and No. 4 in the triple jump (41-7 ¾).