The University of Arkansas played host to the NCAA Cross County South Central Regional race last Friday. For Arkansas runner Grace Heymsfield it was not only a race on her college home ground, but where she grew up.
“It’s so awesome.” Said Heymsfield. “I think everyone on the team is familiar with the course, but I’m especially familiar since I went to high school at Elkins. It feels like home.”
After a terrific freshman season in 2010 Heymsfield took a medical redshirt last year after having surgery in the summer of 2011. She has since made a full recovery and has been running great this season. Her teammates and coach are all extremely happy to have her back running with the team.
“Grace has just become so rock steady.” Said Head Coach Lance Harter. “We have the luxury of having a great team leader. She is a magnet that keeps everyone together.”
A magnet is exactly what she was at the NCAA regional race. Heymsfield finished fourth overall and second on the team at the competition. The effort from Heymsfield and the rest of the team earned them a first place finish and an automatic bid to the national race where she and her teammates have high expectations.
“We would love to finish top ten at nationals.” Said Heymsfield. “I think we are capable of that and more. We are really looking forward to it.”
The girls hit the course for the NCAA National Championship Race on November 17th at the Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Kentucky.