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With the Winter Olympics winding down, here is a quick list of former UTA athletes who competed in past Olympic Games:

Douglas Russell (USA)| Swimming
1968 Mexico City, Mexico
Douglas finished first in the 100m butterfly and the 4x100 medley relay. A NCAA champion in 1968, Russell finished first in the 100-yard butterfly and also in the 400 yard medley relay. Russell is a member of UTA's Hall of Honor and two-time All-American.

Lanny Bassham (USA) | Rifle
1972 Munich, Germany and 1976 Montreal, Canada
The first Maverick to compete in two Olympic Games, Bassham won gold in the 1976 games competing in rifle. He finished with a score of 1162 in the 50-meter three-position competition. Bassham won silver in 1972 in the same event.

Larry Dowler (USA) | Swimming
1976 Montreal, Canada
Dowler, a UTA graduate in 1979, finished ninth in the 1976 Games in Montreal. Dowler was inducted to UTA's Hall of Honor in 1998.

David Peltier (Barbados)| Track and Field
1984 Los Angeles, USA
Peltier's 4x400 team finished sixth in the 1984 Olympics with a time of 3:01.60, a Barbadian record. Peltier finished 29th in the in men's 400-meter, advancing to the quarterfinals.

Joseph Sainah (Kenya)| Track and Field
1988 Seoul, Republic of Korea
Sainah competed in the 4x400 meter relay at the 1988 Olympic Games. Sainah's cousin, Peter Rono of Kenya, won gold at the same Olympics in the 1500-meters.

McClinton Neal (USA) | Track and Field
1992 Barcelona, Spain
A NCAA champion in the 400-meter hurdles and five-time NCAA All-American, Neal finished ninth at the Olympics in the same event after reaching the semi-finals. Neal retired from track and field in 2000 and now is a comedian performing in Los Angeles, California.

Peter Dajia (Canada) | Track and Field
1992 Barcelona, Spain
Dajia represented Canada at the '92 Olympics in Barcelona competing in the shot put. He finished 14th in his qualifying group with a throw of 16.81-meters. Dajia also competed in the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada.

Elston Cawley (Jamaica) | Track and Field
1996 Atlanta, USA
Cawley finished seventh in the second-round of qualifying in the 200-meters with a time of 20.75. He advanced out of his first round heat with a third-place finish and a time of 20.73. Cawley was a six-time All-American at UTA.

Karin Olsson (Sweden) | Bobsleigh
2002 Salt Lake City, USA
A former sprinter for the UTA track and field team, Olsson finished 14th in the women's two bobsledding with a time of 1:40.30.

Jared Connaughton (Canada) | Track and Field
2008 Beijing, China and 2012 London, England
Connaughton will represent Canada for the second consecutive Summer Olympics. Connaughton finished 14th in the 200-meter and his team finished sixth in the 4x100m relay. He is just the second Maverick to compete in multiple Olympics.

Derrick Obasohan (Nigeria) | Basketball
2012 London, England
Obasohan is UTA's first men's basketball athlete to play for his national team at the Olympics.

Volleyball's Qiana Canete is one of the top performers in program history. Now, the Canete's family connections to UTA have deepened as Qiana's brother, Josh, is a member of the track & field team. Ian Tuttle, including photography from Nick Tarrant, profiles the Canete family for The Shorthorn

It is only natural to want to stay in your comfort zone.

On a leadership retreat to the glorious mountains of Colorado over the summer, eight UTA student-athletes were launched well outside of the known commodity of their comfort, or green, zone.

Under the direction of UTA student-athlete development specialist Tim Kennedy, eight of UTA's best and brightest embarked on a trip to test their limits.

"This was a valuable life-skills experience for some of our student athletes," Kennedy said. "During the trip, I got to witness our student-athletes get taken out of their green zone and watch them make the needed adjustments and continue to press through their challenges."

Logan Austin (baseball), Tamerah Gorham (track), Beau Eggers (track), Cy'Andria Newton (softball), Chineme Obikudu (track), Samantha Hughes (track), Tori Shelton (track) and Emoni Taylor (track) joined Kennedy on a venture to Noah's Ark, planted in picturesque Browns Canyon just outside of Denver.

The Maverick student-athletes turned off their electronics, broke from 21st century life, and spent seven days surrounded by the gorgeous sights of Colorado.

"We all had to push ourselves to another level," Austin said. "It was a lot of fun encouraging others and getting out of our comfort zone."

After arriving from Arlington, the UTA student-athletes immediately put their new found relationships to the test with a white water rafting trip. After the excitement of the rafting journey, the Mavs embarked on a four-day hike to scale the mountaintops, a far cry from the hustle and bustle of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

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"It was also great to see them working together during the whitewater rafting trip and backpacking trip," Kennedy said. "They really got a chance to work on the team-building skills by encouraging each other during the difficult times. It was also great seeing them build meaningful relationships and the bond that they got to experience during their time together. Some of them when from not knowing each other's names to becoming good friends."

The hike presented particular challenges to UTA's student-athletes. While climbing four miles a day with a hefty backpack, camping in the mountains and dealing with the unfamiliar trial of high altitudes, the team was tested in a unique way.  

"I grew up living in a house full of all girls, so going out consisted of city activities for us," Shelton said. "We not only went camping, but hiked up an entire mountain with a pack half my size. It was awesome. The people that we were with was amazing and I never thought I could have done that without them."

A former collegiate track star, Kennedy saw particular benefit in trials presented throughout the trip.

"Seeing our student-athletes deal with hiking up a mountain in high altitude, getting rained on and snowed on during the hike, having to deal with cold weather while sleeping in tents, and unplugging from electronics was encouraging to watch," Kennedy said. "During those difficult times on the trip, they had opportunities to complain or quit but they just kept pushing on."


At the conclusion of each day, huddled around a fire and a makeshift camp site, UTA's group would have breakout sessions.

"During the sessions, student-athletes would share their experiences of the day, how they were taken out of their green zone, how they reacted being outside their green zone and how they can apply that experience to life after sports and athletics," Kennedy detailed. "It was amazing to hear what they shared during the sessions and how they were being challenged during the trip. By the end, each student-athlete was taken out of his green zone several times and sometimes they handled it well and other times they didn't. At the end of the trip, students shared the impact that the trip had on them and how much they grew from the experience."

The athletes benefited from the unique challenges, a necessity for teamwork and unfamiliar environments presented throughout the trip.

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"This trip showed me that there are better ways to handle adversities that you go through in your life," Shelton said. "At the end of the day you need to sit down and evaluate what you did and how you handled it and the possibilities of making it better the next time. Throughout college it is important to do that too and I am just thankful that Tim took us on this trip so we could discover things about ourselves."

Fostering relationships was a tremendous by-product of the leadership retreat and those bonds are sure to live on well after their athletic careers conclude.

"It is moments like these," Austin said. "You won't look back at your ERA or your batting average, you are going to look back and remember the relationships you made and the people around you. That is what I am going to remember the most. I went in not knowing anybody and I made some friends that will be lifelong. That is cool. Life isn't always about wins and losses, it is about the people around you. Those are the times that you remember, not the wins and losses."


Chloe Lewis

As part of UTA's Upward Bound Math & Science program, Maverick student-athletes participated in college planning break-out sessions, visiting with future collegiate students on Wednesday. 

UTA track & field/cross country student-athletes Chloe Lewis, Tobi Fawehinmi and Tori Shelton were among the UTA athletic standouts to visit with the Upward Bound program through a series of college prep sessions, joining Tim Kennedy, a former track standout who serves as one of UTA's dynamic student development specialists. 


In the last session of the morning, Lewis and Shelton touched on the importance of building relationships with faculty and students, and stepping out of a high-school comfort zone during the transition to college. The trio of Texas natives were able to answer questions and share experiences with the future college students.

The Upward Bound program has been active at UTA since 1982 and features potential first generation college students. The program focuses on equipping students with necessary skills to succeed, both academically and personally.


2017 Track Alumni

UTA track and field alumni from four different decades gathered last weekend to cheer the Mavericks to victory at the Sun Belt Conference Outdoor Championships at Maverick Stadium.  The weekend kicked off Friday with a social at the R Bar and Grill at the Hilton Arlington and continued with the conference championship meet and a dinner from David's Barbeque.

The alumni enjoyed watching the UTA men clinch the Sun Belt Conference Triple Crown, which included championships in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track.  The women's team claimed a dramatic 4x400-meter relay victory to take third place in the 10-team league championships.

The bus ride to Birmingham, Ala., last week focused on Yu-Gi-Oh cards. The return trip focused on a shiny, new addition to the team's luggage, the Sun Belt Conference Championship trophy. Kevin Cushingberry Jr. of the UTA Shorthorn caught up with three of the stars from UTA's SBC title team, each of whom talked about the bonding that occurred on the winning trip. Read the article here
UTA_Troy_1249.jpgFresh off winning the Sun Belt Conference Indoor Track and Field Championship, the UTA men's indoor track and field team was honored on the court during Monday night's men's basketball game on Troy. It was a good omen for the Mavericks' basketball team, which went on to clinch the regular-season league title that evening. The indoor track title was the 10th in program history, and gave John Sauerhage a total of 30 conference championships (between men's and women's cross country, indoor and outdoor seasons) since taking over as head coach in 1996. Conference individual champions Joel Duren, Erik Martinsson and Tobi Fawehinmi (holding trophy) were present for the ceremony.
Fresh off winning the 2017 Sun Belt Conference Indoor Championships, the UTA men's track and field team will be honored Monday night at College Park Center during the UTA men's basketball game against Troy. The Mavericks, along with coach John Sauerhage and his staff, will be recognized on the court at the under-12:00 timeout in the first half. Game time between the first-place Mavs and the Trojans is set for 7 p.m. Come out and cheer on the championship hopefuls and the champs. Buy your tickets here!

In addition, make plans now to watch the men go for the track and field "triple crown" May 12-14 at Maverick Stadium when UTA hosts the Sun Belt Conference Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships. After claiming the league's cross country and indoor track titles, the UTA men will be aiming for the second "triple crown" in program history.
Plenty of excitement awaits on Tuesday with the conclusion of the 2017 Sun Belt Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships. The men begin the day in second place, while the women are seventh. Only five men's and five women's events have been scored, with 12 more events on each side set for Tuesday. For live video beginning at noon, watch here. For live results, click here.

The UTA men's and women's track and field teams are set for the Sun Belt Conference Championships, and you can follow them every step of the way! Live video will be available both days, with coverage Monday beginning at 3 p.m. here. In addition, live results may be found here.

Monday's field event finals include the men's and women's weight throw, men's and women's long jump, women's high jump, men's pole vault. Opening day track finals will feature the men's and women's 3000 meters and men's and women's distance medley relays.


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