COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The UT Arlington track and field teams had impressive starts to their 2016 seasons at the Texas A&M Team Invitational Friday, as the men won the team title amongst a 14-team field, while the women placed second.
The men finished with 123.5 points to cruise to a 40-plus point victory over its closest competitor, Sam Houston State. The women totaled 89 to finish behind only Sam Houston State (141).
"We really enjoyed the meet," UTA coach John Sauerhage said. "We knocked some rust off and had some really solid performances. Most importantly, our teams came through the meet healthy and gained a lot of experience. The potential is there and we are excited to get back to practice."
Craig Lautenslager was a two-event winner to pace the Mavericks. He opened the day with a victory in the men's mile (4:12.70), then capped the evening with a 14-second win in the 5000m (14:41.38).
UTA's other men's victory came courtesy of Erik Martinsson, who burst onto the scene by winning his first race as a Maverick. His winning 400-meter time was 48.27.
Tricia Williams secured the first individual win for the women by claiming top honors in the shot put with a throw of 44 feet, 11 1/2 inches.
Chineme Obikudu joined Williams in the winner's column by taking the triple jump with a mark of 41 feet, 1 inch. Obikudu narrowly missed another win in the long jump, placing second.
While Martinsson's victory highlighted the day, several other newcomers made big impacts on Friday. For the women, junior Alexis Baldwin posted a silver-medal time of 7.66 in the finals of the 60m and also was sixth in the 200m (25.02). Freshman Alexus Henry nabbed third place in the high jump with a clearance of 5 feet, 7 3/4 inches, while classmate Anamarija Petters took fourth in the women's 800m (2:15.74).
For the men, Petter Gustafsson finished third in the 60m hurdles (8.13), while Joel Duren was fourth in the mile (4:14.76). Freshman Isaiah McBride reached the men's 60m finals and grabbed sixth with a time of 6.95.
Roland Sales cleared 7 feet, 1/4 inch to garner second place in the high jump. It was just 3/4 of an inch off his school record mark. Taylor Davis picked up where she left off with a runner-up finish in the women's 400m (56.55), only .24 off the winning time. Meanwhile, Katelyn Hayward took second in the mile run with a time of 5:04.57,.44 off the first-place clocking. Porschea Wilson was third in the 60m hurdles (8.85).
Practice Between the Lines
UTA will be back to a full practice schedule this week. The new track at Maverick Stadium was in the process of being painted last week, and will be fully ready for the squad when it gets back to practice on Monday.
UTA will take a week off from competition prior to heading to the Howie Ryan Invitational in Houston on Jan. 29-30.
Men's Team Results
1. UT Arlington 123.5; 2. Sam Houston State 82.5; 3. Louisiana Tech 62; 4. Texas A&M-Kingsville 53.5; 5. North Texas 52; 6. UL-Lafayette 42; 7. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 37; 8. UL-Monroe 36; 9. McNeese State 33; 10. Lamar 31; 11. Texas Southern 26; 12. Texas-Rio Grande Valley 22; 13. Prairie View A&M 13.5; 14. Houston Baptist 9.
Women's Team Results
1. Sam Houston State 141; 2. UT Arlington 89; 3. Louisiana Tech 69; 4. North Texas 47.5; 5. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 44; 6. Texas A&M-Kinsgville 41; 7. Lamar 38; 8. UL-Lafeyette 30; 9. Houston Baptist 29; 10. Texas-Rio Grande Valley 28; 11. McNeese State 12.5; 12. Prairie View A&M 8; 13. Texas Southern 5; 14. UL-Monroe 4.
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