WICHITA, Kan. – The UT Arlington men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams appeared to be peaking at the right time Saturday, as the Mavericks had a number of performances worthy of inclusion in the school’s record books.
Quentin Butler highlighted the day by winning the 60 meters at Wichita State’s Herm Wilson Invitational with a clocking of 6.64, which ties for the 14th-fastest time in the NCAA this year.
In addition, it is the second-best clocking in school history, behind only a national-best 6.55 by teammate Clayton Vaughn in 2014. Butler won the race by .17 and now has a chance to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships for the first time in his career.
Meanwhile, Emil Blomberg, who was invited to compete individually at the prestigious Iowa State Classic, broke a 29-year-old school record in the mile with a time of 4:05.82. Joel Chemwetich, a college teammate of UTA coach John Sauerhage, had owned the record (4:07.02) since 1986.
For the women, Noemie Forget cleared 12' 11 3/4" in the pole vault, trumping the old UTA record by more than two inches. Forget earned a second-place finish by bettering her personal best by half a foot.
In addition, Ambria Tisdell topped her own school record in the weight throw with a mark of 56 feet. Tisdell, in her first season at UTA, placed second in the event.
Also in the women’s field events, freshman Chineme Obikudu was victorious in the triple jump with a mark of 39' 9 1/2", the fifth-longest jump in school history. Meanwhile, Tricia Williams finished second in the shot put thanks to the fourth-best mark in school history (45' 9 ¾).
"We looked good today. We showed a lot of improvement in all areas on both teams," Sauerhage said. "Obviously, the conference meet is what we prepare all year for, and we hope to be peaking at the right time. We know we will have our hands full, and we are looking forward to a highly competitive meet coming up."
In addition to the record-setting performances, four other Mavericks won their respective events on Saturday. For the men, Craig Lautenslager won the mile (4:19.96), Omar Barnes claimed the triple jump (43' 7") and Heath Skelton was the top collegian in the shot put (54' 1/2"). On the women’s side, Tamerah Gorham won the women’s 800 meters with a clocking of 2:13.43.
The Mavs also posted several other top-3 finishes. On the track, Cameron Newson (21.91) and Tarik Crear (22.07) finished second and third, respectively, in the 200m, while Michael Guerrero was the runner up in the 3000m (8:37.39). In the field, Roland Sales cleared 6’ 10 ¾” in the high jump to finish second among college participants.
Both teams placed second at the meet behind host school Wichita State. The Mavericks will next compete in the Sun Belt Conference Championships Feb. 23-24 in Birmingham, Ala.
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