By Drew Harris | UTAMavs.com
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The UT Arlington men came up on the short end of a heart-stopping finish at the 2015 Sun Belt Indoor Track & Field Championships on Tuesday, as the Mavericks finished second to Arkansas State by three points for the men's team title. The women placed fourth, an improvement of two places from 2014.
The UTA men's squad was in search of its second straight league title and was tied for Arkansas State heading into the final event, the 4x400 relay. The Red Wolves pulled away late in that race to finish in second place with a time of 3:15.94, ahead of UTA (3:17.46).
As a result, UTA was clipped 132.5 to 129.5 in the men's standings. The women totaled 87 points as Texas State won with 147.5.
"We really had some awesome performances from both our men and our women," UTA coach John Sauerhage said. "It just wasn't quite enough. I've had four of these meets during my career that have come down to the final race and the final point, and sometimes you win them and sometimes you lose them. We're look forward to the outdoor season. Our men will be hungry, and I feel very optimistic about our women being able to finish even higher with the way they performed here."
Emil Blomberg starred for the Mavericks, winning a pair of events, giving him four indoor titles in two years in the league. The senior set a new meet record in the 800m (1:51.04), which ranks as the fifth-fastest clocking in school history. In addition, he won the mile with a time of 4:09.75.
Quentin Butler became the conference champion in the 60m dash with a 6.72, giving the men back-to-back titles in that event. Butler missed a sprint double by the narrowest of margins, as he was runner up in the 200m by .001 (21.365 to 21.366). Jaylen Bacon of Arkansas State was the victor by 1/1000th of a second, which proved to be a pivotal four-point swing in the final standings.
Roland Sales also won a conference title, grabbing the high jump crown with a clearance of 6 feet, 11 1/2 inches. He was the runner up at the indoor meet a year ago.
Eric Ojeda was the runner up by less than a second in the men's 5000m. His clocking of 14:32.61 was the second fastest in school history. Meanwhile, Philip Critelli missed out on a runner-up finish by .01 in the 800m (1:51.61).
In the field, Tobi Fawehinmi snagged third place in the triple jump with a mark of 49 feet, 8 1/2 inches, the third-best mark in school annals.
Back on the women's side, there was an eyelash finish in women's mile, as Hannah Nilsson (4:57.06) and Wright (4:57.40) took second and third, just behind the winning time of 4:57.00.
Three Mavericks scored in the women's pole vault. Noemie Forget took second (12 feet, 8 inches), while Julianne Burch grabbed fourth (12 feet, 2 ½ inches) and Madison Pecot came in seventh (11 feet, 9 inches).
Porschea Wilson earned the bronze in the women's 60m hurdles with a school-record clocking of 8.61, edging the old UTA mark by .01. She was just .04 off the winning time and .02 out of second place.
Gabriela Alfonzo's fifth-place time of 17:05.90 in the 5000m also grabbed her the No. 3 spot in the school's all-time record book.
In the women's 800 meters, Gorham finished third (2:13.60) & Wright landed in seventh (2:17.37). Additionally, Taylor Davis nabbed sixth in the women's 400m (56.41).
Also scoring for the UTA men was freshman Michael Guerrero, who placed seventh in the 5000m with a 14:44.00, the school's third-best time ever.
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