By Drew Harris | UTAMavs.com
LAFAYETTE, La. – UT Arlington won four individual titles and one relay crown to close the Sun Belt Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships with a flurry Sunday evening at the Ragin' Cajuns Soccer/Track Facility.
As a result of strong final-day performances, the UTA men (99.5 points) and women (76.5 points) finished fourth and fifth, respectively at the league meet. The Maverick men entered the day in eighth place, while the women were seventh after the meet’s first two days.
"We really stepped up and had some big-time performances today," UTA coach John Sauerhage said. "I'm proud of the way we came out and competed."
For the women, Katelyn Hayward capped her standout meet by winning the 1500 meters in 4:29.25. She scored 18 total points for the Mavericks by virtue of her second-place finish in the 3000m steeplechase on Saturday.
Tamerah Gorham won her second career league title in the women's 800 meters after posting an official time of 2:10.333. She won at the tape by 3/1000ths of a second in the closest finish of the meet.
For the men, Roland Sales won his second straight outdoor high jump title, and fourth straight crown overall (including indoor seasons), after clearing 6 feet, 11 1/2 inches on his first attempt.
Emeka Nwangwu became the league champion in the men's 110m hurdles after running a personal-best clocking of 13.99. He had qualified sixth with a 14.42 in Saturday's prelims.
In the field, Tobi Fawehinmi grabbed a bronze medal in the triple jump with a mark of 50 feet, 4 inches. In addition, Branden Perry was fourth in the high jump (6 feet, 7 1/2 inches), while Grant Copeland held down the same spot in the 1500m (3:56.68).
A pair of men were among the top five in both the 400m and 800m races. In the 400, it was Brenden Wallace (4th, 47.46) and Erik Martinsson (5th, 47.47). In the 800, Conner Julian took fourth with a time of 1:52.42, while De’Vion Simpson was fifth in 1:52.91.
Other point scorers included Petter Gustafsson in the men’s 400m hurdles (7th, 54.32), Cameron Woodberry in the 1500m (8th, 3:59.11), David Brefo in the triple jump (8th; 47 feet, 3 1/2 inches) and Beau Eggers in the discus (8th; 157 feet, 6 inches).
On the women's side, Alexis Baldwin scored in both of her events, coming in fourth in the 100 meters (11.63) and seventh in the 200 meters (24.27).
In addition, Davis placed fourth in the women's 400m (54.85), while Shaniece Prevot's 1:02.02 was good for fifth in the women's 400m hurdles. Gabriela Alfonzo, meanwhile, crossed the line in sixth place in the women's 5000 meters with a clocking of 17:27.12. Anamarija Petters was seventh in the 800m (2:15.57).
A select group of UTA athletes will qualify for the NCAA West Preliminary Round, which will be contested in Lawrence, Kan., from May 26-28. Those athletes will be determined following the completion of all conference meets nationally. The NCAA Championships are June 8-11 in Eugene, Ore.
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