T&F: UTA returns to Texas A&M Saturday

Jan. 19, 2017

ARLINGTON, Texas – The UTA men's and women's track and field teams will be in College Station for the second straight weekend when they compete Saturday in their second meet of the indoor season, the Texas A&M Aggie Invitational.

It will bring back good memories for a number of Mavericks, including freshman Helen Falda, who smashed the school’s pole vault record in her debut last week.

The native of Italy became the first UTA woman ever to clear 13 feet, topping out at 13 feet, 4 ¼ inches. The mark, which equates to 4.07 meters, is just off her personal-best performance of 4.10m. She placed third in the event a week ago and has the 15th-best mark in the nation thus far.

Falda trained hard with the Mavericks during the fall, a semester that culminated in a victory in the pole vault at the Lovejoy Texas Express Holiday Invitational. There she cleared 12 feet, 9 inches.

"Helen really had an impressive start to her college career on Saturday," UTA coach John Sauerhage said. "She has worked very hard since her arrival, and to set a school record in her first meet, it showed the amount of effort she has put in."

Erik Martinsson's victory in the 800 meters highlighted the men's day. The sophomore's time of 1:50.46 ranks as the fourth-fastest clocking in school history and is the No. 5 time in the NCAA in 2017. Last year, the native of Sweden competed in just one 800-meter race all year, and that came in the outdoor season.

"Erik really stepped up on Saturday," Sauerhage said. "And we know he has even bigger things ahead of him. We are excited to see what he can accomplish the rest of the season."



Those are just two performers looking to build on strong starts. In addition, some Mavericks who were battling injuries, men's triple jumper Tobi Fawehinmi and women's 800m runner Tamerah Gorham, are close to returning to action and giving UTA a boost.

This meet will be the second straight star-studded field faced by the Mavericks, as the foes include Arizona State, Georgia, TCU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and UTSA. The scored meet will use the NCAA team points system (10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1).

Events on the track and in the field at the Texas A&M Aggie Invitational are scheduled to start at noon. Live results will be available throughout the afternoon at flashresults.com.



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