ARLINGTON, Texas – The young crop of UTA men's and women's track and field athletes will have another chance to shine this weekend when the teams compete at the J.D. Martin Invitational in Norman, Okla.
With just over three weeks to go until the Sun Belt Conference Indoor Championships, members of both teams are rounding into form and giving their coaches a glimpse ahead to Feb. 20-21.
"It's a key time in our preparation for conference, so we will do what we need to do for each individual, whether that means competing in this meet or continuing to train," UTA coach John Sauerhage said. "For those competing at Oklahoma, this is a great chance for them to prove what they are capable of because we need to see who can score points for us at the Sun Belt meet."
The teams already boast a number of athletes ranked near the top of the league standings in the early going, including five who currently lead the conference in their respective events.
Three women sit atop the Sun Belt after strong starts to the season. The group includes freshman Astrid Rosvall in the mile, sophomore Alexus Henry in the high jump and freshman Helen Falda in the pole vault. Rosvall, a native of Sweden, and Falda, who hails from Italy, have enjoyed instant success for the Mavericks.
The list of early season impact performers also includes another female who did not compete for UTA in 2016, Victoria Rimpsey. Rimpsey is showing well while returning from an injury that cost her the 2016 indoor and outdoor seasons. She currently ranks third in the SBC in the 60-meter hurdles and posted a personal-best time of 7.62 two weeks ago.
On the men's side, two men hold down the top SBC spots in mid-distance events. Sophomore Erik Martinsson owns the best time in the 800 meters, while senior Grant Copeland leads the way in the mile. Martinsson's prowess in the 800m has been a pleasant surprise. Originally considered more of a quarter-miler, he competed in the 800 just once all of last year.
One men's athlete coming off injury who could play a big role in the team's success is Christian Schiemann, who competes in the multi-events. He finished third in the heptathlon at the SBC meet a year ago, but missed the final two months of the outdoor season.
Friday action will feature the multis, with all five women's pentathlon events and four of the men's heptathlon events. The remainder of the meet will take place Saturday, starting at 9 a.m. with the conclusion of the heptathlon. Individual field events are scheduled to start at 10 a.m., while running events begin at 12 p.m.
Live scoring will be available here.
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