T&F: UTA track teams await conference meet

Katelyn Hayward is one of the stars for the UTA women's indoor team.
Feb. 21, 2015

By Drew Harris | UTAMavs.com

The UT Arlington men's and women's indoor track and field teams have high aspirations as they get ready to compete at the 2015 Sun Belt Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships Monday and Tuesday at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Ala.

The men will be attempting to repeat as conference champions following a record-setting display last February, while the women are looking to improve upon a sixth-place finish a year ago. Both teams are coming off impressive performances last weekend at the Herm Wilson Invitational in Wichita, Kan.

"This is what we've been working towards so hard for so long," UTA coach John Sauerhage said. "We're going to come out and compete to the best of our abilities, and we know that it will take a total team effort from all of our event areas in order to win a championship. There are a lot of good track teams on both sides, and we have a great deal of respect for the entire conference."

Leading the charge for the UTA men figures to be Quentin Butler, who owns the league's top time in the 60 meters at 6.64. His clocking also ranks among the nation's top 15. Additionally, Butler is seeded third in the league in the 200 meters (21.39).

For the women, Tamerah Gorham attempts to defend her title in the 800 meters, as she enters the meet with the top time in the conference (2:11.91). A pair of Maverick teammates, Ashly Wright (3rd, 2:12.39) and Latrice Brooks (5th, 2:14.60), figure to challenge her for the title.

Other men who could contend as individual conference champions include Emil Blomberg, the SBC's top miler with a school-record time of 4:05.82, and Roland Sales, who is first in the high jump at 7 feet, 1/2 inch. Blomberg also ranks third in the 800m (1:52.97).

The UTA men possess a great deal of depth in the distance events. The Mavericks currently hold down the top three spots in the 5000 meters courtesy of Ryan Tilotta (14:46.19), Michael Guerrero (14:56.67) and Eric Ojeda (15:02.76). In addition, Ojeda (8:23.25) and Craig Lautenslager (8:26.87) rank second and third, respectively, in the 3000m.

Back to the women, Noemie Forget's school-record pole vault (12 feet, 11 3/4 inches) set last weekend has her ranked second in the league. Additionally, the women's 4x400 relay team of Dasia Rolfe, Gorham, Wright and Taylor Davis is seeded second with a clocking of 3:46.32.

The women have a number of other individuals listed among the SBC's top five: Porschea Wilson in the 60m hurdles (4th, 8.74), Davis in the 400 meters (4th, 56.75), Katelyn Hayward in the mile (4th, 4:58.45) and Gabriela Alfonzo in the 3000 meters (5th, 9:57.26).

Other men among the top five in their respective events are: Victor Fincher in the 60m hurdles (3rd, 8.15), Brandon Blanchard in the heptathlon (3rd, 4,706 points) and Philip Critelli in the 800 meters (4th, 1:53.09).

The CrossPlex's indoor 200-meter hydraulically banked track designed by Mondo is one of just six in the United States and one of eight in the world.

The meet will be streamed live at SunBeltSports.org. In addition, Delta Timing will have live scoring of the meet on the league's website.

Action begins Monday at 9 a.m. with the men's heptathlon. Standard field events will commence at 10 a.m., while events on the track will start at 4:15 p.m.




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