T&F: Men head into final day leading at WAC Championships

Romain Martin helped vault the Mavericks into the lead at the WAC Championships.

Feb. 22, 2013

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - UT Arlington's domination in the men's heptathlon highlighted Friday's activities at the Western Athletic Conference Championships. UTA's 1-3-4 finish in that event helped give the Mavericks the team lead heading into the final day.

The Mavericks have 61 points through five scored events, while Utah State (43) and UTSA (42) are the closest competitors. The UTA women sit in sixth with 22.5 points through seven events.

Romain Martin'svictory was a WAC-record setting performance, as he scored 5,706 points. He placed first in five of the seven events, including Friday's 60-meter hurdles. Martin now holds the conference championship heptathlon points record in two leagues, the Southland Conference (5,726) and the Western Athletic Conference (5,706).

Brandon Blanchard earned third place with 4,991 points, one spot ahead of teammate John Frnka(4,907). The three men combined to give the Mavs 21 points in the first scored event of the meet.

UTA also was impressive in the long jump, snagging the second, third and fifth positions. Lionel Mungwari was the runner up in the event with a mark of 24-01.75, edging teammate Quentin Butler (24-01.00). Kemarki Absalom'sleap of 23-08.75 was the fifth-best of the day.

Bozidar Antunovic broke his own school record in the shot put (65-08.25) in a second-place finish. He missed out on a league crown by just 1.5 inches. Teammate and fellow Serbian Branko Petrovicplaced fifth (55-09.00).

Craig Lautenslager's5000-meter run earned the Mavericks five points. He finished fourth in the event with a time of 15:29.02.

The men's distance medley relay team of Anthony Hilliman, Sheldon Moss, Philip Critelliand Ryan Tillota took fourth (10:26.30).

"If the men have the day they are capable of tomorrow, they can win a championship," head coach John Sauerhagesaid. "Even though we have a big lead, it will be close tomorrow. We had a few disappointing finishes today, but it wasn't for a lack of effort."

On the women's side, Julianne Burchgained 4.5 points by placing tied for fourth in the pole vault. She cleared 11-04.50, just two inches shy of her personal best.

In addition, two Mavericks scored in the long jump. Kailey Bostic earned four points with a fifth-place effort (18-06.50), while Danielle Delagetook sixth (18-04.50).

The UTA women placed third (six points) in the distance medley relay. The squad of Sydney Hampton, Ashley Burris, Courtney Mose and Hannah Nilssonhad a time of 12:03.22.

"Our women performed well today," Sauerhage said. "If all goes well on Saturday we have a shot at finishing in the top three. We're excited to see how they perform in the finals."

The bulk of Friday's festivities consisted of preliminary running events. The Mavericks had numerous qualifiers on both the men's and women's sides.

Katelyn Hayward was one of the highlights in the women's prelims. She qualified first in the mile (5:01.83). In addition, Shannon Reynoldswas the top qualifier in the 200m (23.90) and was second in the 60m.

Other qualifiers include: DeAndrea Smith (200m, 400m), Ashly Wright (800m), Mose (800m), Hampton (mile), DeOna Stafford (60m hurdles) and Porschea Wilson(60m hurdles).

Clayton Vaughn(6.64) was the top qualifier in the men's 60 meters and he came in second in the 200m with a personal-best time of 21.02.

Three men, Emil Blomberg, Tilotta and Hilliman each reached tomorrow's finals of the mile. Other finalists include: Martin (60m hurdles), Butler (60m), Philip Critelli(800m) and Hilliman (800m).

The final day of the WAC Championships is set to begin at noon (CT). Live scoring is available at http://wac.org/public/itf/2013/index.htm.





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