By Drew Harris | UTAMavs.com
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The UT Arlington men sit in third and the women are fifth after the first of two days at the Sun Belt Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships. The men, who have 30.5 points, and the women, with 21 points, are both within striking distance of first place heading into the final day of the meet.
"It was a wild day," UTA coach John Sauerhage said. "We hung in there and were able to overcome a few mistakes. I still like our chances, but we really will need a strong day tomorrow on both sides in order to achieve our goals."
The women's distance medley relay team of Katelyn Hayward, Taylor Davis, Tamerah Gorham and Hannah Nilsson highlighted day one, leading nearly wire to wire to earn UTA's first championship of the meet. The quartet posted a winning time of 11:51.50.
Another bright spot on the women's side came courtesy of Ambria Tisdell, who for the third time this year smashed her own school record in the weight throw. Her toss of 59 feet, 1/4 inches placed her fifth.
Meanwhile, juniors Gabriela Alfonzo (9:52.61) and Hayward (9:55.77) finished fifth & sixth, respectively, in the women's 3000m to add seven points.
For the men, the Mavericks distance crew placed four among the top seven in the men's 3000m with Eric Ojeda (3rd, 8:22.58), Craig Lautenslager (5th, 8:28.80), Ryan Tilotta (6th, 8:30.03) and Michael Guerrero (7th, 8:32.29).
In the field, Quentin Butler grabbed fifth in a long jump final that featured two meet records. He jumped 24 feet, 1/4 inches, missing a UTA top-5 mark by less than four inches. Heath Skelton landed UTA its first two points by taking seventh in weight throw with the second-best throw in school history (58' 1 3/4").
The men's distance medley relay took third in the final event of day one, posting a time of 10:08.53. Schiemnann (4th, 2,762 points) and Brandon Blanchard (5th, 2,676) are in contention for points heading into the final three events in the heptathlon.
In non-finals, Butler cruised in his heat of 200m to advance to tomorrow's finals with the top time in the event (21.40). He also qualified second in the men's 60m (6.73), and will join Cameron Newson (5th, 6.81) in Tuesday's sprint final.
The top men's 800m qualifying time came courtesy of Emil Blomberg (1:52.17). Other finals' qualifiers included Victor Fincher (4th, 8.23) and Emeka Nwangwu (6th, 8.29) in the 60m hurdles, Styron Williams in the 400m (5th, 48.90), Philip Critelli in the 800m (6th, 1:54.45).
The two fastest times in the women's 800m prelims were from Mavericks Ashly Wright (2:13.07) and Gorham (2:13.57).
In the 60m hurdles, Porschea Wilson advanced third (8.67), while Davis qualified for tomorrow's women's 400m finals after running a 56.97 in the prelims, which placed seventh.
The final day of the championships will kick off at 9 a.m. (CT) with the multi-events. The 4x400 relays will cap the day at approximately 4 p.m.
Women's Team Scores
1. Arkansas State 28.5
2. Texas State 23.5
3. Georgia State 22.5
4. Appalachian State 22
5. UT Arlington 21
6. UL Lafayette 20.5
7. UALR 10
8. South Alabama 3
9. UL Monroe 3
Men's Team Scores
1. Texas State 45
2. South Alabama 41
3. UT Arlington 30.5
4. Arkansas State 22.5
5. Appalachian State 20
6. UL Monroe 14
7. UL Lafayette 13
8. UALR 9
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