Feb. 24, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The UT Arlington men's indoor track and field team used a strong Monday effort to find itself atop the standings after the first day of the Sun Belt Conference Championships.
The men totaled 48 points on the opening day, which featured just 10 event finals between the men's and women's teams. The women are in sixth with 18 points after scoring in three events.
"We did everything we could on the men's side today," UTA coach John Sauerhage said. "We'll find out if we have what it takes to win a conference championship tomorrow. We have an opportunity as long as we compete like we're capable of."
The UTA men's team was buoyed by a dominant performance in the 3000 meters. Emil Blomberg and Ryan Tilotta went 1-2 in the race, while Craig Lautenslager placed sixth and Eric Ojeda took seventh to total 23 points. Blomberg ran a school-record time of 8:12.31 to nip Tilotta (8:12.94) at the line.
The men's distance medley relay team of Grant Copeland, Philip Critelli, Anthony Hilliman and Sheldon Moss was nipped by overall team favorite Western Kentucky at the wire by .10 with a runner-up time of 10:06.21.
The Mavericks got on the board in the first event, the weight throw, when Heath Skelton took seventh (55-09.25). In other field action, Connor McGuire placed sixth in the pole vault (15-01.75).
On the women's side, the distance medley relay team of Ashly Wright, Tamerah Gorham, Katelyn Hayward and Sydney Hampton highlighted the day by setting a Birmingham Crossplex record with a winning time of 11:48.06.
In addition, Morgan Domingue placed fifth in the long jump (18-09), while Charra Elliot placed fifth in the high jump with a mark of 5-06 to each net four points for the squad.
After four events in the men's heptathlon, Brandon Blanchard is second with 2,855 points. He is 121 points behind the leader with three events remaining on Tuesday. Teammate John Frnka is sixth with 2,721 points.
Highlighting the preliminary action, three UTA men advanced to the finals of the 60m, 200m and 800m, while three Maverick women advanced to the finals of the 800 meters
In addition, Renan Palma placed first in the prelims of the 60m hurdles with a clocking of 8.11, the fifth-fastest time in school history.
Men's Team Scores
1. UT Arlington - 48 pts
2. Arkansas State - 31.33 pts
3. South Alabama - 30.66 pts
4. Texas State - 29 pts
5. UL Lafayette - 21 pts
6. WKU - 20 pts
7. UL Monroe - 12 pts
8. UALR - 3 pts
Women's Team Scores
1. WKU - 55 pts
2. Texas State - 31 pts
3. UL Lafayette - 29 pts
4. South Alabama - 22 pts
5. Arkansas State - 21 pts
6. UT Arlington - 18 pts
7. UALR - 9 pts
7. Georgia State - 9 pts
9. Troy - 1 pts
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