T&F: UTA to host WAC Track & Field Championships May 8-11

Romain Martin leads the Mavericks into the WAC Championships May 8-11 in Arlington.

May 3, 2013

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ARLINGTON, Texas - The 2013 Western Athletic Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships are less than one week away from being contested at Maverick Stadium on the campus of UT Arlington. The men, coming off a runner-up finish at the WAC indoor meet, and the women, who placed fifth, both figure to make strong pushes for a league title.

"We are tremendously honored to be hosting the WAC Championships," head coach John Sauerhagesaid. "Our department has put a lot of effort into the planning of this event and our student-athletes are extremely excited to be able to compete for a championship right in our backyard. It will be a fun week for all of us."

The meet will take place over a four-day period next week (May 8-11). The multi-events, which are the men's decathlon and women's heptathlon, are the only competitions that will take place Wednesday and Thursday.

Highlighting the competitors in the multis will be UT Arlington senior Romain Martin, a three-time indoor All-American and a two-time outdoor All-America selection. His season-best score of 7,904 in the decathlon currently ranks third in the nation and is easily the top mark in the WAC.

In addition, Brandon Blanchard (6,505) and John Frnka (5,957) have the league's third- and fourth-best scores in the decathlon this season. On the women's side, UTA's Danielle Delageowns the fifth-best score (4,789) in the heptahlon.

Field and running events will take place Friday and Saturday. Eight of the field events (women's hammer, women's long jump, women's discus, women's high jump, men's javelin, men's pole vault, men's long jump and men's shot put) will be contested on Friday. On the track, the lone finals on Friday are the 3000-meter steeplechase and the 10,000 meters, while all other running events that day will be prelims.

UTA owns the league's top time in both the men's and women's steeplechase this year. For the women, Katelyn Hayward set a school record with a 10:48.03 earlier this year. On the men's side, Emil Blomberg's clocking of 8:54.75 is the second-best mark in school history. The women have two other league leaders on the roster. Shannon Reynolds is the fastest qualifier in the 100 meters (11.40), while Morgan Dominguerecorded the top long jump mark (19-11.50) in the WAC.

Quentin Butlerwill be a key performer for the men. He currently ranks among the WAC's top four in three events, as he is second in the 200m (20.99), third in the 100m (10.46) and fourth in the long jump (24-03.75).

UTA, which won the league's cross country title, figures to perform well in the distance events as well. Currently, Craig Lautenslager (14.40.41) and Virgilio Martinez (14.43.74) rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 5000 meters, while Aaron Purseris fourth in the steeplechase (9:18.99).

The men are also well represented near the top in a number of field events. Roland Sales ranks second in the high jump (6-09.75), while Brandon Waller in the long jump (24-05.75) and Omar Barnesin the triple jump (48-02.00) are third in their events.

The Maverick men also possess throwers with the ability to score well at the conference meet. Bozidar Antunovic, an All-American and league runner up in the shot put during the indoor season, figures to be a favorite in the event. Branko Petrovic, who had a season-best throw of 54-01.75, owns the WAC's fifth-best mark of the year in the shot put.

The women are deep in the field events as well. Jennifer Brown enters the league meet second in the triple jump (41-01.50) and third in the long jump (19-06.75). Other top-5 individuals include Shae Johnson in the triple jump (5th, 39-08.75) and Samantha Little (4th, 154-06) and Whitley Ellison(5th, 154-05) in the discus.

The women's sprint squads have once again enjoyed a successful season. Including Reynolds, the Mavericks hold three of the top-5 spots in the 100m with Kailey Bostic (11.83) and Keondra Mallard (11.86). Reynolds also is the fifth fastest in the 200m (23.93), while DeAndrea Smithranks third in the 400m (54.05).

In middle distance, Ashly Wright is listed second in the league in the 800m with a clocking of 2:07.33. The Mavs also boast Sydney Hampton (3rd, 4:29.96) and Hannah Nilsson(4th, 4:31.48) in the 1500m.

The women have a pair of top-5 times in the hurdle events. DeOna Stafford is fifth in the 100m hurdles (13.97) and Ashley Burrisholds the same spot in the 400m hurdles (1:01.57).

Admission is free to the multi-events on Wednesday and Thursday. Competition begins at 10 a.m. each day and will end in the mid-afternoon both days.

All-session Friday and Saturday tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for seniors (65 and older) and youth (18 and under). Single-day (Friday or Saturday) tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for seniors and youth. Students at WAC colleges are free with a current student ID.

On Friday, the first field event begins at 11 a.m., while the running events start at 4 p.m. Saturday's field competitions also kick off at 11 a.m., while the finals of the running events are slated to begin at 5 p.m.

For more information, visit www.wacsports.com. Live results will be available here.





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