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ARLINGTON, Texas - Three Mavericks were crowned league champions on day three of the Western Athletic Conference Championships Friday at Maverick Stadium. Following a strong all-around day on the track and in the field, UT Arlington holds a 20-point lead on the men's side and is in third place on the women's.
"We had a really good day on both sides," head coach John Sauerhage said. "It went like we hoped it would go. These kids will compete well and I'm optimistic we'll have a good outcome tomorrow."
The men have 76 points to lead Idaho (56), Utah State (44) and Texas State (44). The women scored 39 points and trail only Texas State (74) and Idaho (48).
Jennifer Brown began the day by claiming her first-ever league championship in the long jump with a mark of 19 feet, 6 inches to win the event by two inches.
"It feels really good," Brown said. "It's a big accomplishment. It's my first time getting a medal and it's a first-place one. Jumping here at home gave me a lot of motivation, especially with it being my last conference meet."
On the men's side, Bozidar Antunovic won the shot put with a throw of 62 feet, 2 ¼ inches (18.95m), avenging his second-place showing in the event during the indoor season.
Emil Blomberg also became a WAC champion by taking the 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:10.49 to win by more than a second.
Katelyn Hayward, the WAC Indoor Freshman of the Year, narrowly missed a league title in the women's 3000m steeplechase, as she was nipped at the line by .06 in a hotly contested race from start to finish. She finished with a clocking of 10:45.90.
Quentin Butler placed third and Lionel Mungwari snagged fourth in the long jump. Butler posted a best of 24-04.25 (7.42m), while Mungwari had an effort of 24-01.50 (7.35m). UTA also received points from seventh-place finisher Omar Barnes (7.33m). On the women's side Morgan Domingue took fourth (19-02.75) in the event.
Ivan Storic received first-team All-WAC accolades with a third-place finish in the javelin. He posted a mark of 216-08 (66.05m). Decathlon champion Romain Martin added to his point total with a seventh-place showing on a toss of 189-11 (57.90m).
Martin also placed fifth in the pole vault with a clearance of 15-05.50 (4.71). He was joined on the all-league second team by freshman Connor McGuire, who corralled sixth (14-11.50).
Gabriela Alfonzo impressed with a fifth-place effort in the 10,000 meters, her first such race of the year. She posted a time of 37:35.00. The men had a pair of point scorers in the event courtesy of Cody Widener (5th, 32:10.59) and Virgilio Martinez (8th, 32:57.08).
UTA women who qualified for Saturday's finals included: Shannon Reynolds (11.54) and LaDoreal Thompson (11.91) in the 100m; Reynolds (23.87), DeAndrea Smith (23.96), and Keondra Mallard (24.29) in the 200m; DeAndrea Smith (54.98) and Breonna Baldwin (55.46) in the 400m; Ashly Wright in the 800m (2:10.89); Hannah Nilsson in the 1500m (4:41.55); DeOna Stafford (13.85) and Porschea Wilson (14.16) in the 100m hurdles; and Ashley Burris (1:00.04) and Jade Vaughan (1:03.12) in the 400m hurdles.
On the men's side, Butler (10.24) and Mungwari (10.72) in the 100m; Butler (21.29) in the 200m; Philip Critelli (1:53.37) in the 800m; Ryan Tilotta (3:59.43) and Anthony Hilliman (4:02.82) in the 1500m; and Martin (14.72) in the 110m hurdles will compete in the finals after advancing during Friday's prelims.
The WAC Championships conclude Saturday. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth under 18. Students at WAC universities are free with a current student ID.
Saturday's field competitions kick off at 11 a.m., while the finals of the running events are slated to begin at 5 p.m.
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