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By Michael Eldridge | @DFWSportsMike
ARLINGTON, Texas – With UT Arlington men's track and field closing in on its second consecutive Sun Belt outdoor championship, Clayton Vaughn stepped into his lane to close his conference career in blistering fashion.
Vaughn's 9.93 in the 100-meter finals not only shattered his own program record, but was the fastest time in Sun Belt Championship history and ranked as the third-fastest time in the NCAA entering the regionals.
The achievement reached beyond the track. Vaughn's first-place finish came on Mother's Day just a year-and-a-half after his mother passed.
"I just felt kind of proud because my mom always believed that I could run fast; she always believed I could do something with track," Vaughn told WFAA. "But I never really saw it. I was always like, 'I'm not sure what she saw.'"
The finish lifted Vaughn to a return trip to the NCAA Regional in Austin that saw the sprinter clinch his position in the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore.
Vaughn nipped fellow teammate Quentin Butler in the NCAA Championship semifinals by 1/1000th of a second to clinch the last position in the finals.
In his final race as a Maverick, Vaughn ran a 10.04 to claim eighth and earned All-American status for the sixth time in his career.
He is just the fourth UTA athlete ever to claim at least six All-America honors, joining Elston Cawley (seven), Romain Martin (six) and McClinton Neal (six).
"What a career Clayton had," UTA coach John Sauerhage said. "He's one of the all-time greats and a true pleasure to coach. He has made all of UT Arlington proud both on and off the track."
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