T&F: Cawley, 1996-2000 track teams headed to Hall of Honor

Jan. 22, 2015

Hall of Honor Series
Hunter Pence | Mike Stamps (Jan. 27) | Val Whitfield-Dunn (Jan. 29)

By Drew Harris | UTAMavs.com

ARLINGTON, Texas – If the inductees at the 2015 UT Arlington Athletics Hall of Honor ceremony have anything to do with the pacing of the festivities, it might be hard for the rest of the attendees to keep up. That's because former Olympian Elston Cawley, as well as the entire 1996-2000 men's track and field teams, will be among this year's inductees.

Cawley, who represented his native Jamaica in the 200 meters at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, was a seven-time All-American for the Mavericks under coach John Sauerhage. With his seven All-America awards, he is the most decorated athlete in the program's illustrious history.

"There's no question that Elston Cawley is on the Mount Rushmore of UTA track and field," Sauerhage said. "He was tremendously talented and helped our program reach a new level. He also was a loyal teammate who always had a smile on his face."

Cawley, who now resides in Dallas, is one of just three athletes in school history to be a three-time indoor All-American. He finished third in the indoor 200 meters at both the 1997 and 1998 NCAA Indoor Championships after placing sixth in 1996.

In addition, he took fifth in the 200m at the 1996 NCAA outdoor meet and sixth a year later. The standout sprinter also was a member of the 4x100-meter teams that grabbed fifth (1996) and eighth (2000) at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Cawley was the 1996 and 1997 Southland Conference champion in the indoor 200m and also won three 100m league titles and one 200m conference crown in outdoor track. As a result, he was named to the SLC's 50th Anniversary All-Time Track and Field Honor Roll in 2013.

Fifteen years after his college career ended, Cawley remains the school record holder in both the indoor 200m (20.64) and outdoor 200m (20.35), and ranks third on the UTA list in the outdoor 100m (10.14).

"You don't replace a guy like Elston," Sauerhage said. "You just sit back and admire his accomplishments."

Cawley, who Sauerhage discovered while on a recruiting trip to Jamaica as a UTA assistant, is one of a number of Mavericks who helped usher in a new era of UTA track and field, one that has produced a bevy of championships since Sauerhage took over the head post in 1996.

The entire 1996-2000 track and field teams are also being honored after winning four of the five indoor Southland Conference championships (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000), a pair of outdoor league titles (1996-97) and the 1999 cross country crown.

"Those teams featured a great group of athletes who really helped set the standard for UTA track and field," Sauerhage said. "Conference championships are the measuring stick of success and our 1996-2000 teams surely left their mark."

In addition to Cawley, Cornelius Cavitt was another sprint star for the deep Maverick squads of the mid-1990s. He came in fourth in the 200 meters at both the 1996 and 1997 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Cavitt is one of just three athletes in UTA history to place among the top four in the same event in successive NCAA outdoor meets.

The sprint power carried over to the relay teams, as the 4x100 team of Cavitt, Cawley, Markus Lindahl and Crystin Wuthrich placed fifth at the 1996 NCAAs, while the 2000 squad, which consisted of Cawley, Andra Fifer, Andre Horn, Belford Johnson and Zach Wood, also earned All-America honors after placing eighth.

Other standouts who won individual conference championships from those teams include hurdler Errol Byles, long jumper Nelson Stewart, pole vaulter Jocqua Mitchell, and distance runners Escoffrey Thompson, Henrik Skoog, Jason Buie, Ciaron Doogan and Bjorn Ahlepil.

The remaining 2015 Hall of Honor inductees are Hunter Pence (baseball), Valeria Whitfield (volleyball) ad Mike Stamps (football). The Hall of Honor ceremony is Jan. 30 in the Bluebonnet Room of the University Center. The evening begins with a cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the induction ceremony.

Individual tickets are available for $50 at www.utatickets.com. Please contact Kimberley Jardine at kjardine@uta.edu or call (817) 272-0694 if you have questions or would like to reserve a table in proximity to an individual.




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