May 14, 2006

Tiger Woods has his signature fist pump. So give UT Arlington freshman Collier McKenzie a little more time to come up with a signature move. His fists thrust into the air may not have been the most original, but an all-conference performance in the decathlon as a true freshman was pure poetry and highlighted the Mavs' effort on the second day of the 2006 Southland Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championship at Maverick Stadium.

Stephen F. Austin leads the men's standings with 54 points. Sam Houston (52) and Texas-San Antonio (51) are just off the pace followed by Southeastern Louisiana (40), Texas State (34), McNeese State (31) and Northwestern State (25). UTA stands in eighth place with 20 points and Lamar has four.

"I hope our score doesn't get people down," said UTA Head Track and Field Coach John Sauerhage. "We have people competing in (Monday's) finals and the potential is there for us to have a good day."

McKenzie, an all-district performer from Corpus Christi Calallen High School, rolled up 6,424 points to finish third behind Texas-San Antonio's Bryan Wolfe's 6,887.

"I honestly didn't think about all-conference honors as a freshman,." said McKenzie. "Looking back I think I could have done better (today). But I am going to work on those events I am weak in and see if I can come back and break 7,000 (points) next year."

Junior long jumper Quinchun Carey won the Southland Conference title a year ago with a leap of 7.41 meters (24-feet, 6.5-inches).

This year, that mark would have landed Carey in eighth place. Carey jumped a personal-best 7.91 meters (25-feet, 11.5-inches), but placed second behind S.F. Austin's Reggie Lazenby's 7.98 effort.

"Unbelievable. There was more competition today that there was at the national championships last year," said Carey. "I think my second jump of 7.87 meters got it going. Everybody popped big jumps on their last attempt. I have never seen anything like it."



In all, seven jumps were qualifying marks for the NCAA regionals, May 26-27 in Austin, Texas.

On Monday, UTA hopes for big things in the middle distance races. Senior Jacob Cedertun posted one of the fastest qualifying times in the 1,500 meters and UTA has three competing in Monday night's 800-meter race - Davis Tagi, Cedertun and Idilio Campos.

Jon McDowell and Edward Broadnax advanced to Monday's 110-meter hurdles. McDowell also will compete in the 400-meter finals.

Junior sprinter Jared Connaughton advanced to the finals in both the 100 and 200 meters. Connaughton posted the third fastest time in the 100 meters with a 10.42 and the fastest qualifying time in the 200 meters with a 20.78.

Junior Coby Morrison advanced to the finals in the 100 meters and the 400-meter hurdles.

Live results will be available through the final day of the conference meet.


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