T&F: Mavericks target titles at SLC Championships
Feb. 23, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- After numerous standout performances over the past five weeks, the UT Arlington men's and women's track and field teams are now ready for the marquee team event of the indoor season - the Southland Conference Championships.
Both UTA squads have their sights set on competing for conference titles Friday and Saturday at the Mosier Indoor Facility in Norman, Okla. The men will be attempting to unseat six-time defending champion UTSA, while the women will look to halt Stephen F. Austin's steak at three.
"Our goal is to win conference," UTA head coach John Sauerhage said. "There's no reason we can't contend on both the men's and women's sides, but we will need to perform our best to win."
The team scores are compiled from the top-eight finishers in each event. The scoring system is as follows: first place (10 points), second (8), third (6), fourth (5), fifth (4), sixth (3), seventh (2) and eighth (1).
"They are tremendous kids and great leaders," Sauerhage said. "We feel good about what we've done to get to this point. We've trained hard and prepared, and now we just have to go and compete."
Clements will participate in three events in Norman - the high jump, 200 meters and 400 meters. He currently ranks third in the league in the high jump after clearing 2.11 meters.
Putman, meanwhile, is a title contender in a pair of events. She owns the conference's second-best time in both the 800 meters (2:14.01) and the mile (4:58.57).
In addition to its seniors, UTA has a bevy of talented athletes who have chances to win individual championships. Junior Romain Martin has the top score in the heptathlon with 5,796 points, a figure that ranks among the top six nationally.
Sophomore Clayton Vaughn boasts the SLC's top time in the 60 meters, a mark of 6.73 that he set just last week on the same track. Another runner, Emil Blomberg, has come on strong of late, and currently ranks third in the 800 meters (1:53.64).
Jeff Rodriguez, who won five individual titles during the indoor season, sports the second-best mark in the pole vault (5.32m).
On the women's side, DeAndrea Smith holds the top spot in the 400 meters. She set the standard three weeks ago with a clocking of 56.55.
The SLC Championships begin with heptathlon and pentathlon events at 8:30 a.m. Friday. Field events kick off at 3 p.m., followed by preliminaries in running events at 4 p.m. Finals of the 5,000 meters and the distance medley relay begin at 7:25 p.m.
Live scoring of the championships is available at: http://www.cfpitiming.com/2012_Indoor_Season/Southland_Conference_Indoor_champs_2012/Southland_Conference_indoor_championship_2012.htm.