Track & Field aims for improvement at Northwestern State Invitational
April 15, 2011
ARLINGTON, Tex. - When UT Arlington competes in the Northwestern State Invitational on Saturday, it will have a new weapon in its arsenal.
That's because Jeff Rodriguez is scheduled to make his UT Arlington much-anticipated debut this weekend.
The redshirt freshman pole vaulter recorded a personal-best vault of 17 feet, 4.5 inches at a collegiate meet as an unattached athlete last year. That height would currently lead the conference and would be tied for eighth in the NCAA.
Rodriguez's return highlights the weekend for UT Arlington. Several key contributors will sit out this week for regularly scheduled rest but many high-profile Mavericks will be in action.
That list includes Cordero Gray, the senior sprinter who will compete in the 100m only this week. Last weekend at Texas Relays, Gray finished fourth in the event, clocking a final heat time of 10.24. His preliminary time of 10.18 did not count because of excessive wind.
Gray is right on the doorstep of the UTA program record in the 100m. The current record belongs to Elston Cawley, who clocked a time of 10.14 in 2000. Gray came close last year, recording a 10.16.
Though there are a few headline acts this week, the main theme is for the team to show continued improvement leading into the Southland Conference Outdoor Championships which are now five weeks away.