Jan. 17, 2008

ARLINGTON, Texas - - The UT Arlington men's and women's track teams travel to Lubbock on Friday to open the 2008 Indoor Track and Field season at the Texas Tech Indoor Invitational. The following day, UTA competes in the same town in the same venue at the Wes Kittely Invitational.

UTA sent a handful of pole vaulters to a meet last week, but this will be the first time the entire team will hit the track.

Mavericks coach John Sauerhage said most of the athletes will be entered in just one event each, but that doesn't meet the Mavericks will be taking it easy in the season-opener. The reason for that is simple; only four meets stand between UTA and the 2008 Southland Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships in February.

"Our men had an excellent outdoor season, and we have added depth on the women's side," said Sauerhage, who coached the Mavericks men to the 2007 SLC Outdoor title. "Although our teams are optimistic - particularly the men - it's going to be a very daunting task to win conference. There are some very talented, deep teams in our league this season."

UTA's men are led by 200- and 400-meter sprinter Eddie Beckwith, a junior who qualified for the NCAA Regional championships in the 400 after clocking a 46.61 at the conference meet. He was the third leg of the indoor 400-meter relay team that captured a third-place finish.

The women will look for leadership from sprinter Jasmine Walls.

A sophomore from Pearland, she earned all-SLC honors with a third-place finish in the 60-meter dash with a season-best time of 7.73 and third place in the 200 meters with a 24.90 in the indoor SLC meet.

Most recently in the outdoor season, Walls finished seventh in the 100 meters and fourth in the 200.

"We're excited to be back on the track as a team and see how they perform," Sauerhage said. "I think we've done some good work in the offseason to prepare."




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