Newcomers shine at Sooner Open I

Brittany Culbertson qualified for the SLC Indoor Championships in the 200m Saturday at the Sooner Open I.
Brittany Culbertson qualified for the SLC Indoor Championships in the 200m Saturday at the Sooner Open I.

Jan. 22, 2011

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NORMAN, Okla. - First-year Mavericks like Clayton Vaughn, Casey Keeter, Romain Martin, Pam Vinson and Lindsey Putman are quickly delivering simple messages: They are as good as advertised.

UT Arlington coach John Sauerhage knew before the season began that his newcomers gave his team a chance to be special. Through two meets they have lived up to expectations.

Clayton Vaughn's much-anticipated debut did not disappoint Saturday at the Oklahoma Sooner Open I. The true freshman ran a 6.80 in the 60m finals to finish second behind Cordero Gray, who won the event with a time of 6.74.

Vaughn won the 200m later in the day, clocking a 22.21.

"It was a good meet," Sauerhage said. "Clayton ran well in the 60m and the 200m. The depth in sprints on both the men's and women's sides looks good."

Casey Keeter recorded a personal-best throw in the shot put with a mark of 17.30 meters. He finished second in the meet and also placed himself second all-time in the UT Arlington indoor record book.

Branko Petrovic, another UTA athlete in his first year with the program, finished third in the shot put with a toss of 16.50 meters.

Juan Lewis finished second in the 200m behind Vaughn. Andrew Pettis and Renan Palma finished fourth and fifth, respectively, to give the Mavericks four of the top five sprinters in the event.

Vaughn, Lewis and Pettis' times qualify all three for the Southland Conference Indoor Championships. Pettis also qualified in the 60m with a time of 6.99.

Palma won the 60m hurdles by recording a time of 8.16 - 0.01 off his personal best. He also finished eighth in the long jump.

Lionel Mungwari landed a long jump of 7.09 meters, finishing third in the event.

In the Mile Run, Anthony Hilliman and Eric Montou qualified for the SLC Indoor Championships by running times of 4:23.54 and 4:25.21, respectively.

Romain Martin, a multi-events specialist yet to compete in a heptathlon with UTA, qualified for the SLC Indoor Championships in his third event by recording a pole vault of 4.69 meters. He finished second in the event.

Dwight Robinson finished second in the 800m with a time of 1:54.85. Heinz Scwarzkopf's mark of 1:57.29 in the 800m qualified him for the conference meet.

On the women's side, Pamela Vinson led the way for UT Arlington. The sensational freshman won the 200m by running a 25.02. Breonna Baldwin and DeAndrea Smith finished third and fifth, respectively, in the 200m.

Vinson, Smith and Brittany Culbertson, who finished eighth, recorded times good enough to qualify for the SLC Indoor Championships.

Vinson and Shannon Reynolds finished fifth and seventh in the 60m with times of 7.57 and 7.66, respectively.

Baldwin and Culbertson finished second and third in the 400m.

Lindsey Putman continued the hot start to her UT Arlington career, winning the 800m with a personal-best time of 2:16.25. Esther Abuto joined Putman and Jennifer Carey, who finished fourth on Saturday, as conference meet qualifiers.

Amanda McMahon ran a personal-best time of 5:04.96 to finish fifth in the Mile Run and qualified for the SLC Indoor Championships as a result.

Jennifer Brown finished third in the long jump and Andrea Guerra qualified for the conference meet in the event.

A couple other UTA rookies qualified for the SLC Indoor Championships as well. Destinee Nixon did so with a triple jump of 11.26 meters. Samantha Little qualified for the conference meet as well with a weight throw of 13.29 meters.

The women also won the 4x440-yard relay with a time of 3:58.86.

The Mavericks compete again next weekend at the Houston Invitational.




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