TRACKSTERS COMPETE AT SLC INDOOR
Feb. 14, 2007
HOUSTON, Texas - Four weeks ago, UT Arlington Head Track and Field Coach John Sauerhage thought the chances of dethroning the two-time Southland Conference Indoor Championship, Stephen F. Austin, were slim and none. After watching a group of young runners improve during the indoor schedule, Sauerhage likes his chances as the Mavericks compete at the 2007 Southland Conference Indoor Track Championship at the Bill Yeoman Fieldhouse on the University of Houston campus, Friday and Saturday.
The Mavs finished sixth a year ago with 74.33 points, but Sauerhage looks for improvement this year.
"I am optimistic we can compete for both (men's and women's) conference titles," said UT Arlington Head Track and Field Coach John Sauerhage. "We do not have any pressure on us going into the meet. We have several veterans capable of winning their events and a number of individuals who can score points. I am not predicting a championship, but I do think we are very capable of a top-three finish."
The meet begins Friday with the women's weight throw and the men pole vault at 3 p.m. The running prelims are slated to get underway at 4 p.m. and the distance medley races will conclude the first day at 8;25 p.m. Saturday begins with the final three events of the men's heptathlon. Field events begin at 11 a.m. and the running finals are slated to begin at 1:30 p.m.
UT Arlington has two or more athletes ranked in the top eight in six different events. Add improved relay squads and the Mavs looks to improve last season's 74-point performance.
Senior Kourtnee Jones (Abilene, Texas) is ranked fifth in the 60 meters after a season-best 7.74 at the Houston All-Comers Meet last weekend. She is also the fourth fastest qualifier with a 25.04 in the 200 meters. Joining Jones in the 200 meters are Jasmine Walls (5th/25.33) and Kim Hargers (8th/25.53).
Sophomore Stacey Bennett (Kingsville, Texas) looks for her first all-SLC honor in the high jump. She has the second best mark this winter with a jump of 5-07.75.
The Mavs are poised to dominate the pole vault event. Three vaulters are among the top eight in the SLC. Defending indoor champion Lacey Moore (Great Bend, Kan.) will complete her collegiate career at the SLC Indoor Championships. She won the event a year ago with a vault of 12-01.50. Senior Vanessa Maida (Abilene, Texas) has cleared 12-01.50 at the Arkansas Invitational on Jan. 12. Sophomore Erin Cluiss (Forney, Texas) has the fourth best vault of the season with an 11-07.75.
Senior Linda Rosema (Azle, Texas) has the fifth best weight throw in SLC history with a throw of 55-06.25 earlier this year. The problem is Stephen F. Austin's Markeisha Edwards and Sam Houston State's Natalia Clark are ranked second and third, respectively, with throws better than 57-feet.
Junior Jodi Hulett (Arlington, Texas) and Ida Landgraff will anchor the middle distance and distance races for the Mavs. Landgraff, a sophomore from Oslo, Norway, has the second best 800 meter time this season with a 2:13.32. Teammate Carranda Mose (Pearland, Texas), a runner up in the 800 meters last indoor season, has the third fastest time with a 2:17.21.
In the field events, Latasha Watson (Harker Heights, Texas) is ranked third going into the weekend with a jump of 18-05. Angela Gonzales (Merkel, Texas) has the league's fourth best long jump with 18-04.25.