UTA TRACK AND FIELD TEAMS HEAD TO CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Feb. 19, 2009
ARLINGTON, Tx. - The UTA men's and women's track and field teams are getting set for the Southland Conference Indoor Championships in Houston this Friday and Saturday (Feb. 20 and 21).
Both teams are coming off of strong performances at last week's Texas A&M Invitational where the women's 4x400 relay team broke a 15-year old school record and a number of athletes set season best marks.
"Our athletes understand they need to set qualifying marks and have to at least beat others they have during the season," assistant coach Brandon Berger said. "We have stressed to them we have to qualify Friday if we are going to have a chance on Saturday because the prelims are actually more important than the finals."
On the men's side head coach John Sauerhage will be looking for a number of his consistant performers to score points for the team.
Sprinters Cordero Gray and Jarid Vaughan have continued to improve on their times each week of the season. Gray ran a 6.76 in the 60 meters last week at College Station and Vaughan has been the top 200 meter sprinter for the Mavs all spring.
Andrew Duncan posted a personal best in the long jump last week and is another athlete the coaching staff will be looking to score a good deal of points.
"Andrew Duncan set his all-time best in the long jump at Texas A&M," Berger said. "For him to have already done that this early in the indoor season is huge. He also set his personal triple-jump best this past weekend at Texas A&M and he is just a ¼ from his personal best in the high jump.
"He could possibly score 30 points," Berger added. "But he will for sure score 20 something points and should be our top scorer."
On the women's side, sprinter Jasmine Walls is the one athlete to watch.
"Jasmine will probably be our top performer on the women's side," Berger said. "She has done well in the 60 and the 200 all season. She could probably come home with 20 points."
The UTA women's 4x400 meter relay team of Tonya Hopkins, Clarissa Toomer, Megan Turner and Brittany Culbertston broke a 15-year old record at the Texas A&M Invitational in College Station. The team posted a time of 3:45.98 which was two and half seconds faster than the old record. The previous mark was 3:48.37 set in 1994 by the team of Tara Ford, Brenna Odell, Roselyn Shanklin and Gwen Clardy.