The TCU Horned Frog Invitational begins today
March 19, 2010
ARLINGTON, Texas - UT Arlington track and field returns to action starting today at the TCU Horned Frog Invitational. This marks the beginning of the outdoor season.
The Mavericks were led by All-Americans Cordero Gray and Jasmine Walls throughout the indoor season. They were the most consistent runners and both posted their personal best in the 60 meter dash. Gray also ran his personal best in the 200 meter dash.
The Southland conference indoor championship was a good measuring stick for both the men's and women's teams. The women climbed out of sixth place to finish second behind back-to-back champion Stephen F. Austin, while the men finished fourth overall.
The women could not have done as well as they did without some help from someone not named Jasmine Walls. Shannon Reynolds and Antonia Hopkins were part of the reason the women were dominant on day two. Walls, Reynolds and Hopkins finished within the top four in the 200 meter dash. The Mavericks also had four runners place within the top six in the 400 meter dash.
Although the men did not place as high, they still had their share of standout performances. Wade Hayes set the meet record in the pole vault. Adolphus Jones won the heptathlon and then came back to set the meet record in the high jump. Dwight Robinson finished first in the 800 meter run and Cordero Gray placed second in the 60 meter dash.
This is the kind of push that the coaches were looking for to try and jump-start the outdoor season.
"The guys are pretty hyped about pushing the indoor season out of the way and having a bigger breakthrough outdoor season," said assistant coach Jordan Durham. "The women didn't know they could do it. That was the biggest thing. They did a phenomenal job."
Coach Durham also stressed the fact that they have been training with a heavy load recently to try and bring out the best from each runner. Although the fastest times might not come today, they will come by the end of the season.
"The first meet we kind of train through," Durham said. "We are doing a lot more heavy training than we did for the conference meet. I still expect to see some fast times though."
That applies to Gray and Walls as well. They are considered the leaders on the team and are always expected to do their best. Grays motivation comes from another athlete in the southland conference. Gray would like nothing more than to beat UT San Antonio product Teddy Williams in all of their events. Walls will try and maintain her titles of high point scorer at the conference meet.
"Jasmine was very happy to get high point scorer again and Southland conference indoor athlete of the year," Durham said. "Cordero is definitely attacking every workout I give him. He has big plans and is a team player. He's a competitor."
The outdoor season opens up more events for the men to score points in. Look for Ivan Storic to excel in the javelin and potentially test his hand in other throwing events. Watch for the men to really compete in the relays that are now available.
But just like the conference championship meet, success cannot be made by two individuals. The Mavericks will need breakout performances from the men and the women for them to be the best that they can.
This weekend may not be the best measuring stick, but it is an opportunity for those that now know they have the ability to run with the best to impress.