March 24, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas - The UT Arlington track and field teams enjoyed numerous standout performances, including one school record, in near-perfect conditions at the 36th running of the Bobby Lane Invitational Saturday at Maverick Stadium.
Junior Jeff Rodriguez, a Fort Worth native, established a new school record in the pole vault with a mark of 5.40 meters. He won the event by more than half a meter.
"I felt really good the whole time," Rodriguez said. "It was just clicking today. I knew I had it in me, and I just had to put it all together. It was really special to do it here at our home meet. I had my whole family here and a lot of friends who had never seen me pole vault. It was just a special day all around."
The men's 4x100-meter relay team of Quentin Butler, Andrew Pettis, Kemarki Absalom and Clayton Vaughn picked up an impressive win in 40.44. Vaughn, a first-team indoor All-American, chased down the reigning Mountain West Conference champion TCU team in the anchor leg for a come-from-behind win by one-hundredth of a second.
Vaughn continued his strong performance with a 10.37 sprint in the 100 meters, a figure that placed eighth among all competitors and second among collegians. Former TCU star and Olympic silver medalist Doc Patton won with a time of 10.04.
Another Maverick win came courtesy of freshman Emil Blomberg, who was victorious in the 3000-meter steeplechase in 9:14.50. Teammates Hance Loyd (9:49.40) and Aaron Purser (9:50.00) finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the event. All-American multi-event specialist Romain Martin placed third in the javelin with a toss of 59.26 meters. Later, Martin placed fifth in the collegiate 110-meter hurdles in 14.51.
Finally, Cody Widener had a fifth-place showing in the 5000 meters (14:57.83). On the women's side, Jennifer Brown netted a runner-up placement in the triple jump with a mark of 11.98 meters. She continued her strong day with a third-place showing in the long jump (5.83m).
The UTA women also performed well in the pole vault, as Sammy Nash placed third, one spot ahead of Julianne Burch. Both athletes cleared a height of 3.65 meters.
The 4x400 relay squad (Breonna Baldwin, Reynolds, Putman and Ashley Wright) placed third in 3:47.40. The team of LaDoreal Thompson, Kailey Bostic, Reynolds and Keondra Mallard placed fourth in the 4x100 (45.77).
The non-collegiate highlights of the meet came in the unattached 200 meters. For the men, Olympian Wallace Spearmon posted the fastest time in the world this year, a blistering 19.95. It was also a Maverick Stadium record, eclipsing the old mark of 20.15 set by Michael Johnson in 1993.
The women's 200 featured the fastest time in the world this year as well, as LaShauntea Moore cruised to a stadium record 22.94. Her mark broke the 1994 standard set by Beverly McDonald (23.02).
The men's race also included the second and third fastest times this year via fellow Olympians Jeremy Wariner and Jared Connaughton, a former UTA standout.
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