April 6, 2012
NATCHITOCHES, La. - Junior pole vaulter Jeff Rodriguez broke a 34-year-old meet record to highlight the day for UT Arlington at the Leon Johnson Northwestern State Invitational Friday.
Rodriguez cleared the bar at 17-feet, 6 ½ inches to eclipse a mark that was established in 1978. His clearance was just 1 ½ inches shy of his school record in the event. That proved to be one of four wins for the UTA men, while the women added one individual victory as well.
The Mavericks went 1-2 in the men's 800 meters, as Anthony Hilliman (1:54.18) nipped teammate Anthony Rene (1:54.31) at the line. The other victory on the track came courtesy of Hance Loyd, who posted a time f 9:38.63 in the 3000-meter steeplechase.
Meanwhile, in the high jump, Kemarki Absalom topped the charts with a mark of 6-04.75.
On the women's side, Ashly Wright took home the title in the 800 meters with a clocking of 2:14.08. She also was on the 4x400 relay squad (with Breonna Baldwin, Courtney Blacknall, and Jennifer Bassett) that grabbed a runner-up finish in 3:51.82.
In the field events, the Mavs had a pair of 2-3 finishes. Julianne Burch (12-03.50) and Sammy Nash (11-09.75) were strong in the pole vault, while Shae Johnson (37-10.75) and Eld-hah Kaswatuka (37-09.25) medaled in the triple jump.
Samantha Little also had a strong effort in the discus with a toss of 141-feet, 8 inches to place third.
Back on the track, UTA had runner-up finishes in the 400 meters with Courtney Blacknall (57.64) and in the 1500 meters from Hannah Nilsson (4:41.85). Kailey Bostic snagged third place in the 200 meters with a time of 24.91.
UTA returns to action next Saturday at the Texas Invitational in Austin.
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