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By Paul Watley | @WatP7
ARLINGTON, Texas - Another championship-filled year for UT Arlington cross country and track and field resulted in a pair of Sun Belt titles, bringing head coach John Sauerhage's total to an astounding 27 team conference championships between the indoor, outdoor and cross country seasons.
The women's cross country team kicked off the championship run as it claimed its first league title since 2001 and the program's fifth ever at the 2014 SBC Championships. With 51 points, the Mavericks edged Appalachian State (60) and Arkansas State (64).
"The ladies executed a race plan perfectly and had a heroic effort," Sauerhage said. "They deserve to be champions. I couldn't be any prouder of them."
Katelyn Hayward paced the women's team, finishing fifth overall with a 5k time of 17:16.5. She earned first-team All-SBC accolades after leading a pack of Mavericks who placed in the top 12.
Finishing on Hayward's heels was Gabriela Alfonzo, who placed sixth (17:17.4) to snag second-team all-league plaudits. Joining Alfonzo on the second team was Ashly Wright, who came in eighth (17:26.7). Hannah Nilsson earned third-team mention (11th, 17:35.8).
UTA's final point scorer was Tori Shelton, who finished in the 21st position in 17:51.7. The other members of the victorious Mavs were Tamerah Gorham (25th, 18:09.2), Sydney Hampton (40th, 18:47.6) and Courtney Mose (67th, 20:12.7).
The men's track and field team capped off the 2014-15 year with a championship at the 2015 SBC Outdoor Championship. The title marked the 10th outdoor title for UTA and the fifth under Sauerhage. It also served as the first time since 1996-97 that UTA claimed back-to-back crowns.
"We came through with clutch performances in every event area," Sauerhage said. "That's the fun thing about having a complete team. It wasn't one area. It was everyone. Up and down the line we had great performances. We stepped it up. Every coach had heroes we are proud of on both sides."
Clayton Vaughn registered the most impressive performance of the day, clocking a winning time of 9.93 in the 100-meter finals. His time shattered his own school record (10.07) and established a new meet record. At the time it ranked as the third-fastest time in the NCAA behind times of 9.87 (wind reading of +4.0) and 9.90 (wind reading of +3.3). Vaughn's clocking occurred with a wind reading of +1.7, making it recognized by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) as the eighth-fastest time in the world in 2015. The IAAF only accepts times with wind ratings under +2.0.
UTA iced the victory by dominating the evening's 5000-meter run. Craig Lautenslager earned an individual conference title in the event with a clocking of 14:37.19. Teammates Eric Ojeda (14:41.05) and Michael Guerrero (14:43.31) were third and fourth, respectively.
The men's other title came courtesy of the 4x100 relay team (Vaughn, Cameron Newson, Quentin Butler and Tarik Crear),which ran a 39.68, which is just .15 off a school record.