LAFAYETTE, La. - North Texas women's track & field captured its first Sun Belt Conference Championship since 2005 in thrilling fashion on Sunday evening, winning the final event of the night to seal the victory.
After losing the 2012 SBC Indoor Championship in the final race, the NT team of Jamila Cartwright, Ashley Harrison, Chastity Stewart and Kendria Burton won the 4x400-meter relay by almost two seconds over second place finisher FAU and almost five seconds over the second overall team, Western Kentucky for the 121-117 win.
"This truly was a complete team effort," said head coach Carl Sheffield. "Every single girl on this team helped us get to this point and I'm proud to say we're Sun Belt Conference Champions again."
The Mean Green overtook the lead from South Alabama following the 800-meter run when Senior Sara Dietz and Jo Adams took second and third to give North Texas 14 points in the event.
Dietz and Adams also earned themselves All-Sun Belt Conference honors in the 1,500-meter run earlier in the day, taking first and second respectively.
The lead would grow from there until the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky, who have won the last six Sun Belt Outdoor Championships, pulled even with the Mean Green with one event remaining after the 5,000-meter run.
Ashley Starks stepped up into the spotlight in the 100-meter hurdles, taking second-place in 13.62 seconds, a personal best time. She also nabbed a fourth-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles.
Sheffield was named the Women's Sun Belt Coach of the Year for the second time this season for his team's performance.
Steven White, who entered the weekend at No. 4 in the NCAA in the 400-hurdles, took home first in 50.68 seconds.
Clinton Collins joined White on the podium for the men, securing a second-place finish in the 400-meter dash in 46.49 seconds.
Freshman Austin Yaeger scored the first points in his career when he crossed the line in fourth place in the 800-meter run.
The Mean Green men finished seventh overall.
North Texas track & field will be back in action when it sends qualified athletes to the NCAA Preliminary Rounds in Austin, Texas, May 24-26.