Youthful Mean Green Track & Field Set For Indoor Season
Competitive Indoor Season Begins Jan. 12
DENTON – The North Texas track and field teams enter the 2018 season with 50 underclassmen, which signifies a youth movement that begins with a trip to Texas A&M on Jan. 12.
“We have really been working on improving the quality of our training sessions for our young team,” head coach Carl Sheffield said. “The women’s team has become very balanced with the young women filling in some much-needed depth. It will be exciting to see how they will perform in their first collegiate season.”
Sophomores Kristyn Archuleta and Breanna Eckels both earned trips to the NCAA West Preliminary round last season for the women’s team. Archuleta was named Conference USA Freshman of the Year after winning the javelin title at the C-USA outdoor championships last season. Her school-record throw of 49.39 meters at the outdoor championship qualified her for the NCAA West Preliminary round. Eckels was named Freshman of the Meet at the C-USA indoor championships after a first-place finish in long jump. She finished second at the C-USA outdoor championships in long jump, earning all-conference honors.
In hurdles and jumps, the women’s team will rely on multiple underclassmen with Eckels the only sophomore in the group. Freshmen Jazzman Clare and Lyric Choice will lead the hurdles group. Valencia Bullock will be competing in the triple jump as a freshman.
“Bullock has shown early promise in her training,” Sheffield said. “She was the Texas 6A state runner up in the triple jump as a senior at Mansfield Lake Ridge High School.”
The Mean Green men’s team will have seven seniors to lead the team in Dominique Drayden, Mike Lowe, Kevone Kennedy, Rick Nally, Gabriel McAdams, Alford Tribble and Zach Kirkland. Colorado transfer Jaron Thomas is expected to make an immediate impact as a graduate student in hurdles and will be part of the distance medley relay team.
The team has scheduled four indoor meets, including the C-USA Championships hosted in Birmingham. North Texas opens the season with the Texas A&M Invitational followed by a trip to the Cherry & Black Invitational hosted by New Mexico on Jan. 19-20. The Mean Green will head to Texas Tech for their indoor meet on Jan. 26-27 and participate in the JD Martin Invitational hosted by Oklahoma for the second-straight year.
“We want to use the early competitions to get the young athletes experience on the banked indoor tracks,” Sheffield said. Our conference championship will be contested on a similar banked track in Birmingham. Our goal is to continue to improve in daily training sessions, which we hope will develop their confidence for competing at higher level competitions.”
This will be the final season of training at Fouts Field with the brand new track and field stadium set to be completed this summer.