North Texas Track & Field Heads To MLK Jr. Invitational
Mean Green Send 23 Student-Athletes To Second Indoor Meet
DENTON – Coming off a successful first meet at Texas A&M last weekend, the North Texas track and field teams will send 23 student-athletes to the Dr. Martin Luther King Invitational hosted by New Mexico on Jan. 19-20 at the Albuquerque Convention Center.
The Mean Green will send nine athletes from the men’s team and 14 from the women’s team.
“We are only taking a select group of athletes to New Mexico this week,” head coach Carl Sheffield said. “We want to see continued improvement out of our younger athletes. We want to use these early competitions to evaluate their competition warmup and pre-performance routines.”
Senior Dominique Drayden will compete in the long jump and 60-meter dash. Sophomore Jacob Franks will take part in pole vault after coming in seventh last weekend. Sophomore Howard Grant is entered in the long jump and 60-meter dash. Senior Kevone Kennedy will throw in the weight throw. Freshman sprinter Darien Porter will make his Mean Green debut in the 60m and the 200-meter dash. Senior Zach Kirkland will run the mile. Graduate student Jaron Thomas will compete again in the 60-meter hurdles and 60m. Sophomore Jacob Kevetter will also take part in the 60m hurdles and 60m. Alford Tribble will run in the 200-meter dash and 60m.
On the women’s side, Susannah Lynch will make her indoor debut in the mile after having an outstanding cross country season. Freshman Valencia Bullock will compete in the long jump and 60-meter dash. Freshman Kiara Pickens will make her North Texas debut in the long jump and 60m. Freshman Sarah White will also make her collegiate debut in the 200-meter dash and 60m. Freshmen Jaleisa Shaffer and Haley Walker will both throw the shot put and weight throw.
Teams competing with the Mean Green at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational are: Azusa Pacific, Barton Community College, CSUN, Concordia Irvine, CSU Pueblo, Fresno State, Hardin-Simmons, Incarnate Word, New Mexico Highlands, New Mexico State, New Mexico Junior College, Ottawa University Arizona, San Francisco State, University of the Southwest, Trinidad State, UC Santa Barbara, UCLA, USC, UTEP, Western Texas College.
On Friday, Jan. 19, North Texas will start with the men’s pole vault at 4 p.m. and the final event will be the women’s 200 meter dash at 8:15 p.m.
The event will be completed on Day two on Saturday, Jan. 20, with the first event being the women’s shot put at 9:30 a.m.
Kirkland and Lynch will be the only distance runners to compete this weekend. The group got off to a fast start at the Texas A&M invitational, the men swept the 3000-meter run as senior Mike Lowe finished first followed by freshman Jack Beaumont and sophomore Florian Lussy in third. Junior Baylee Nelson won the women’s mile and senior Victoria Junious came in third in the 800-meter run. Senior Christina Moralez was second in the women’s 3000m run.
“We have an experienced group of distance runners returning this year,” Sheffield said. “Senior Mike Lowe was a member of the first Conference USA Cross Country championship here. He’s really setting an example for the younger, new guys.”