DENTON, Texas (1/19/05) The North Texas track and field team is itching to get out of Denton.
The Mean Green has been running on the same track against the same people for the last few months, and the team is keyed up for its chance to finally face some new competition.
North Texas will get its shot this weekend at the season opening Texas Tech Invitational in Lubbock.
“The kids can’t wait to get out there and run against real competition,” said head coach Rick Watkins. “We have a great group of young athletes that I think can make a big impact this season.”
The Mean Green returns the men’s Sun Belt Champion 4x100 and 4x400-meter relay teams as well as the record-setting women’s relays nearly intact for 2006. David Schwein, Brandon Irabor and Johnny Quinn represented the Mean Green in the 4x100 relay at conference, while Logan, Schwein and Kelvin Wright return for the 4x400 team that missed the NCAA National Meet by four-tenths of a second. Both relays competed at regionals and posted some of the best finishes the program has ever seen.
The women’s relay teams assaulted the record books in 2005. Rachael Runnels, Chastidy Russell and Chi Chi Echebelem broke the school 4x100-meter relay record twice last season. The 4x400 team returns Echebelem, Racquel Hudson and Chrystal Mitchell after also shattering the school record on two occasions.
Two of the most versatile athletes in school history return for their final seasons at North Texas. Deidra Wesley and Ciji Brooks have combined to notch five school records and seven individual conference championships. Wesley currently holds school records in the high jump, pentathlon and heptathlon, earning a birth in the NCAA National Championships in the latter. Wesley has accounted for seven All-Sun Belt selections.
Brooks is often referred to as the fastest shot putter in the nation. With the two best shot put throws and four of the five best 100-meter hurdles times in school history, she isn’t likely to encounter an argument on that claim. The senior has racked up eight all-conference nods and has participated in both events at the NCAA Regional Meet in each of the last two seasons.
The Mean Green has had recent success in season openers. The women’s team was victorious in the 2005 opener, bringing home four gold medals and setting a new school record in the weight throw in the first place finish at the OU Indoor Classic.