FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas (2/13/09) On the first day of the Tyson Invitational, North Texas was led by freshman sprinter Keyth Talley, who finished third in the finals of the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.75 Friday afternoon.
Talley was unable to improve upon his record-breaking performance (6.74) last week in Houston but still showed the consistency that is pleasing to head coach Rick Watkins and the rest of the coaching staff.
“He (Talley) didn’t show an improvement in time but it shows great things for him to have consistent races week after week,” Watkins said. “That usually indicates that the really big race is coming.”
Reigning all-conference indoor sprinter Ciara Smith had her first action of the season and ran a 55.55 in the 400-meter dash. Smith, who set the school record in the 400m last season (55.13), is battling back from injury and showed promising signs with her performance on Friday.
“She really ran a controlled race and made it look easy,” Watkins said. “I think she is getting confident that she can open it up now.”
The Mean Green also had season-best performances from Shayla Hart (57.12) and Montrell Pyron (48.77) in the 400-meters. Overall North Texas continued to makes strides on Friday despite dealing with a big-atmosphere event.
“Our day went pretty good,” Watkins said. “Our kids competed well and handled the warmup situation really good, which is always a challenge at a big indoor meet. The warmup area is over at the indoor football field, so we had to shuttle them back and forth. They maintained their focus and it was not an issue.”
The Mean Green will be back in action tomorrow, participating in the high jump, women’s pole vault, 200-meters and 4X400 relays. Competition begins at 11 a.m. from the University of Arkansas.