Day One Recap
JONESBORO, Arkansas (3/1/09) The University of North Texas men’s and women’s track team both placed fifth respectively at the Sun Belt Conference Indoor Championships in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
The Mean Green women finished the two-day championships with 73 total points. Western Kentucky took the women’s team championships, with Middle Tennessee edging out the Mean Green by 20 points for second overall.
Meanwhile the men finished with 69 points while Middle Tennessee took the crown with 131 points.
North Texas was missing the services of sophomore sprinter Alysha Adams, who was unable to compete with the flu. Also, senior Toby Edwards was limited after severely spraining his ankle during this past week.
“We had a good meet this weekend considering some of the unfortunate things that happened this past week,” North Texas head coach Rick Watkins said. “I know there’s no way we’re the fifth best team in the conference but that’s what the final score shows.”
The women had one individual and one team conference title on Sunday. Lauren Wiggins ran a 7.92 to win the 55-meter hurdles and the combination of Shayla Hart, Monica Dunn, Chrystal Mitchell and Ciara Smith took home first place in the women’s 4X400 relay with a time of 3:47.91.
Wiggins won all-conference honors in the 55-meter hurdles for the second straight season. Last year she also won the event in Murfreesboro, Tennessee with a time of 7.74. It is also the second consecutive season that the women have won the 4X400 relay.
“I think our last couple events were a foreshadow for our indoor season,” Watkins said. “We had a couple of replacements in there in the women’s 4X400 and we still showed some heart and determination and it really shows how competitive this team is.”
Smith also earned all-conference honors after she finished third in the 400-meter dash in a time of 55:53. This marks the second straight season the junior from Round Rock, Texas has earned indoor all-conference. In the field events senior Shauna Shepherd highlighted the day by breaking the school record with a fifth place performance in the weight throw (56-03.75)
On the men’s side freshman Keyth Talley was named the Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year after placing second in the men’s 200-meter dash with a time of 21.64. He also just missed out on all-conference honors in the 55-meter dash after placing fourth (6.40).
The men's 4X400 backed up what the women's team did by winning the edging Western Kentucky for first place. The tandem of Darnell Greig, Montrell Pyron, Reggie Hayter and Talley ran in a season-best time of 3:16.45 was good enough to win by one-one hundreth of a second over the Hilltoppers.
Jordan Wehr also re-broke his own school record in the heptathlon with 5156 points and a second place finish.
North Texas also got all-conference honors from senior Josh Papagno and sophomore Hayter. Papagno placed third in the pole vault with the height of 16-00.75 while Hayter was also third in the men’s 800-meter run in a time of 1:57.28.
“Now we pretty much close the doors on the indoor season and move towards our strength outdoors,” Watkins said. “We’re a much better team outside and we’re looking forward to that starting next week.”