ABILENE, Texas (3/28/08) Fighting cold and rainy weather, as well as two top track and field programs, the North Texas track and field team tallied seven first place finishes and one regional qualifying mark Friday night at the Abilene Christian Triangular.
After taking a week off to recover from the NCAA Indoor Championships, Lauren Wiggins finished first in the 100-meter hurdles and posted a regional qualifying time clocking in at 13.88. It is the second consecutive season that the junior hurdler has qualified for the outdoor regional meet.
Wiggins becomes the third North Texas athlete this season to qualify for the 2008 NCAA Midwest Regionals scheduled for May 30-31 in Lincoln, Neb. Jermaine Jamison and Brandi Stanfield both posted regional qualifying marks last week at the Horned Frog Invitational.
“We really weren’t at our best, but considering the conditions, we had a few pretty good marks today,” said head track and field coach Rick Watkins. “The important thing was to realize that everyone was running in the same type of weather, so we just needed to get in there and compete. I felt that we did a pretty good job of that.”
Five of the seven top finishes came by way of the North Texas women’s team. Ciara Smith, Racquel Hudson, Alana Tyler and Shelley Hollingsworth, along with Wiggins, all finished first in their respective events.
Temitayo Harriman, a junior from McKinney, Texas, earned the gold in the men’s 800-meter run with a time of 1:53.25. Layne Farmer earned his first collegiate first place finish, clearing 6-06.00 to take top honors in the high jump.
The North Texas track and field team will be back in action next week as the Mean Green travel to Austin, Texas to compete in the 81st annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. The three-day meet is set to begin Wednesday, April 2, at noon with the decathlon.
"The Texas Relays is a prestigious event with a very exciting atmosphere," Watkins said. "We won't run too many events, but I feel like we'll be able to do well in the events we compete in."