Arlington, TX (04-02-05) - Mean Green sprinter Kory Williams ran the nation's third fastest time in the 400-meter hurdles, qualifying for the NCAA Regional Meet at the Arlington Invitational on Saturday.
The senior ran a 51.13, the second fastest finish in North Texas history and the top mark in the Sun Belt this season. This will be Williams' first trip to the regional meet.
"It was an unbelievable day for Kory and North Texas track and field," said Mean Green head track coach Rick Watkins."Kory has worked really hard throughout his entire career and he has put it all together this season."
The men's 4x100-meter relay also qualified for the regional meet with a second place finish. The team of David Schwein, Derek Logan, Brandon Irabor and Ryan Roberson finished in 40.63, the 16th fastest time in the country and tops in the Sun Belt.
Jessica Henderson set the school record in the hammer throw and recorded the second best discus throw in North Texas history. The senior's hammer throw of 143-09 (43.81m) earned her a fifth place finish. Henderson's discus toss of 146-07 (44.68m) was good for third place, and is the best throw in the conference this year by just under 10 feet. The two-time regional qualifier already owns the school record for the discus and the indoor 20-pound weight throw.
Rachel Runnels and Chi Chi Echebelem each achieved the fastest 200-meter times in the Sun Belt this season. Runnels and Echebelem finished back-to-back in eighth and ninth place and in times of 24.49 and 24.50 respectably. Both finishes are three tenths of a second faster than the conference's previous top time.
Deidra Wesley and Ryan Hill also set the conference's top mark in the high jump. The pair tied for fourth place with a leap of 5-05.75 (1.67m).
For the second straight meet, the Mean Green competed against world-record holder Jeremy Wariner. Running as an independent in the Arlington Invitational, Wariner ran the fourth fastest 200-meters in the world this year with a time of 20.52.
The Mean Green will return to action on Thursday, April 7 at the Texas Relays in Austin.