DENTON (4/27/06) A couple of North Texas shot putters proved quite a pair on Thursday at the Jason’s Deli Mean Green Twilight at Fouts Field.
Heather Wood and Ciji Brooks made the most of the beautiful spring weather by each capturing NCAA Regional qualifying marks in a back-to-back finish.
Wood, whose throw of 48-feet-3-1/4-inches snapped the school record, made North Texas’ all-time mark her own in just her fifth meet with the Mean Green. The Georgia transfer’s second place throw is the 16th best in the region this year, and gives her four of the top seven throws in school history.
The junior’s toss breaks the previous school record held by Brooks. The senior, who also finished second in the 100-meter hurdles, earned third place with a throw of 47-feet-2-1/2-inches. Brooks now owns the second and third best throws in Mean Green history.
Aside from swapping the school record, the duo now also sits atop the Sun Belt rankings with the top two shot put throws in the conference this season.
Another Mean Green pair took control of the high jump, bringing home a second and third place finish. Freshman Toby Edwards notched a career-best leap of 6-feet-8-3/4-inches, and junior Mark Lee finished third with the same mark.
Brandi Stanfield picked up the first outdoor triple jump gold medal of her career. The indoor All-American leaped 42-feet-6-inches, the second best in school history, for the win. The freshman set the nation’s fifth best jump of 2006 earlier this year and currently owns the 27th best long jump in the world this year.
It was quite a night for the North Texas sprint relays, as both the men and women finished first with regional qualifying times. The women’s squad of Chastidy Russell, Rachael Runnels, Keisha Hornsby and Chi Chi Echeblem won with a time of 45.62.
The men’s relay came down to the wire as Mean Green anchor Johnny Quinn nudged out the Stephen F. Austin team by three-hundredths of a second. David Schwein, Ryan Roberson, Brandon Irabor and Quinn finished with a time of 40.82.
North Texas made short work of the other sprint events, capturing a 1-2-3 sweep in the 100 meters and five of the top six places in the 200. Rachael Runnels led the Mean Green in both events, earning gold in the 100 with a time of 24.26. Chi Chi Echebelem and Keisha Hornsby finished second and third in the 100 with times of 24.31 and 24.77.
In the 200-meter dash, Runnels led the charge again as the top collegiate finisher. The sophomore crossed with a time of 11.89. Keisha Hornsby came in third with a time of 11.95, while Lisa Nolting finished fourth in 12.06. Ronniqua Wilson and Chastidy Russell came in fourth and fifth respectively, with times of 12.11 and 12.13.
A program not traditionally known for its middle distance prowess, the Mean Green proved otherwise on Thursday with a photo-finish sweep in the 800-meter run. Temitayo Harriman fought off teammate Patrick Cotton in a tight finish to earn the win. Harriman, a sophomore, crossed the line in 1:56.37, followed by the freshman only two-hundredths of a second behind.
A pair of Fouts Field records also fell on Thursday. Gaelle Niare of SMU notched a new stadium high jump record with a leap of 6-feet, breaking the eight-year-old mark set by Jessica Johnson in May of 1998.
Mary Davies of Oklahoma State rewrote the 5,000 meter record with her time of 16:45.72, snapping the Marni Kruppa’s mark set during the 1999 USA Track & Field Junior Nationals.
The Mean Green returns to action in its final tune-up meet before the Sun Belt Championships at the UT-Arlington Open on May 6.