DENTON, Texas (4/30/09) The North Texas track and field team closed out the 2009 regular season in style, claiming 12 first place finishes and 13 NCAA Regional qualifying marks Thursday at the fifth annual Mean Green Twilight.
“This was probably one the best days we’ve had since I’ve been here,” North Texas head coach Rick Watkins said. “I don’t think we’ve ever set that many regional qualifying times in one day. For most teams that’s a good season.”
Freshman sprinter Keyth Talley saved his best for last by with two first place season-high marks in the 100-meter dash (10.35) and the 200-meter dash (20.74) respectively. Both times were NCAA Regional qualifying marks, his fifth and sixth individual qualifying times of the season.
North Texas also had impressive performances from sprinters C.J. Fowler (10.55) and Byron Washington (10.54). Both had season-best times in the 100-meter dash and set NCAA Regional qualifying times. Fowler also qualified in the 200-meter dash with a third place finish (21.31).
Just as they did last week, seniors Brock Stickler and Lauren Wiggins re-broke their own school records. Stickler, who had set the record last week in Norman, set the new standard at 182-03 with the second place finish. Wiggins also finished second in the 100-meter hurdles (13.47) but still managed to break her old record of 13.50 and set her fourth NCAA Regional qualifying time of the season.
One mark that had been eluding North Texas also season long, up until Thursday, was the women’s 4X100 meter relay. Finally though, the combination of Wiggins, Brittani Simmons, Alysha Adams and Kelli Johnson nailed it on the last attempt with a time of 45.55 and a first-place finish.
Adams also gained a qualifying time for the second week in a row in the 100-meter hurdles with a second-place time of 13.61.
Jordan Wehr won the men's pole vault with his first regional qualifying time of the season (16-06.75) and Ashley Austin also had a season-best mark in the long jump to win first place and set a regional qualifying mark of 20-03.50. Senior Ryan Varner also picked up his first regional qualifying time in the 200-meter dash with a season-best finish of 21.10.
North Texas will take part in the Sun Belt Conference Championships May 8-10 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. You can keep up with all the action at www.meangreensports.com and www.sunbeltsports.org.