DENTON, Texas (5/7/08) The University of North Texas track and field team will host the 2008 Sun Belt Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships this weekend at Fouts Field.
The three-day championships will begin Friday at 9 a.m. with the men’s decathlon. It is the first time since 2004 that North Texas has hosted the meet when the women’s team finished second, while the North Texas men tallied a fourth place overall finish.
“It’s definitely an exciting time,” said head track and field coach Rick Watkins. “We’ve been improving and getting faster each week throughout the season. If we run the way I know we’re capable of running, we’ll be just fine.”
After sweeping the 2007 Sun Belt Indoor Track and Field Championships, WKU has been picked by the league’s head coaches to take both the men’s and women’s titles. The Mean Green women were picked to finish second behind the Hilltoppers, while the North Texas men were selected to tally a fourth place finish.
Lauren Wiggins, who currently is ranked first in the 100 meter hurdles and third in the 100-meter dash, will join freshman Alysha Adams as the leaders of the North Texas team. Adams is right behind Wiggins in the 100-meter hurdles in second place. Wiggins and Adams are the only Division I teammates to be ranked 1-2 in their respective conference in 100-meter hurdles.
In addition, the North Texas 4x400 meter relay team will hope to improve from second place to first place this weekend by improving their time and posting an NCAA regional qualifying time.
Brandi Stanfield and Alana Tyler will lead the North Texas field athletes this week. Stanfield is first in the long jump and second in the triple jump and Tyler is second in the hammer throw and seventh in the discus.
On the men’s side, North Texas currently has the top two marks in the high jump. Toby Edwards and Jermaine Jamison have both posted regional qualifying marks this season. Edwards, a junior from Athens, Texas, leads the way with a jump of 7-00.50 he recorded two weeks back at the Mean Green Twilight. Jamison’s best mark came during the first week of the season when the freshman from Killeen, Texas cleared 6-10.75 to take home first place honors at the Horned Frog Invite.
The North Texas ticket office will open for the running events on Saturday and Sunday starting at 5 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for youth on Saturday and $9 for adults and $6 for youth on Sunday. Admission to Friday’s events will be free.