NEW ORLEANS, La.- For the second time in three years the North Texas men's track and field team has won the Sun Belt Conference Championship. Led by Ryan high school product David Turner's NCAA provisional qualifying time of 46.23 in the 400 meter dash, the Mean Green held off Louisiana-Lafayette to win with 148.25 points, just 1.75 more points than the 146.50 of the Ragin Cajuns.
"We knew coming in that it was going to come down to a point or two, and we fought hard for every point that we got," said North Texas head coach Rick Watkins. "We had a lot of great performances from some of our young guys like Jarrod Stone and Chris Mordecai that really helped us".
Watkins was named Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year for the second time in three years.
The title is the 13th in school history for the men and the second most points in a conference championship in school history. On the women's side the Lady Eagles had their best performance in school history as well racking up 118.5 points to finish in third place. The third place finish is the best since 1987 and the 118.5 points are the most points in school history. New Mexico State won the women's championship with 138 points.
Individually for North Texas on the men's side freshman Ryan Lancon and Chris Mordecai finished first and second respectively in the pole vault. True freshman Jarrod Stone turned in a great performance in the high jump clearing 6-6 to finish in second place. Turner's time in the 400 meters was the second fastest in school history earning him the provisional qualifying mark.
For the women Latrecia Taylor won the shot put with a toss of 44-3.25, the second best in school history. Lisa Helm and Stephanie Allen finished first and second in the 400 meter hurdles. Helm's time of 1:00.89 is also the second best in school history.