Track & Field Earns Five Gold Medals At SBC Championships

Final Results
Day One Recap
Day Two Recap

DENTON, Texas (5/11/08) The University of North Texas track and field team moved up in the team standings during the third and final day of the Sun Belt Outdoor Track and Field Championships, but were unable to catch eventual conference champions, Western Kentucky.

 

Despite coming into Sunday’s events in sixth, the North Texas women’s track and field team finished second overall with 115 points. The Mean Green men moved up three spots to take fourth place in the team standings. Western Kentucky won both the men’s and women’s team titles.

 

“When the day started, we were pretty far behind, but our kids never gave up and just kept pushing forward,” said head track and field coach Rick Watkins. “I couldn’t be any more proud of the effort put forth by our kids today.”

 

North Texas took home a total of five gold medals, including one in both the men’s and women’s 4X400 relay. The quartet of Shayla Hart, Chi Chi Echebelem, Chrystal Mitchell and Ciara Smith set a regional qualifying time of 3:39.89 pulling away from South Alabama in the final 100 meters of the race. Their time also broke a 13-year-old Fouts Field record in the 4X400 set by Baylor in 1995.

 

The men’s foursome of Darnell Greig, Ryan Varner, Montrell Pyron and Kelvin Wright edged out ULM for the gold medal in the 4X400. In what looked like a replay of the women’s 4X400 that had just taken place five minutes earlier, Wright caught and passed Western Kentucky's Mikhail Barton in the final 50-meters to give the Mean Green the victory.

“Both Ciara (Smith) and Kelvin (Wright) did exactly what you want your anchor leg to do,” Watkins said. “Many inexperienced athletes will try and blow by a runner on the back-stretch, but they did exactly what they needed to do to win the race. They waited until they were around the last curve and then made their move down the home-stretch.”

Alysha Adams continued her stellar performance at the 2008 SBC Outdoor Championships. Adams, who won the silver yesterday in the heptathlon, won the 100-meter hurdles and was the lead-leg for the NT 4X100 relay team that placed second with a new regional mark of 45.45. Adams was responsible for 26 of the Mean Green’s 115 points.

Not to be outdone, another North Texas freshman, Jermaine Jamison, cleared 6-08.75 to take home the individual title in the men’s high jump. Teammate Toby Edwards placed third with a mark of 6-06.75.

 

After finishing second last season in the 800-meter run at the conference championships, Temitayo Harriman was determined to walk away with nothing but the gold. Harriman led from start to finish in the 800 meters to take home top honors with a time of 1:54.30. Harriman punched his ticket to the NCAA Midwest Regionals because of the first place finish.

 

In all, North Texas tallied 19 all-conference performances. The Mean Green has now qualified for regionals in 14 events; the most since 2003 when North Texas sent 23 athletes to compete in 20 events during the first year of the NCAA Regionals.

“I feel really confident that we’ve got some athletes who are going to make some noise at the regional meet,” Watkins said. “We should be able to score and compete for the top spot in several events.”

  SBC Outdoor Track & Field Medalists

 Men's Standings

 Women's Standings

 Sun Belt Conference Champion   1) Western Kentucky - 144  1) Western Kentucky - 143
 Alysha Adams (100m Hurdles)  2) Middle Tennessee - 124  2) North Texas - 115
 Jermaine Jamison (High Jump)  3) Troy - 99.50  3) Middle Tennessee - 109
 Temitayo Harriman (800m Run)  4) North Texas - 98  4) Troy -  101
 Women's 4X400 Relay  5) Arkansas State - 91  5) South Alabama - 82
 Men's 4X400 Relay  6) ULM - 74  6) ULM - 72
 7) UALR - 68  7) Florida Atlantic - 61.50
 Silver  8) UL-Lafayette - 49  8) UL-Lafayette - 44
 Billy Giano (1500m Run)  9) South Alabama - 41

 9) Florida Int'l - 41

 Rachael Runnels (100m Dash)  10) Fla Int'l - 29.50

10) Arkansas State - 34

 Ciara Smith (400m Dash)  

11) UALR - 14.50

 Alysha Adams (Heptathlon) 

   
 Ryan Varner (200m Dash)    
 Shelley Hollingsworth (Pole Vault)    
 Women's 4X100 Relay    
   
 Bronze    
 Toby Edwards (High Jump)    
 Alana Tyler (Hammer Throw)      
 Men's 4X100 Relay       
 Rachael Runnels (200m Dash)    
 Ryan Varner (400m Dash)     
 Toby Zelt (Pole Vault)      
 Lauren Wiggins (100m Dash)     


 

 

North Texas Mean Green