May 12, 2014
DENTON, Texas - North Texas track and field sprint specialists Clinton Collins and Marcus Wooten will finish their senior seasons at the Conference USA Outdoor Championship, which begins Thursday, May 15.
“Going into the conference championship, we have several sprinters ranked high on the conference performance list,” said head coach Carl Sheffield. “On the men’s side, Clinton Collins and Collin Heard have a good chance of being finalists, along with Marcus Wooten in the hurdles.”
Collins holds the Mean Green’s fourth and fifth all-time performance in the 400m run, after last year’s 46.43 at the Sun Belt Conference Championship. As a junior, he qualified for the NCAA Division I West Preliminary Round in his first year under Sheffield.
“There has been a lot of change in coaching philosophy from what Collins and Wooten started with two years prior to me being here,” Sheffield said. “For them to accept my philosophy full force and adapt to a different program, I’ve seen them significantly improve over the past two years. They really accepted the changes and it’s shown. I wish I had more time with them, with the possibility to make them even more successful on the track.”
North Texas holds several of the top-12 spots in the women’s 200m and 400m, and, with progression seen over the past few weeks, they have an opportunity to rise higher at the C-USA championships hosted by the Rice Owls.
“Our breakthrough sprinters this season are Nadiyah El-Amin
and Ashley Henry
,” Sheffield said. “Henry is grasping her new event this year, the 400m dash. She had a personal-best last week in Austin, and, although she has had some difficulties with a new race, the possibilities of moving up in both the 200m and 400m are very likely. These two are looking for positive experiences at the championships.”
Henry posted a personal-best of 54.96 at the Longhorn Invitational, and, after improving each time she raced this season, she looks to be a key competitor in the 400m.
“We will be stronger contenders in the outdoor championship then we were this indoor season, with the chance to continue moving up and improving our spots, as we have been doing each time we compete. We are ready for the intensity that the conference championship brings in the sprint events.”
The Mean Green’s Chastity Stewart is taking on both hurdles events. The sophomore only focused on the 100m hurdles last season, but is in a position to final in the 400m hurdles, in which she holds the school record (59.65).
“We look forward to improving in Conference USA,” Sheffield said. “It is such a competitive conference for sprints and hurdles, and we’ve recognized that we have to do better, starting by being more competitive within our team. We are looking forward to the challenge, and, with several athletes returning next year, we realize that we have to step up majorly to perform at that level.”