LAFAYETTE, La. (5/13/06) Add Sun Belt Conference Champion to the long list of accomplishments that Heather Wood has achieved since arriving with the North Texas track and field team.
The junior blew her competition out of the water with a school record shot put throw of 48-feet-4-inches, vaulting the North Texas women into first place with a score of 67.5 after two days of competition at the Sun Belt Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
With one day remaining, the Mean Green holds a 10 point advantage over indoor champion Western Kentucky.
Wood, who now owns the two best shot put throws in school history, can also lay claim to the 16th best toss in the region this year, and will represent the Mean Green at the NCAA Midwest Regional meet later this month.
Senior Ciji Brooks wasn’t far behind Wood, taking second place in the shot put. The current Sun Belt Track Athlete of the Week had a toss of 46-feet-8-inches.
Deidra Wesley hung on for a victory in the heptathlon with the second best mark in school history. The senior earned her second Sun Belt heptathlon title by racking up 4,966 points, 44 short of the provisional qualifying mark.
Frank Ngeno notched a victory in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, turning in the top time in the conference this season. The junior finished in 9:13.19, the fourth fastest time in school history. The Mean Green men sit in sixth place with 23 points heading into the final day of competition.
Heath Smith easily had the best shot put performance of his career on Saturday. The junior’s toss of 54-feet-6-3/4-inches, the fifth best in North Texas history, earned him a second place finish.
Ryan Hill and Wesley took first and second in the high jump, each clearing 5-feet-8-inches. The leap marks Hill’s first Sun Belt Championships and fifth all-conference nod.Wesley set the school record earlier this season and will represent the Mean Green at regionals.
The North Texas women sent three athletes to tomorrow’s 100-meter hurdles finals, more than any other school. Sophomore Arraine McWhinney, Brooks and Wesley will each represent the Mean Green on Sunday.
David Schwein will do the same in the men’s 200 and 400-meter dashes. The sophomore qualified fourth for both of tomorrow’s finals with a time of 21.66 in the 200 and 47.93 in the 400.
Temitayo Harriman also managed the fourth qualifying spot for the 800-meter run. The sophomore ran a personal best and the squad’s fastest time of the year, 1:53.25.
Indoor all-American Brandi Stanfield had a disappointing effort in her first Sun Belt Outdoor Championships, finishing second in the long jump with a leap of 19-feet-5-1/2-inches. The freshman, who qualified for regionals earlier this season, was short of her personal best by nearly a foot and a half.
Stanfield will compete in the triple jump in tomorrow’s finale of the Sun Belt Championships where she owns the nation’s fourth best mark.