DENTON, Texas (5/17/08) The men’s 4X100 relay team and Ryan Varner both posted new regional qualifying marks for the University of North Texas track and field team Saturday at the North Texas Open.
The one-day meet served as a last chance opportunity for Mean Green athletes and other competitors to qualify for the NCAA regionals.
“After coming off the conference meet six days ago, it is hard to get the intensity level back up to where it needs to be,” said head track and field coach Rick Watkins. “I thought everyone who ran for us today, especially Ryan (Varner) and the men’s 4X100 team, did a great job in regaining focus. We’ll have a week now to get ready for regionals, so I think we’ll be in good shape and ready to go.
The Mean Green has now qualified for the NCAA Midwest Regionals in 16 different events; the second-most in school history.
The quartet of Kelvin Wright, Ryan Roberson, Brandon Irabor and Byron Washington finished first in the 4X100 relay with a regional mark of 40.46. Ryan Varner, who earlier in the season became the Mean Green’s first ever regional qualifier in the 200-meter dash, was the top collegiate finisher in the 400-meter dash with a mark of 47.12; eight-hundredths of a second faster than the regional qualifying time of 47.20.
Lauren Wiggins and the women’s 4X100 relay team also posted regional marks, but weren’t faster than their previous marks set earlier in the season. Wiggins finished second with a time of 13.66. The foursome of Wiggins, Rachael Runnels, Alysha Adams and Keisha Hornsby finished as the top collegiate team in the 4X100 relay with a regional mark of 45.31.
The Mean Green track and field team will take next weekend off before heading to Lincoln, Neb. to compete at the NCAA Midwest Regionals May 30-31 on the campus of the University of Nebraska.