DENTON (5/23/07) The Mean Green will send 14 athletes to the NCAA Midwest Regional meet in Des Moines, Iowa, this weekend with aspirations of advancing to nationals.
Head coach Rick Watkins will send five seniors, three juniors, five sophomores and a freshman to the elite meet in a total of 10 events.
Sophomores Brandi Stanfield and Toby Edwards are currently ranked in the top 25 in the country in their respective events, but will be pushed by the region’s elite competition. Stanfield qualified for the NCAA meet in as a true freshman in 2006 in the triple jump and is looking to repeat the feat in 2007. She currently ranks 22nd in the country in the event after her Sun Belt winning jump of 13.09 meters in Lafayette.
Edwards has had an impressive sophomore campaign and will look to stay hot in his first appearance at the regional meet. He snagged the North Texas high jump record with his second-place finish at the conference meet and his mark of 2.15 meters is currently the 20th best mark in the nation. He will be joined by fellow high jumpers Mark Lee and Ryan Hill. Both extended their senior campaigns by regionally qualifying early in the season. Hill will be making her third appearance at regionals, and Lee his second.
Heath Smith, the only North Texas athlete to qualify for the meet in multiple events, will also look to extend his career this weekend. Smith made the regional meet in 2006 in the javelin and became the first North Texas athlete to successfully defend a conference title since 1988 when he took his second straight javelin title in Lafayette. Not only will Smith try his hand at the javelin, but also the shot put for the first time in his career.
NCAA Regional Meet Information
NORTH TEXAS REGIONAL COMPETITORS
Toby Edwards High Jump
Mark Lee High Jump
Heath Smith Javelin, Shot Put
Ryan Varner 200-meter dash
Chi Chi Echebelem 4x100 relay, 4x400 relay
Shayla Hart 4x400 relay
Ryan Hill High Jump
Keisha Hornsby 4x100 relay, 4x400 relay
Lisa Nolting 4x100 relay
Rachael Runnels 4x100 relay
Ciara Smith 4x400 relay
Brandi Stanfield Triple Jump
Lauren Wiggins 100-meter hurdles
Heather Wood Shot Put