AUSTIN, Texas (5/27/06) - Despite battling a nagging foot injury, Brandi Stanfield’s efforts at the NCAA Midwest Regional Track & Field meet are expected to vault the North Texas freshman into the National Championships in June.
Stanfield’s first triple jump attempt of 42-feet-2-1/4-inches, the third-best leap in Mean Green history, proved good enough for an eighth place finish. The indoor all-American now owns the program’s top three marks.
While the top five finishers automatically qualified for nationals in Sacramento, Calif., Stanfield’s season-best jump of 44-feet-3-1/2-inches now enters a national pool to compete for an at-large invitation to the NCAA National Championships.
Stanfield’s top mark ranks as the fifth best in the country in 2006, and should be the first at-large bid selected for nationals. The Austin, Texas native stands to become the first Mean Green triple jumper to compete at the NCAA’s.
“With her foot injury, Brandi did exactly what she needed to make it to nationals,” said North Texas head coach Rick Watkins. “She got off a really good jump early, and can hopefully return 100-percent for nationals.”
Eight proved a lucky number for the Mean Green as Heath Smith also notched an eighth place finish in the javelin throw. The junior topped the school record for the third time this season with his toss of 202-feet-9-inches. Smith’s toss also enters the at-large pool, but will fall short of qualifying for nationals.
Junior Mark Lee managed to clear 6-feet-9-inches on his third high jump attempt, landing 16th place with his second best leap of the season. The two-time regional qualifier fell short at his three attempts at 6-feet-11-inches, which would have tied for the fifth best in school history.
Frank Ngeno finished third in his heat, but 15th overall in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. The junior crossed with a time of 9:31.55 in his first regional meet.