LINCOLN, Neb. (5/30/08) The University of North Texas track and field team qualified for the finals of the NCAA Midwest Regionals in four different events during Friday’s prelims at Ed Weir Stadium.
Both the men’s and women’s 4X100 relay teams, as well as Ciara Smith and Alysha Adams all punched their ticket to Saturday’s finals. It is the first time in school history that the Mean Green has had multiple qualifiers during Friday’s running prelims.
“We had a really good day. Anytime you can make it to the finals at this meet, you’ve accomplished something,” said head coach Rick Watkins. “I think we have several athletes that have a good chance to do well tomorrow and earn a trip to the NCAA Championships.”
Leading the way for the Mean Green was sophomore sprinter, Ciara Smith. Smith broke a 10-year-old school record in the 400-meter dash with a time of 53.56. Smith will head into the finals with the fifth-fastest time.
The quartet of Lauren Wiggins, Rachael Runnels, Alysha Adams and Keisha Hornsby tallied a mark of 45.26 to earn a spot in Saturday’s finals. The Mean Green finished fourth in their heat, but seventh overall.
Adams, the 2008 SBC Indoor and Outdoor Freshman of the Year, rested for less than hour before jumping back onto the track to compete in the 100-meter hurdles. Adams edged out teammate Lauren Wiggins for the eighth and final spot in the finals with a time of 13.75. Adams will look to become the first North Texas trackster to qualify for the NCAA Championships in the 100 hurdles.
Following in the footsteps of the women’s relay team, the Mean Green men’s 4X100 foursome of Kelvin Wright, Ryan Roberson, Brandon Irabor and Ryan Varner finished eighth overall to earn a spot in the finals. Wright, Roberson, Irabor and Varner clocked in with a season-best time of 40.35.
North Texas will be back in action tomorrow with the finals of both the men’s and women’s 4X100 and 4X400 relay teams. Brand Stanfield will also compete for the Mean Green Saturday in the triple jump.