Women's Track and Field looks to outdoor competition after another NCAA indoor top-10 finish
· 2007-08 Women's Track and Field: |
For the sixth consecutive year, Women's Track and Field coach Bev Kearney was able to enjoy her team's top-10 finish in the NCAA Indoor Championships.
The Longhorns, who entered the event in Fayetteville ranked 16th in the country, wound up fourth in the championship. It was the eighth top-five finish in the NCAA Indoor Championships since Kearney came to Texas in 1993. She's also led the women to three titles in the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, the most recent coming in 2006.
"When you come in (to the NCAA Championships) ranked that low (16th), you don't believe it," Kearney began. "The team fought and we were in the final four. A point here and a point there and we were close to finishing in the top two. We've had a great season."
And if you are keeping track at home, that is the 14th top-10 finish in the NCAA Indoors since Kearney arrived on the Forty Acres.
"We went out there and did a good job," Kearney said of the NCAA fourth-place standing.
Now, the coach didn't have the same feeling about UT's fourth-place finish in the Big 12 Indoors.
"That was a disappointment, trust me," Kearney said. "But, it was motivation for the NCAAs."
Junior Alexandria Anderson finished second in the 200 meters, trailing teammate Bianca Knight, a freshman from Ridgeland, Miss. They were among the Longhorns who went out there and did a good job (in the NCAAs), according to Kearney.
Knight set a collegiate indoor record of 22.40 in the 200 meters. It was the fastest time in the world this year and the second fastest time ever by an American runner. She became only the third Longhorn ever to win the 200 meters.
Anderson, who was runner-up in the 60 meters, garnered three All-America honors in the NCAA Championships.
Anderson and Knight led the way for the Horns, who also had strong performances from junior Katara Rosby and senior Temeka Kincy, who teamed with Anderson and Knight for a fourth-place finish in the 1,600-meter relay.
"We were excited about what we came to do," Kearney said of the National Championship event. "They ran their hearts out."
Ironically, it proved to be the last competition for the 19-year-old Knight, who opted to pursue a professional career before the outdoor season. Knight, who is going to attempt to make the U.S. Olympic team, is remaining in school for the second semester.
Kearney is focused on the Texas Relays, which she relishes.
"That's Texas," she said. "That's where we put on a show. That is what is really significant."
Kearney sees the Texas Relays as the first opportunity to build on the foundation the team established during the indoor season.
"We're excited about ourselves," Kearney said. "I can't tell you what kind of team we will have in May or June. We're evolving."
Kearney does admit the depth isn't what she would like it to be.
"We have a limited pool of talent," she said. "But we'll do what we can do. Right now, we don't have a machine gun. We have a six-shooter."