AUSTIN, Texas -- The University of Texas Men's and Women's Track and Field teams accumulated 12 NCAA Regional qualifying marks and 21 victories at the Texas Invitational on Saturday, March 26 at Mike A. Myers Stadium. Junior Brian Robison (Splendora, Texas) earned victories in the discus and shot put to headline the Texas men, while freshman Ashley Laughlin (Marble Falls, Texas) broke her own school record in the pole vault to lead the Texas women.
Robison was one of four Longhorns to win two events at the competition. After beginning Saturday by playing in the Texas Football scrimmage at 9:30 a.m., Robison turned to the track where he won the shot with a put of 60-09.50, and the discus with a heave of 180-10. Both marks met the Regional-qualifying standard.
For the Texas women, junior Melaine Walker (Kingston, Jamaica) took top honors in the 100 and 400-meter hurdles. Walker demolished the field in the 100-meter hurdles with her Regional-qualifying 13.22. The next-closest finisher was Texas freshman Alandra Sherman (Houston, Texas) in 14.66. Walker is the sixth athlete in UT history to run faster than 13.30. Later, she won the 400-meter hurdles in 57.69, easily meeting the Regional-qualifying standard.
One UT record fell on the afternoon, courtesy of freshman Ashley Laughlin (Marble Falls, Texas) in the pole vault. Laughlin cleared a Regional-qualifying 12-09.50 to top her previous school record of 12-08.25 set last Friday at the Texas Southern Relays.
Other Regional-qualifying efforts for the Texas Women came from sophomore Michelle Carter (Ovilla, Texas), who won the shot put with a toss of 51-00.00; sophomore Jerrika Chapple (Lancaster, Texas), a double winner in the 200 and 400 meters whose 54.55 in the quarter met the Regional mark; sophomore Marshevet Hooker (San Antonio, Texas), who won the 100 meters in 11.37; junior Sheretta Jones (Houston, Texas), who was runner-up in the 400-meter hurdles (1:00.55); and UT's 4x100-meter relay of Chapple, Walker, junior LaTashia Kerr (Houston, Texas) and Hooker, which won in 44.14.
The Texas Men got additional Regional-qualifying marks from juniors Andra Manson (Brenham, Texas) and Quincy Boles (Harker Heights, Texas). Manson won the high jump with a clearance 6-10.75, while Boles won the 100 meters in 10.44, narrowly missing his personal best of 10.38 set in 2004. Boles narrowly missed the qualifying mark in the 200 meters, falling .06 seconds short with his win at 21.25.
When they weren't qualifying for the NCAA Regional meet, the Longhorns still were dominating the competition. On the men's side, Texas took the top five spots in the 2,000-meter steeplechase, led by sophomore Jeff Cutrer (Nederland, Texas) in 5:53.15. Freshman Joseph Davis (San Antonio, Texas) won the long jump with a wind-aided 23-09.50. Texas swept the top three places in the 1,500 meters, led by freshman Erik Stanley (Spring, Texas) in 3:52.51. Freshman Hamza Deyaf (Richardson, Texas) took the 400-meter hurdles in 53.00, while senior Ryan Ponsonby (Denton, Texas) won the 800 meters in 1:51.40, edging senior teammate Matt Caterisano (Plano, Texas) who crossed in 1:51.87.
For the Texas women, sophomore Carlee Clark (Bozeman, Mont.) was victorious in the 1,500 meters with a personal-best 4:40.86, followed by freshman teammate Temeka Kincy (Indianapolis, Ind.) in 4:41.96. The two traded places in the 800 meters, with Kincy taking top honors in 2:12.22 and Clark runner-up in 2:12.72
The Texas men and women return to action Friday, April 1, for the Hilton Houston Plaza Rice Bayou Classic in Houston. The two-day meet, hosted by Rice University, will be held at the Rice Track/Soccer Stadium.