Men's Track & Field ready to compete head-to-head
May 22, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas - The common denominator around the Texas Men's Track & Field program is the excitement about competing head-to-head with other schools and athletes this week at the NCAA West Preliminary Round in Austin.
"What makes it so great is it is head to head," said head coach Bubba Thornton. "It is not based on a performance that was made during the year under a set setting. There will be no rabbits, the sand pit will be perfectly leveled, there will be wind gauges and the athletes that are fit and the best will move forward. It is exciting because of the head to head competition."
The top 48 athletes from the region in each event will come together to try and finish in the top 12 this week to advance to the NCAA Championships June 6-9 in Des Moines, Iowa.
"It's different from indoors where they just take the best marks in the nation to the NCAA Championships," said Maston Wallace. "You have to go up and compete on that day, which is good. Instead of just getting one good mark for the season, you have to come out and perform on that day. It's special in the fact that you get to line up with your competitors and show them what you've got."
Texas is coming off a second place finish at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships with four winning individual titles including Isaac Murphy in the decathlon, Marquise Goodwin in the long jump, Jacob Thormaehlen in the shot put and Mark Jackson in the triple jump.
"It is a lot of momentum going into this meet," said Goodwin, who has the No. 2 long jump mark nationally heading into the meet. "I had not been doing well in the sprint events the last few years because of injuries but I have been able to cut my time in the 100m dash which has helped me on the runway of the long jump as well."
Austin is one of two regional locations for the preliminary round, joining Jacksonville, Fla. For some UT athletes it is the final opportunity to compete on the home track.
"For me personally, it's my last meet at Texas," said Jacob Thormaehlen. "I graduated last week, so it really means a lot because it's our last home meet. The last meet with the guys, stuff like that. But I think for everyone else, it's the preliminary rounds for the National Championships. I think it's got a lot of importance for everyone."
The meet will take place Thursday-Saturday with each day's action starting at 11 a.m. The running events are slated to start at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, 5 p.m. on Friday and 6 p.m. on Saturday.