AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas men's track and field team heads to the 2007 NCAA Midwest Region Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa from Friday to Saturday, May 25-26. The Longhorns return three NCAA Midwest region champions and have two region leaders.
NCAA Region Preview
Texas has 20 student-athletes with 21overall qualifying marks (plus three potential additional at-large national qualifiers). Five individuals have multiple qualifying marks including senior NCAA national champion high jumper Andra Manson, junior Joseph Davis and sophomores Jamaal Charles, Trevor Gerland and Elliot O'Hare. Eight Longhorns are in the top five in their events including NCAA Midwest Region leaders Manson and triple jumper Samyr Laine. Five events have multiple qualifiers 1,500-meter run, 3,000-meter steeplechase, 110-meter hurdles, and the high and triple jumps.
NCAA Midwest Region Leaders
Manson is the top high jumper and Laine is the farthest triple jumper in the NCAA Midwest Region. Manson cleared a season-best 7-6.5 (2.30m) and earned a runner-up finish at the Big 12 Conference Championships. Laine hit the pit in a then-nation leading mark of 53-6.25 (16.31m) in winning the Texas Twilight. Both have met the NCAA regional qualifying standard in every meet this season.
Returning Region Champions
Three current Longhorns have experienced regional championship success. Junior Leo Manzano won the 1,500-meter run in 2005 and 2006. Manson was the region's highest jumper in 2006 and holds the meet record. As a freshman, Charles ran a leg of the victorious 4x100-meter relay in 2006.
2006 NCAA Midwest Region Review
Texas scored 91.83 points, outdistancing the field by almost 20 points, in winning the 2006 NCAA Midwest Region Championship at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas. Manson, Manzano, current Longhorn Derek Randall, and Texas ex Brian Robison won individual event championships. The 4x100-meter relay, which included current UT sprinters Charles and Trey Griffin, added a relay title to the Longhorns event winners. UTEP was the next closest team with 72.50 points.
2007 Big 12 Championships
The Longhorns scored 96 points and finished in third-place at the 2007 Big 12 Track and Field Championship at Ed Weir Stadium in Lincoln, Neb., on Sunday May 13. Manzano and Randall won individual event titles, and UT recorded 21 All-Big 12 honorees at the three-day league championship meet. The Longhorns finished in the top three teams for the 10th time in 11 seasons in the Big 12.
Manson Adds Second 1,500-Meter Championship
Manzano won his second Big 12 outdoor 1,500-meter title in the last three seasons on the final day of the league championships. The five-time All-American ran 3:41.60 to contribute 10 points to the Texas team score. He had the third fastest time entering the meet (3:42.10), and his winning time is the fastest time in the conference.
Texas Has Depth Across The Board
The Longhorns have multiple competitors who can score on the regional and national level in a number of events. Five events have at least two NCAA region qualifiers, and one event has two national qualifiers (the decathlon is not contested at the region championship). The 1,500-meter run, high and triple jumps have three qualifiers while the 110-meter hurdles and the 3,000-meter steeplechase have two Longhorn representatives. UT also has five student-athletes that have qualifying marks in two events Andra Manson (high jump, 4x100), Jamaal Charles (100, 200), Trevor Gerland (110-meter hurdles, 4x100), Elliot O'Hare (110-meter hurdles, 4x100), and Joseph Davis (triple jump, 4x100).
Manzano Tabbed Penn Relays Most Outstanding Athlete
The Philadelphia Sports Writers Association named Manzano the 2007 Penn Relays Most Outstanding Athlete in the college men's relays division after he anchored two champion relays at the 113th Penn Relays Carnival. Manzano helped the Texas distance medley relay repeat at Penn Relays Championship of America winners for the first time in UT school history. Manzano also ran the anchor leg of the 4xmile relay that rounded the track in 16:21.57. He split a group-best 4:03.5 leg less than 24 hours after running the anchor of the DMR in 3:57.9.