Chambers, Brannon lead No. 14 Women's Track & Field at Tyson Invitational
Feb. 8, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The No. 14 Texas Women's Track & Field team picked up a pair of individual victories and four other top-five finishes on the opening day of the Tyson Invitational on Friday in Fayetteville.
The second of three meets in which the Longhorns will participate at the Randal Tyson Track Center during the 2013 indoor season is stacked with competition, particularly in the sprints, jumps, hurdles and throws. The meet features 11 teams in the USTFCCCA top-25 rankings, five of them currently ranked in the top-10.
"This weekend we have the opportunity to see some teams that we haven't competed against this season but will see at NCAAs in March," said interim head coach Rose Brimmer. "I thought we had a couple solid performances with Danielle in the 400-meter, Kendra in the 800 and A'Lexus in long jump. Overall, what I love is that our strength and endurance are growing every meet. It's what we work for in practice every day, continuing to keep our eyes on the goal of running multiple strong races on short rest, which we will need to be able to do to win Big 12s in a couple weeks."
Junior A'Lexus Brannon started the Longhorns' day strong by winning the collegiate long jump, leaping a new indoor personal best of 20-5.25 (6.23m). The mark bested her previous PR that she set at the same meet in 2012. Sophomore Kaitlin Petrillose was UT's other representative in Friday's field events, tying for eighth in the pole vault invitational flight with a clearance of 13-0.75 (3.98m).
"A'Lexus is improving every meet and that's what we want to see this time of year," said Brimmer. "This meet provided another confidence boost for her. She knows she is getting close to 21 feet and she knows that she can do it. I'm really happy for her."
Senior Kendra Chambers shined in the 800-meter invitational race, posting a season-best time of 2:07.32 for Texas' second individual victory on the day.
"Kendra's confidence is growing so much," said Brimmer. "I told her to run the way she felt would get her the best results, and that's what she did. I didn't tell her to go out, sit behind someone and kick it. I allowed her to run the race she felt like running, and it really worked for her today."
The 400-meter invitational featured three Longhorns in juniors Danielle Dowie and Briana Nelson and freshman Courtney Okolo. Dowie led the way for Texas in second place with a career-best time of 52.92, which beat her previous top mark in the event by more than a second. Okolo (53.12) finished close behind in third place, just two-hundredths of a second off her season-best, and Nelson was sixth in 53.55
Earlier in the day in the collegiate 400-meter run, Chambers earned 3rd in the 46-competitor race with a time of 54.28. Freshman Melissa Gonzalez (56.81) and sophomore Chamique Francis (57.29) also ran for Texas, finishing 36th and 44th.
Brannon and Gonzalez also competed in the 60-meter hurdles along with sophomore Morgan Snow, who earned a spot in the event final and finished fifth (8.33) out of a field of 51. Brannon took 23rd in the prelims with a time of 8.66 and Gonzalez placed 35th in 8.91.
Six Longhorns ran in the 60-meter dash with junior Christy Udoh and senior Chalonda Goodman both advancing to the semifinals, where they placed 20th (7.50) and 24th (7.56), respectively. In the preliminaries, Snow took 30th with a time of 7.60, while freshmen Bernice Bamgbade (season-best 7.68) and Kiersten Duncan (season-best 7.70) placed 44th and 46th. Senior Alicia Peterson was 48th with a time of 7.71.
Saturday's session will begin at 11 a.m. Central with Texas' first competitors taking to the track at 1 p.m. in the 200-meter dash.
WASHINGTON HUSKY CLASSIC
A trio of Longhorns competed in the 5,000-meter on Friday, including senior Mia Behm, who placed 14th in the invitational race with a time of 16:11.96. Junior Sara Sutherland, running in her first race of the 2013 indoor season, turned in a second-place performance among 82 competitors in the collegiate 5,000m, registering a time of 16:15.12. Sophomore Megan Siebert finished 39th overall in 17:02.66, besting her previous top mark of the season by exactly 11 seconds.
Day two of the meet will kick off at 10 a.m. Central with Longhorns racing in the 800-meter, Mile and 3,000-meter.
TEXAS INDIVIDUAL RESULTS - TYSON INVITATIONAL
FRIDAY, FEB. 8
60m hurdles (final)
60m hurdles (semifinals)
Pole vault- Invitational
TEXAS INDIVIDUAL RESULTS - HUSKY CLASSIC
FRIDAY, FEB. 8