Women's Track & Field wins nine events at Texas Invitational
April 14, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas – The No. 9 Texas Women’s Track & Field team either finished first overall or had the top collegiate time/mark in nine events on Saturday at the Texas Invitational.
“We are getting consistently better,” said head coach Beverly Kearney. “We need to get consistent and have everyone doing well together. We need everyone to run well at the same time. We know it is there but it is a matter of putting it all together.”
The day was filled with windy conditions from start to finish with steady gusts between 20-30 mph. The strong winds affected the competition but the Longhorns were able to post some really good finishes throughout.
“The wind inflated some of the times, which may give a false since of security, but being able to run 400m and 100m hurdles, facing the wind gives them a good idea of what they need to do when they run into that kind of weather,” said Kearney. “Any time there is adverse conditions, it make you tougher. It teaches you to work harder for what you want.”
It was a great day for the senior throwers. Amanda Van Dyke closed out the day with a victory for the Longhorns. She topped 50-feet for the third straight meet, winning the event with a mark of 50-05.25 (15.37m). Okwukwe Okolie made the most of her first throw, going 167-10 (51.15m) to capture the discus title.
“My overall performance was okay,” said Okolie. “It was not where I wanted to throw this week but I am glad that I am consistent. I can definitely build from that.”
Senior Victoria Lucas recorded a season-high to win the high jump. She cleared 6-0 (1.83m) to win the event over teammate Shanay Briscoe who went 5-08.75 (1.75m). Beverly Owoyele tied for third with a height of 5-5 (1.65m).
“I feel as though I have been stuck at 5’11 all year, so it is a huge mental accomplishment to get over 6 feet,” said Lucas. “It makes me more excited for the meet next weekend.”
For Lucas it was the first time she hit the six-foot mark in 2012 and first since the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships. She was just shy in the last two meets with a 5-11.25 (1.81m) each time.
Junior Natasha Masterson won the pole vault. She surpassed her previous season best, clearing 13-02.25 on her first attempt. Her first attempt came after all the other competitors had finished. Her previous best was 13-01.50 at the Texas Relays.
“For me it seemed as though the wind was an advantage,” said Masterson. “For people who carry the pole that can get really gusty running with it, it can mess up their run mentally and with timing. I think some of the girls felt that but for me it is on the ground so I was able to run faster and get on the biggest pole I have been on this season. Some good things happened today because of the wind.”
Sophomore Briana Nelson led a group of six runners in the 400m dash, all of whom were the top six collegians. Nelson ran a 52.83 for second overall and the second time she has been under 53.00 this year. Danielle Dowie (54.37), Kendra Chambers (54.64) and Angele Cooper (55.29) finished sixth, seventh and eighth respectively. Chamique Francis (56.26) and Stacey-Ann Smith (56.51) were 10th and 11th.
For the first time in her collegiate career, Christy Udoh ran under 23.00 in the 200m dash. She led all Texas runners and had the top collegiate time as she edged out Allison Peter (23.03). Other Longhorns in the race were Chalonda Goodman in fourth (23.60), Nelson in seventh (24.09), Angele Cooper in ninth (24.18), Dowie in 12th (24.33), Francis in 13th (24.41), Morgan Snow in 18th (24.79) and Smith in 20th (24.86).
In a fast 100m dash, sophomore Peter matched the fifth fastest time in the country to lead all college runners with an 11.16. Right behind her was Goodman with a time of 11.27 and Udoh with a time of 11.34.
Junior Julie Amthor was the top collegiate finisher in the 1,500m run, running a season-best 4:29.02. Texas placed five in the top eight college runners. Anne Jones was second with a 4:33.29, Brittany Marches was fourth (4:35.98), Connor Ward was sixth (4:37.34) and Jessica Harper was eighth (4:41.60).
“I was pleased with my results,” said Amthor. “I had not been racing well, so to come out here and have a really solid race with a good time is good for me. It is good to know that I am moving in the right direction as far as being competitive and sticking into the race, especially with the leader.”
Senior Laleh Mojtabaezamani cut six seconds off her 3,000m run time to finish first among college runners. She ended with a time of 10:02.62. Virginia Simon took fourth with a 10:23.07 in her first race of the outdoor season.
Sophomore A’Lexus Brannon took second in the long jump. After she fouled on her first two attempts, she put together two straight good jumps and ended with a 19-11 (6.07m).
Snow ran a 13.37 in the 100m hurdles for the second best collegiate time and her second best time of the season. Junior Alicia Peterson also had the second fastest time in the 400m hurdles at 1:01.48.
In the 800m run, sophomore Marielle Hall improved her time from the TCU Invitational by over one second with a 2:12.37 for third place. Katie Hoaldridge took seventh (2:15.78) and Amthor followed her 1,500m with 23rd in the 800m (2:24.81).
Junior Akua Sencherey was the lone Longhorn in the hammer throw. She finished eighth in the event with a mark of 145-0 (44.21m). She also earned 10th in the discus with a mark of 132-6 (40.38m).