Women's Track & Field qualifies seven for Nationals
May 25, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Women's Track & Field team had seven individuals qualify for Nationals on Friday at the NCAA West Preliminary Round in Austin.
The seven including three in the high jump, two in the 400m hurdles, one in the 100m dash and one in the 800m run.
"I thought we did a really good job," said head coach Beverly Kearney. "We are still really confident with our team and what we are doing. We have advanced everything to the next round to get to Nationals. That is really what this meet is about, it is about getting everyone healthy and getting off to the next round."
Texas will have three athletes in the high jump heading to Nationals. Victoria Lucas, Shanay Briscoe and Beverly Owoyele will all go to Des Moines, Iowa after claiming top 12 spots. All three jumped 1.80m (5-10.75) to avoid being part of the jump-off group that saw four jumpers try for three spots. It is the second straight year UT will have three high jumpers compete at Nationals.
"The jump today matches my personal best," said Owoyele. "I made it on my third attempt with a prayer and relaxation. I went up there and gave it all I had. I knew I had it in me to make the jump. The confidence came with clearing 5'11 and making the jump before. I first cleared the jump at Nationals last year and I am excited to be going back this year, I am glad to be going with my two other teammates. We all work hard and we are all there to push each other. We are all ready to go out there, compete, and score points for Texas."
Two runners will go to Nationals in the 400m hurdles. Texas' Danielle Dowie has been among the best in the event all season and turned in another good performance with a time of 56.67 for fourth overall. Angele Cooper came in sixth with her season-best time of 57.66.
"It feels good. I was a little surprised by the wind on the final stretch but it's okay because I made it to Nationals and that was my goal," said Dowie. "It was a good day. I'll just move on from here and get ready for tomorrow. I'll have to work on sharpening my technique. I stuttered a little bit and I'll have to tighten that up. Other than that I'll be good."
"It's a blessing," said Cooper. "That's all I can say. I just stayed in my flow. In the back of my head I heard Coach Bev and my little sister saying, `Keep going, keep fighting!' So I just fought and I just really wanted to make it to Nationals."
Junior Chalonda Goodman will advance to Nationals as she recorded a time of 11.40 in the 100m dash. Her time was good enough for 11th overall as the top 12 move forward. Christy Udoh just missed out as she was 14th with a time of 11.48. The duo also moved to the quarterfinals in the 200m dash with Udoh posting the second fastest time of 23.07 and Goodman the fifth fastest of 23.50.
In the 800m run, Kendra Chambers will make her debut at Nationals in the event as she was sixth overall and second in her heat with a time of 2:06.83. The time was just off her career best of 2:06.76 set in her last race at the Big 12 Championships.
"This 800 was probably the toughest race I've been in," said Chambers. "A lot of these girls aren't from the Texas area so it was interesting to see their running style. I'm glad I got a taste of it so I know what to expect at Nationals. I never had any doubts about this race, I was just trying to find my pace and I couldn't find it the first lap. I just kept going with the pack and knew that I had to be in front. When I got to the 100 meter mark I knew I had enough to get a kick and stay in the front."
Freshman Morgan Snow ran a 13.20 in the 100m hurdles for the second fastest time in her heat and seventh fastest overall. She advances to the quarterfinals which will take place on Sunday. She has run a 13.20 or faster in each of her last three races, her top three career times.
In the pole vault, Natasha Masterson was one of three athletes that went to a vault-off for the final spot advancing to nationals. She joined Oklahoma's Alexandra Acker and Illinois' Stephanie Richartz in vying for the last spot. All three missed the first attempt and then Masterson came up short in her second try while the other two cleared. The final height for Masterson was 4.07m (13-04.25), putting her in 14th place.
Senior Okwukwe Okolie fell short of the finals in the discus, closing out her season with a mark of (50.26m, 164-11) for 18th overall.
Alicia Peterson ran in the quarterfinals of the 400m dash. She tallied a time of 55.61 for 27th place.
The final day of the meet will be Saturday. The first event of the day is the men's discus at 11 a.m. The running events will kick off at 6 p.m. with the 4x100m relay. Other events include the men's pole vault, women's hammer throw, men's high jump, women's triple jump, 1,500m run, 110m and 100m hurdles, 200m dash, 5,000m run and 4x400m relay.
Friday Texas Women's Results
100m Hurdles First Round
400m Dash Quarterfinals
800m Run Quarterfinals