FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Texas sprinter Bianca Knight secured her ticket to the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships from March 14-15.
Knight ran the fastest 60-meter dash time ever by a Longhorn freshman, clocking 7.21 seconds and automatically qualifying for nationals on day one of the 2008 Tyson Invitational at Randal Tyson Track.
Knight (Ridgeland, Miss.) entered the meet with a personal best time of 7.26 seconds from her prep days at Ridgleand High School She tied Olympian and former Texas sprinter Sanya Richards for third in the all-time performers category and stands within seven-hundredths of a second of UT's top-two performers -- school record holder Carlette Guidry (7.14 seconds as a senior in 1991) and NCAA champion Marshevet Hooker (7.20 seconds as a junior in 2006).
Knight's mark is the speediest in the Big 12 Conference and third in the NCAA this season behind LSU duo Kelly-Ann Baptist (7.17 seconds) and Samantha Henry (7.18). Henry finished third in Friday's meet in 7.25 seconds.
All-American senior Temeka Kincy (Indianapolis, Ind.) added her name to the list of NCAA provisional qualifiers, running a lifetime-best 2:08.20 for third place. She improved her sixth-place time (2:08.81) on the UT school record list by .61 seconds competing in the 800 Olympic development section.
Fellow 800-meter runner Katara Rosby (Baton Rouge, La.) just missed the qualifying mark of 2:09 by eighth-hundredths of a second. She finished in fourth in 2:09.80.
Fellow middle distance runner Betzy Jimenez (Hereford, Texas) moved onto the list of NCAA provisional qualifiers and into the UT record book. She clocked 4:46.05 in the mile run to meet qualify for nationals for the first time in her career and take over the No. 5 position on UT's all-time performers' list.
Senior Ashley Laughlin (Marble Falls, Texas) tied for fifth with her season-best clearance of 12-11.75 (3.96m) in the pole vault. It marked the third time this year Laughlin has met the NCAA provisional standard in the event. Laughlin, who owns the top nine marks in Longhorn history, vaulted to the third-highest height on the UT performances list.
Sophomore Asia Myrland (Verona, Wisc.) finished fourth in the 5,000-meter run, clocking 17:01.58. Myrland, who posted her fastest time of the season, neared her lifetime best of 17:01.31 from her freshman year in 2007.
Senior Mariya Townswick (Briarcliff, Texas) shaved over six seconds off her personal record in the mile. She finished fourth in 4:57.14.
Sophomore Jordyn Brown (Mesquite, Texas) improved her career-best mark on Friday in just her second-ever, weight throw competition. On her second attempt, she tossed 53-7.5 (16.34m) to finish 16th overall.
Knight joins NCAA relay champion and nine-time All-American Alexandria Anderson (Chicago, Ill.) in the 200-meter invitational section of Friday night's competition. The rest of the Longhorns conclude the two-day meet on Saturday, Feb. 16.
HEAD COACH BEV KEARNEY
On freshman sprinter Bianca Knight's performance in the 60-meter: We knew that Bianca and Alex (Alexandria Anderson) had not utilized their acceleration patterns. They hadn't run yet. Once they got in the right environment and on a faster surface, we knew they could drop their times. Once [Knight] saw her time, she was happy, excited and relieved, plus she knows she can get better.
On Knight tying Olympian Sanya Richards in the record books: It is a great feat. It is the middle of her season and she still has a few meets to go. It's a testament to her ability and also shows how hard it is to crack our top five.
On sophomore miler Betzy Jimenez's performance: Betzy really stood out today. It was great to see her qualify for NC's and run a PR that is faster than her outdoor time.
On the performances of Temeka Kincy and Katara Rosby in the 800: Strategically, we didn't execute. We got caught up in traffic because we didn't run our race. It was a good learning experience. They ran better than what they normally run indoors. The good thing is that they still felt like they ran a bad race. When you're close to running a PR and you feel you can do better, you are in a good position.