Women's Track and Field preview: Big 12 Indoor Championships
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas women's track and field team, led by head coach Bev Kearney, set out for the Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Conference Championships on the campus of Iowa State University. The Longhorns compete in the two-day meet from Friday-Saturday (Feb. 23-24) at the Lied Recreation Center in Ames, Iowa.
The meet returns to Iowa State for the first time since 2000, marking the third time ISU has played host to the conference championship. Nebraska has hosted seven conference championships (1997, 2001-06) while Kansas State hosted in 1999. Team Rankings This Season... Week 1 (1/15): Texas started the journey to defend its title with a fifth-place ranking in the Jan. 15 edition of the Trackwire 25 poll...The hypothetical score for the first week was 28 using points from Michelle Carter, Alexandria Anderson, Destinee Hooker and the 4x400-meter relay. Week 2 (1/23): The Longhorns dropped to eighth in the rankings and lost seven points (21 points). Week 3 (1/29): After a week off, two teams moved ahead of UT, placing the Longhorns at 10th in the poll (20 points). Week 4 (2/5): Strong performances by Arizona State, Texas A&M and LSU shifted the balance of power and UT's standings in the top 10. The Longhorns settle at No. 13 with 18 points. In the coaches' poll, Texas stands at No. 12. Week 5 (2/12): Heading into the conference championships, the Longhorns remain at No. 12 in the USTFCCCA coaches poll and move up to No. 11 with 19 points in the Trackwire 25 ratings.
2006 Big 12 Championships Recap... The Longhorns enter the 2007 meet as defending conference champions after winning the program's second league title in 2006. UT scored 127 points ahead of second-place and host school Nebraska (118), Texas Tech (68) and Oklahoma (61). Marshevet Hooker won three individual events and finished as the meet's highest point-scorer, and Dee Dee Cortez and Destinee Hooker chipped in event championships in the 600 yard run and the high jump.
Five-time Big 12 Indoor Champion Texas... Texas travels to Ames, Iowa in search of its sixth Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championship. The Longhorns took home the league trophy in 1998-99, 2002-03, and 2006.
Reigning Champion Hooker Returns For Title Defense... As a freshman, Destinee Hooker won her first Big 12 high jump championship and shattered the facility and meet record, clearing 1.92-meters. Entering her sophomore year, the two-sport athlete who participates in volleyball during the fall, is the favorite in the conference and the nation in the event as she cleared a lifetime-best 1.96-meters at the Tyson Invitational. The automatic qualifying mark gave her the highest clearance in the nation this year, and she stands within a centimeter of the UT all-time record of 1.97-meters, set by Erin Aldrich in 1998.
Carter Second in the Nation in Shot Put... The defending national champion in the shot put, senior Michelle Carter (Ovilla, Texas) has secured a bid to nationals with her automatic qualifying throw of 17.51-meters. She is second in the national rankings to Arizona State's Sarah Stevens (17.86m). Carter has hit the automatic standard on two occasions (Tyson Invitational, Houston Indoor), and the provisional mark once at the Leonard Hilton Memorial in her first meet of the season.
Carter Consistently Among Conference's Top Two... In her two years at UT, Michelle Carter has finished in second-place or better in the shot put at a Big 12 championship meet. In 2005, Carter earned first place at the Big 12 Indoor and Outdoor Championships. In 2006, she earned runner-up honors in the shot put, but bounced back to capture her first NCAA national championship at the 2006 indoor meet.
Two Longhorns Lead Short Sprints... Transfer sprinter Chauntae Bayne (Saginaw, Texas) and sophomore All-American Alexandria Anderson (Chicago, Ill.) have UT on the map this season in the 60-meter and 200-meter dashes. Bayne, a senior transfer from Stanford, is tied for 13th in the nation in the 60 (7.33) and 24th in the 200 (23.74). Anderson is tied for 22nd in the 60-meter, boasting the fourth speediest time of any sophomore in the country. Both have provisionally qualified in the 60 and Bayne has added the 200 to her indoor national list. Entering the conference championships, Bayne sits at No. 3 in the league in both events while Anderson is fifth in each, and adds a tie for eighth-place in the long jump to her Big 12 resume.
Longhorns Are Stacked in the 800-Meter Run... Three Longhorns are among the top 10 in the Big 12 in the 800-meter dash. Junior Temeka Kincy (Indianapolis, Ind.) is the lone provisional qualifier of the group, winning the Tyson Invitational in 2:08.81 in bettering the provisional standard of 2:09.00. Her time is 33rd in the country and fourth in the league. Sophomore teammates Katara Rosby (Baton Rouge, La.) and Janine Davis (Elizabeth, N.J.) are within striking distance as Rosby has a season-best time of 2:09.69 (sixth fastest in the league), and Davis is right behind her at seventh in the Big 12 with a 2:10.07 clip.
Lee Leaning Towards Top Three... Junior sprinter Jasmine Lee currently sits at fourth place in the 400-meter dash. The outdoor national champion relay leg ran a season-best quarter-mile time of 54.88 at the Tyson Invitational and is less than two-tenths off the provisional standard. She is just six-tenths of a second out of third in the Big 12 standings, and within a second of the top spot in the conference.
Myrland Anchors 5,000m Run... In an event with four people in the top 25 in the nation, freshman Asia Myrland (Verona, Wisc.) has a tough road ahead of her in the 5,000-meter run. The first-year Longhorn stands at No. 10 in the conference in the event after registering a lifetime best clip of 17:17.89 at the Tyson Invitational.
Laughlin's School Record Has Her In Sixth In Big 12... Junior Ashley Laughlin's (Marble Falls, Texas) school record vault of 3.83-meters has her tied for sixth in the Big 12 standings with Nebraska's Jenny Green, entering this weekend's championship meet. Laughlin broke the UT all-time record she set in 2006 (12-6.25) in tying for ninth at the Tyson Invitational.
Texas All Over Big 12 Sprint Relays... Texas has won seven out of the 10 Big 12 4x400-meter relay championships with a streak of four in a row from 2002-2005. This year, UT enters the meet ranked second to Texas A&M with a provisional qualifying time of 3:38.22.
Longhorns Hold Four Conference Records... UT has rewritten four Big 12 records in the past three years. In 2004, Texas exes Sanya Richards set the 60-meter dash (7.21) and 200-meter dash (22.86) league bests, and Raasin McIntosh bettered the 400-meter dash all-time best, running 52.23. Destinee Hooker claimed the top spot in the high jump in 2006 (6-3.5) beating the old record by an inch and a half.