Women's Track and Field preview: Victor Lopez Bayou Classic
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas women's track and field team will make the short trip down the road to compete in the Victor Lopez Bayou Classic at the Rice Track and Soccer Stadium from Friday to Saturday, March 30-31.
The majority of competition on the Chevron 440 track takes place on Saturday. UT has four student-athletes entered in Friday's distance running events.
The Longhorns have eight qualifiers through two meets. Five of the eight qualifiers are entered in this weekend's meet. Freshman Jordyn Brown, senior Michelle Carter, sophomore Destinee Hooker, junior Ashley Laughlin and sophomore Kira Robinson are entered in their respective events. At total of 16 Longhorns will travel to Houston to attain region marks.
Anderson (Chicago, Ill.) has the fastest 200-meter in the country and is eighth in the 400 meter dashes. She qualified in winning the 200 at the Texas Invitational (22.95 seconds). She boasts the top mark in the nation entering just the second week of the outdoor season for Texas. In the 400, Anderson has a season-best time of 53.67, which is the second fastest in the league (Texas A&M's Clora Williams clocked 53.46) and eighth in the country.
Anderson is joined by teammate Chauntae Bayne (Saginaw, Texas) as the only other sprinter in the region to make the qualifying standard of 23.96. Bayne ran 23.47 at the first meet of the season UNLV Invitational on March 17. She is also qualified in the 400-meter dash, equaling the regional standard of 54.61, in winning the event at the Texas Invitational. Texas is represented in a strong quarter-mile area as 10 of the 30 qualified athletes are from the NCAA Midwest Region. Of those 10, five represent the Big 12 Conference.
After a strong indoor season, junior Temeka Kincy (Indianapolis, Ind.) qualified in the 800 in her first time on the track. She won in 2:08.65, more than a full second faster than the NCAA regional standard of 2:09.80. She is one of 19 in the nation to meet the NCAA qualifying time in the event and sits at No. 14 overall. She leads the region and is second in the conference in the 800.
Hurdler Kira Robinson (Denver, Colo.) used her indoor season training to get a jump on the outdoor campaign, qualifying in the 100-meter hurdlers at the opening meet. She took fourth in 13.85 at the UNLV Invitational on March 17. Her mark places her in a large group, as 42 hurdlers have already met the standard this year including nine from the Midwest Region.
UT's relays have qualified with season opening times. The 400-meter relay group has the eighth fastest mark in the nation and 1,600-meter relay quartet is No. 18 in the country.
The 4x100-meter relay, comprised entirely of All-Americans ran 44.55 to ensure a spot in defending last season's NCAA Midwest Region title. Junior Jasmine Lee and Anderson ran the first two legs, while senior national champion Jerrika Chapple, and Bayne completed the final two segments.
The 4x400-meter relay came out at home, winning in an NCAA Regional qualifying time of 3:40.74 at the Texas Invitational. Sophomore Brittany Orville exchanged with junior Janine Davis (Elizabeth, N.J.). Kincy ran the third leg before handing off to anchor sophomore Angel Williams.
Texas has a balanced effort in the field events as four of six have a regional qualifier. The Longhorns have at least one competitor in the high jump, pole vault, shot put, and discus. UT has not participated in the triple jump and has only taken one attempt in the long jump.
Sophomore Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) cleared 6-2.75 (1.90m) in the high jump. Her mark is four inches higher than the qualifying height of 5-8.75 (1.75m) and gives her the second highest clearance in the country by three quarters of an inch (Georgia's Laverne Spencer - 6-5.35 (1.92m)).
Junior Ashley Laughlin (Marble Falls, Texas) hit the standard of 12-5.5 (3.80m) in winning her first meet of the season (UNLV Invitational). It marks the third consecutive season Laughlin has met the NCAA regional qualifying height.
Typically, senior All-American and national champion Michelle Carter's (Ovilla, Texas) name is connected with Texas shot putters qualifying for regionals. So far this year another competitor has surfaced - freshman Jordyn Brown (Mesquite, Texas). In her first two outdoor meets, Brown has met the NCAA qualifying distance of 46-11 (14.30m) on two occasions. She threw 47-4.5 (14.44) at the Texas Invitational after opening the season with a throw of 47-1.5 (14.36m).
Carter has bolstered the discus, qualifying in the event with wins at the UNLV Invitational with a mark of 157-0 (47.86m) and the Texas Invitational with a toss of 161-9 (49.31m).