Meet Info Date: Wed., April 6 to Sat., April 9
Site: Mike A. Myers Stadium (Austin, Texas)
Facility: The track is a nine-lane European oval featuring a wider turn radius than traditional tracks to allow for more speed in the turns. Field event performers enjoy the all-inclusive site that is equipped with dual jump lanes, several throwing circles and a pair of high jump aprons.
Meet Format: This will be a non-scored event on a team basis.
MEN'S 2004 TEXAS RELAYS
Despite winning only one championship at the 2004 Texas Relays, UT had plenty of top finishes during the four-day competition. On the second day of action, Donovan Kilmartin finished third in the Invitational decathlon with an automatic-qualifying 7,729 points. He entered the day with 3,951 points after five events on the first day. Also, Andrew Middleton earned runner-up honors in the 5,000 meters with a time of 14:37.31. On the third day, Mark Floreani posted a personal best and regional-qualifying time of 8:51.70 to finish as the runner-up in the 3,000 meter Steeplechase. Zach Zeller finished in fifth place in the same event with a time of 9:00.78. Texas had two athletes finish in the top three of the University/College Section B javelin with Scott Beckmen taking second and Tom Engwall placing third. Jason Ward took sixth in his section of the long jump. On the final day, Brendan Christian notched the Texas men's only victory of the week with a windy 10.13 in a two-section final of the 100 meters. It was his first Texas Relays title as well. Christian then joined Jermaine Cooper, Quincy Boles and Ashton Collins on the 4x100m relay team, which finished sixth with a regional-qualifying 39.59. Brian Robison, who had already placed 11th in the discus a day earlier, finished in second place in the shot put with a personal-best throw of 61-5.75, which made him UT's No. 7 all-time performer in the event. Andra Manson tied for fourth place in the high jump with a regional-qualifying 7-0.50.
WOMEN'S 2004 TEXAS RELAYS
The Texas women added five titles to their collection in 2004, were named Most Outstanding University/College team and Raasin McIntosh was named the Most Outstanding Female Performer. UT received individual championships from Nichole Denby (100m Hurdles), Raasin McIntosh (400m Hurdles) and Jodi Jones (10,000m). The Longhorns also won two relays, the 4x400m relay and the 4x800m relay. On the second day of action, the 4x800m relay team of Katie Scarlett, Sheretta Jones, Carlee Clark and Evelyn Dwyer posted a 8:33.49 to Texas' first 4x800 crown since 1988. During the third day of competition, Lacey Smith established a new school record in the pole vault of 12-3.50 to finish seventh in Section B of the University/College division. Ychlindria Spears took sixth place in her section of the long jump while Michelle Carter, who had previously won six events at the Relays in high school, finished seventh in the discus. The highlight of Texas' week came on the final day when the 4x400m relay team of Sheretta Jones, McIntosh, Jerrika Chapple and Sanya Richards broke the NCAA record by nearly three seconds. The foursome clocked a 3:23.75. McIntosh joined the team just after defending her title in the 400m hurdles. She also ran the second leg of the 4x100m relay that finished in second place. Alyssa Aiken also performed well in the 400m hurdles with a fourth-place finish. Nichole Denby avenged her second-place showing the year before by winning the 100m hurdles with a regional-qualifying 12.78. Evelyn Dwyer also posted a regional qualifier with a fouth-place finish in the 1,500m (4:25.75).
MEN'S 2005 INDOOR SEASON
The Texas men posted their third straight top 10 finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships by tying for 10th place with Arizona. It also marked the fifth time in school history that the Longhorn men had finished in the top 10 at the national meet. Donovan Kilmartin and Trey Hardee finished two-three in the heptathlon to give UT 14 points, while Andra Manson scored six points with a third-place finish in the high jump. At the Big 12 Indoor Championships, the Longhorns finished as the runner-up for the fourth time in the Big 12's nine-year history with 87.33 points. UT had three conference champions with Donovan Kilmartin (Heptathlon), Andra Manson (High Jump) and Leonel Manzano (Mile).
TEXAS WOMEN'S 2005 INDOOR SEASON
In an indoor season where head coach Bev Kearney focused on the quality of Texas' athletes as opposed to the quantity, the Longhorns notched their third straight top 10 at the NCAA Indoor Championships with a ninth-place finish. Both Marshevet Hooker and Michelle Carter established school records in finishing as the runner-ups in the long jump (21-6.25) and shot put (58-7.25), respectively. Hooker also set a personal-best of 7.25 in the 60 meters on her way to a fifth-place finish. Melaine Walker set a personal best of her own in the 60-meter hurdles (8.10) in finishing sixth in the event. Just two weeks prior to the national meet, the Longhorns battled for a second-place finish at the Big 12 Championships. The weekend was highlighted by a slew of personal bests from Hooker and Walker in the sprint events. The Longhorns won three individual conference championships with Hooker taking the long jump and Carter winning the shot put. The 4x400-meter relay team of Sheretta Jones, Walker, LaTashia Kerr and Jerrika Chapple was also victorious. Overall, UT notched 14 top-five finishes on their way to scoring 97 points.
The Texas men have had six athletes post eight regional-qualifying marks, while the women's team has had six athletes and a relay team post 14 regional qualifiers already this season.
Sophomore Donovan Kilmartin and junior Trey Hardee are two of the top multi-event performers in the country. They finished two-three at theNCAA Indoor Championships in the heptathlon and now have their sites set on a similar, if not better, finish in the decathlon at the NCAAOutdoor Championships. Kilmartin won the NCAA Championship in the heptathlon as a freshman with a collegiate-record 6,036 points, but dueto injuries was unable to compete in the decathlon at the 2004 national meet. He holds a personal best of 7,729 points in the decathlon. Hardeewas last season's NCAA runner-up in the decathlon while at Mississippi State and holds a personal best of 8,041 points in the event.
ONE FOR THE THUMB
Sophomore Andra Manson won his fifth championship while at Texas after winning the Big 12 Indoor Championship in the high jump with a leap of 7-5 (2.26m) on Saturday, Feb. 26. Manson swept all four titles (Big 12 indoor and outdoor, NCAA indoor and outdoor) during his freshman campaign and became the first Texas athlete since Mark Boswell (2000) to win both the indoor and outdoor national championships in the high jump. Now, he returns to familiar territory, the Texas Relays, where he was a two-time high school champion while at Brenham High School. Manson will be looking to improve on his performance at the 2004 Texas Relays, where he tied for fourth place with a regional-qualifying 7-0.50.
Senior Mark Nichol joined the Longhorns as a graduate student and has made his presence felt. Nichol earned the Big 12 Cross Country Newcomer of the Year award during the fall and then automatically qualified for the NCAA indoor meet in the 5,000 meters after running a time of 13:53.03 at the Alex Wilson Invitational on March 4. Nichol took a year off from running while finishing his degree at Dartmouth. He is using his final year of eligibility at Texas while he pursues a master's in accounting.
Junior Quincy Boles has already posted a regional qualifier in the 100 meters during the 2005 outdoor season. He clocked a 10.44 at the Texas Invitational on March 26 and is ranked eighth nationally in the event. The early-season time is just .06 off of his personal best of 10.38. But, Boles is accustomed to setting personal bests after an indoor season that saw him match or set personal bests on three different occasions. He entered the 2005 indoor season with a personal best of 6.76 in the 60 meters. He matched that time once during the season, at the Father Diamond Invitational on Jan. 15, before breaking it twice at the Big 12 Championships. In Boles' first race, he clocked a 6.72 to move on to the semifinals, where he posted a 6.69, which is now his career best. He went on to finish fourth at the Big 12 Championships in 6.77.
Freshman Hamza Deyaf had the best day of his young career at the Rice Bayou Classic on Saturday, April 2. He torched the field in the 400-meter hurdles with a regional-qualifying time of 51.22. That time is the fourth-fastest in the nation. Deyaf started his track career in Cary, N.C. before moving to Plano, Texas prior to his senior season. The move didn't seem to hurt him at all as he earned all-state, all-region and all-conference honors as a junior at Cary High School and a senior at Plano East.
Junior Andrew Middleton took an early season opportunity to take part in one of the country's fastest races when he traveled to Palo Alto, Calif. to compete in the 10,000 meters at the Stanford Invitational. He ended up provisionally-qualifying with a 29:00.45, narrowly missing the the automatic standard of 29:00.00. Middleton is coming off a cross country season in which he earned All-America honors after finishing in 30th place with a time of 30:10 at the 2004 NCAA Cross Country Championships. The College Station, Texas native has already shaved over a minute off of his personal best in the 10,000 meters and he will be shooting for the automatic-qualifying standard as he moves through the outdoor season.
Juniors Brian Robison and Michael Huff have been extremely busy during the indoor and outdoor track seasons in 2005. Both athletes were instrumental in Texas' 38-37 victory over Michigan in the 2005 Rose Bowl. Robison, who has already posted regional qualifiers in the shot put and discus, is a defensive end during the fall, while Huff, who will return to the track now that spring football practice is over, is one of the nation's top safeties. Robison is Texas' top thrower and will lead a young group throughout 2005, while Huff returns to the track after a three-year absence and will add depth to coach Thornton's sprint group.
IN THE GENES
Following a stellar indoor season, sophomore Michelle Carter has already thrown in three outdoor meets, posting regional qualifiers at each one. She now stands third on the national list in the shot put and 34th in the discus. This, after setting UT's indoor school record in the shot put with a throw of 58-6.50 at the Tyson Invitational on Feb. 12. The throw broke an 11-year old record held by Eileen Vanisi (58-1.75). But, it is no wonder that she is such a success in the shot put considering her father Michael's accomplishments. He was the silver medalist in the shot put at the 1984 Olympic Games and still holds the national high school record in the event. He set the record in 1979 and since then, no one has come within five feet of his throw (81-3.50). Michelle also holds the national high school record in the shot put with a throw of 54-10.
DO IT ALL
Sophomore Marshevet Hooker did it all for the Longhorns during the 2005 indoor season. She was UT's top scorer at the Big 12 Championships with 26 points thanks to a victory in the long jump and two second-place finishes in the 60 meters and the 200 meters. Head coach Bev Kearney will need her to continue to compete in various events as the outdoor season progresses. The San Antonio native has already produced regional-qualifiers in the 100 meters and the 400 meters and ran the anchor leg on Texas' 4x100-meter relay team, which currently holds the fastest time in the country.
JAMAICA, ESSEX, TEXAS
Junior Melaine Walker has blazed an interesting trail on her way to the 40 Acres. While in high school at St. Jago in Kingston, Jamaica, Walker set the junior national record in the 400m hurdles with a 55.62. She went on to win the high school girls 400m hurdles at the Penn Relays in both 2001 (57.85) and 2002 (58.88). She moved on to Essex County, where she became a five time NJCAA national champion and 11 time NJCAA All-American. Now, at Texas, Walker is finding her groove. She recorded seven personal bests during competition at the Big 12 Championships, while finishing second in th 60-meter hurdles, third in the 60 meters and fourth in the 200 meters. Walker has already established herself on a national level and currently holds the top time in the country in the 400m hurdles (57.69) and his ranked third in the 100m hurdles (13.22).
KEEPING UP WITH THE JONES
After spending her first two seasons at Texas as one of the top middle distance performers in the Big 12, junior Sheretta Jones has turned her attention to the hurdles. The Houston, Texas native has already clocked two regional qualifiers in the 400m hurdles. She finished third at the Texas Invitational with a time of 1:00.55 and then bettered that time at the Rice Bayou Classic with a 1:00.45. The time at the Rice Bayou has her ranked 14th on the national list.
OPENING THE VAULT
Freshman pole vaulter Ashley Laughlin struggled to find her form during her first indoor season on the 40 Acres, but a little trick from assistant coach Rose Brimmer has Laughlin back in the mix. Coach Brimmer had a hunch that Laughlin's struggles were all mental, so during a practice, she told Laughlin that the bar was set at a lower height than it actually was. Laughlin easily cleared the height and the mental block was cleared in the process. Since then, Laughlin has produced two school records and posted two regional qualifiers. She broke the school record in the first meet of the outdoor season with a leap of 12-8.25. She went on to break the record at the Texas Invitational with a clearance of 12-9.50. She is now ranked seventh in the nation in the pole vault.