Women's Track and Field earns two relay finals berths at Drake
DES MOINES, Iowa -- The sixth-ranked Texas women's track and field team advanced the 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relays to the finals at the 2007 Drake Relays at Drake Stadium on Friday, April 27.
The 400-meter relay led all qualifiers with a season-best 44.41 seconds. Junior relay national champion Jasmine Lee (Norwalk, Calif.) handed off to sophomore All-American Alexandria Anderson (Chicago, Ill.). Senior relay national champion Jerrika Chapple (Lancaster, Texas) ran the third segment, while senior All-American transfer Chauntae Bayne (Fort Worth, Texas) anchored the quartet to the fastest time in the race.
"We looked a little rusty but we ran a comfortable race," said head coach Bev Kearney. "Running at 9:30 a.m. (CT) is an adjustment but other than that it was a good race."
Three of the four legs returned to run the 4x400-meter relay that finished in 3:38.88 in the preliminary race. Bayne, Lee and Anderson joined hurdler Angel Williams (Clarendon, Texas) in taking the top time in the heat. Bayne and Lee rounded the track first; Williams ran the third leg while Anderson anchored the group.
"We were in one of those heats where there wasn't a lot to push us," Kearney continued. "Originally, we thought that they were taking only heat winners but then we learned that we could advance on time. We weren't worried about that we just wanted to run a comfortable race."
The Longhorns' had a little motivation, as they were able to visit with the Governor of Iowa Chet Culver during a break in session.
"We went to the governor's office where he came out and spent 10 minutes with us in the office," continued Kearney. "He invited us to a bill signing where they were moving from No. 42 to No. 25 in the nation in teacher's salary ranking."
The Longhorns also have a chance to preview the track for the NCAA Midwest Region Championship, as Drake is the 2007 regional host. Kearney has traveled across the world for track meets, it marks the first time since her stint at Indiana State that she has coached at the Drake Relays.
"The weather is nice and the facilities are good," complimented Kearney. "The last time I came here, I was in grad school which was almost 20 years ago."