Big 12 Championships Meet Info
Date: Friday-Sunday, May 13-15
Site: R.V. Christian Track Complex (Manhattan, Kan.)
Host: Kansas State
TEXAS TIDBITS: The Longhorns have captured 63 conference championships, which includes 47 by the men's team (since 1915) and 16 by the women's (since 1985) ... The Longhorn women are looking for their third-consecutive conference championship ... The last championship for the men's team came just two years ago in 2003 ... The Longhorns have already posted 94 regional marks during the outdoor season. The women's team has notched 53 marks, while the men's team has recorded 41 ... Two Texas decathletes have automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships. Junior Trey Hardee holds the top mark in the country with 7,839 points (six points off the all-time UT record), while sophomore Donovan Kilmartin is fourth with 7,650 points ... Sophomore Andra Manson is currently tied with six others nationally for the fifth-best clearance in the high jump (7-2.50) ... Junior Brian Robison has posted regional qualifiers in the shot put (62-4.50, personal best) and the discus (183-0) ... Freshman Leonel Manzano won the 1,500 meters at the Oregon Invitational (4/23) with the 11th-fastest time in the country (3:42.84) ... The UT men have five regional qualifiers in the 5,000m, four in the 1,500m and three in the 3,000m steeplechase ... Sophomore Marshevet Hooker is coming off a first place finish in the 100-meter dash matching the nation's fastest time (11.24) ... As a result of her performance, Hooker was named the Big 12 Women's T&F Athlete of the Week. She had previously been named the USTCA Athlete of the Week for her performance at the Texas Relays ... Hooker has now had a hand in four qualifiers so far this season. She has the top time nationally in the 100 meters (11.24), second-longest mark in the long jump (21-10), the 55th-fastest time in the 400 meters (54.38) and anchored the 4x100-meter relay to the fastest mark in the country (43.25) ... Junior Melaine Walker currently holds the fastest time in the nation in the 400-meter hurdles (55.37) and the ninth-fastest time in the 100-meter hurdles (13.22) ... The Longhorn women hold the nation's fastest mark in the 4x100-meter relay (43.25) and the the country's fourth-fastest mark in the 4x400-meter relay (3:31.29) ... Sophomore Michelle Carter has posted regional qualifiers in both the shot put (57-4.75) and the discus (171-0).
TEXAS CONFERENCE HISTORY: The Texas men have captured 47 outdoor conference titles (44 SWC/three Big 12) dating back to the first Southwest Conference Championships in 1915. The Longhorns' most recent string of success came from 1992-99 when UT laid claim to seven of eight league crowns, including six in a row in 1992-97, and three of the first seven Big 12 titles (1997, 1999 & 2003). Texas has also won six consecutive conference crowns three additional times (1932-37; 1954-59; 1972-77). UT has finished outside of the top three at the conference meet just seven times in 89 years of league championships.
The Texas women have captured 16 league titles since winning the 1985 Southwest Conference Outdoor. The Longhorns have won the last three conference crowns and, at one point, had runs of five straight crowns from 1985-89, and then nine consecutive from 1991-99, including the first three Big 12 titles. In 22 conference championship meets, UT has finished first or second all but one time (third in 2001).
INDIVIDUAL CONFERENCE HISTORY: The UT men have captured 388 individual or relay conference crowns since the first Southwest Conference meet was held in 1915. Those titles range all the way from Ralph Frame's sweep of the 100- and 220-yard dashes in 1915 to Zach Zeller's victory in the 3,000m steeplechase last year. UT has won titles in a variety of events, but in the high jump and pole vault alone, the Longhorns boast 66 league crowns. In the relays, the Longhorns have won 23 titles in the 440-yard relay before taking three of the last six 4x100-meter relay crowns (1999, 2000 and '03). They have also captured 31 mile-relay championships, the last coming in 1979.
The UT women have captured 151 individual or relay conference titles since the first Southwest Conference Outdoor was held in 1983. Of the 151 crowns, 124 have come on the track, including 32 in the 4x100m and 4x400m relays alone. UT has dominated the 100m (15 titles), 200m (14), 400m (15) and 800m (12).
IN THE POLLS: Texas has been a mainstay in the Trackwire 25 since the initial poll was released on April 5. The women's team took the top spot in the April 12th poll and has held on to it since. The men started the season ranked seventh and are now tied for 13th with Mississippi State. Here is a look at their week-by-week rankings so far this season:
Week Rank (Pts.)
4/5 7th (26)
4/12 9th (22)
4/19 12th (20)
4/26 12th (20)
5/3 12th (22)
5/10 13th (20)
Week Rank (Pts.)
4/5 6th (36)
4/12 1st (66)
4/19 1st (68)
4/26 1st (65)
5/3 1st (60)
5/10 1st (62)
2005 BIG 12 INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Texas men's track and field team scored 87.33 points to finish second behind Nebraska (132) at the Big 12 Indoor Championships on Saturday, Feb. 26. The Longhorns had three individual Big 12 Champions in sophomores Donovan Kilmartin (Heptathlon) and Andra Manson (High Jump) and freshman Leonel Manzano (Mile). UT also recorded two second-place finishes, Mark Floreani in the 3,000 meters and Trey Hardee in the heptathlon, two third-place finishes, Mark Nichol in the 5,000 meters and the DMR, and nine other top eight finishes.
The Texas women's track and field team scored 97 points to finish second behind Nebraska (138.4) at the 2005 Big 12 Indoor Championships. The Longhorns had three Big 12 Champions in sophomores Marshevet Hooker (Long Jump) and Michelle Carter (Shot Put), along with the 4x400-Meter Relay. UT also recorded three second-place finishes behind Marshevet Hooker in the 60 meters and the 200 meters and Melaine Walker in the 60-meter hurdles, four third-place finishes, and five other top-eight finishes.
DUAL THREAT: 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 is a defensive end during the fall, while Huff is one of the nation's top safeties. Robison had his best meet of the season at the Penn Relays when he set a personal best of 62-4.50 in the shot put to finish third and then set a season best in the discus of 183-0 to finish fifth. Meanwhile, Huff has regularly run the first leg of the 4x100-meter relay, helping them post the fourth-fastest qualifier (39.80) in the Mid-West Region.
DYNAMIC DUO: Junior Trey Hardee and sophomore Donovan Kilmartin are two of the top multi-event performers in the country. They finished two-three at the NCAA Indoor Championships in the heptathlon and now have their sites set on similar, if not better, finishes in the decathlon at the Big 12 and NCAA Outdoor Championships. Both have already automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships as a result of their performances at this year's Texas Relays. Hardee took the decathlon with the nation's top mark, 7,839 points, which was just six points off the UT record. Kilmartin placed second with 7,650 points, the fourth-best mark in the country this season. The two will be looking to become the first duo to score 8,000 points at the national meet since Tennessee's Brian Brophy and Aric Long did it in 1992.
GRADUATE SCHOOL: 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 finished third in the 5,000 meters at the Big 12 indoor meet. At this point in the outdoor season, Nichol has qualified for the NCAA Regional meet in the 5,000 meters (13:54.34) and notched an automatic qualiifer in the 10,000 meters (28:54.70). 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.
ONE FOR THE THUMB: Sophomore Andra Manson won his fifth championship while at Texas after winning the 2005 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, Manson will be looking to make it four-straight conference championships as he looks to repeat as the outdoor conference champ. He won the event last year with a leap of 7-3.
QUINCY'S FINEST: 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, which is the seventh-fastest time in the Mid-West region. The 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.
MARBLE FALLS MILER: Freshman Leonel Manzano, who hails from Marble Falls, Texas, became just the second Longhorn to run a sub-four-minute mile (3:59.86), indoors, while winning the Big 12 Indoor Championship. His time broke both the school and meet record and he was named Big 12 Freshman Performer of the Year for his efforts. During the outdoor season, Manzano became the first Texas athlete to win the Jerry Thompson Mile at the Texas Relays since Paul Craig did it in 1977. He went on to record the nation's 11th-fastest time in the 1,500 meters (3:42.84) on his way to winning the event at the Oregon Invitational. But, he accomplished something much greater when he became a United States citizen on Dec. 16, 2004. Manzano is originally from Guanajuato, Mexico.
DISTANCE DOZEN: The Texas men's distance team has 12 runners qualified for the NCAA Mid-West Regional at this point in the season. There are five Longhorns qualified in the 5,000 meters (Andrew Middleton, Matt Munoz, Mark Nichol, Erik Stanley and Joe Thorne), four in the 1,500 meters (Matt Caterisano, Leonel Manzano, Kyle Miller and Ryan Ponsonby) and three in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (Jeff Cutrer, Charles Hampton and Zach Zeller). Last year, in those same three events, the Longhorns had only three participants. In addition, both Middleton and Nichol have qualified for the national meet in the 10,000 meters. Nichol is an automatic qualifier, while Middleton missed an automatic qualifier by just .85 seconds, so he figures to be racing in Sacramento in mid-June.
IN THE GENES: Following a stellar indoor season that saw her win the Big 12 Championship and finish second at the national meet, sophomore Michelle Carter has posted qualifiers in the shot put at every meet and qualifiers in the discus in three of her last four events. She now stands third on the national list in the shot put (57-4.75) and 18th in the discus (171-0). 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. She has picked up right where she left off and has already qualified for the national meet in four events. She posted a leap of 21-10 (second-longest in the country) in winning the long jump at the Texas Relays. She tied the nation's fastest time in the 100 meters (11.24) in winning the event at the Penn Relays and has anchored the 4x100-meter relay to the nation's fastest time (43.25). She has also notched a regional qualifier in the 400 meters with a time of 54.38. Trackwire's Dandy Dozen has the San Antonio native ranked second in both the 100 meters and the long jump according to their most recent release.
JAMAICA, ESSEX, TEXAS: Junior Melaine Walker has blazed an interesting trail on her way to the Forty 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 has found her groove. She recorded seven personal bests during competition at the Big 12 Championships, while finishing second in the 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 (55.37) and is ranked ninth 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 400-meter hurdles. The Houston, Texas native has bettered her time in each of her five races. In her first race at the Texas Invitational, Jones recorded a 1:00.55. She then broke the minute-mark in just her third hurdle race ever with a 59.67 at the Texas Relays. Now, she is ranked 17th in the nation after posting a 58.53 at the Michael Johnson Invitational. On top of her new role in the hurdles, Jones is part of the nation's fourth-fastest 4x400-meter relay team and is also a second-team Academic All-Big 12 performer.
OPENING THE VAULT: Freshman pole vaulter Ashley Laughlin struggled to find her form during her first indoor season on the Forty 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 four 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.
RELAY UNIVERSITY: Since coming to Texas, head coach Bev Kearney has had great success with the relay events. Under her guidance, the Texas women have produced 12 national championships. Also, in the eight-year history of the Big 12 Conference, Texas has won 15 of a possible 16 relay events at the outdoor conference meet. The only time they didn't win was the 4x400m relay in 1998 and they would go on to win the ntiaonal championship both as a team and in both relays. The Longhorns hold the nation's fastest time in the 4x100-meter relay behind juniors Ashlee Williams and Melaine Walker and sophomores Jerrika Chapple and Marshevet Hooker. UT has the fourth-fastet time in the 4x400-meter relay thanks to juniors Sheretta Jones, LaTashia Kerr, Walker and Chapple.