Women's Track and Field preview: Big 12 Outdoor Championships
May 13, 2009
LONGHORNS HEAD TO LUBBOCK ... The University of Texas Women's Track and Field team heads to the 13th annual Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships this Friday-Sunday, May 15-17 held at Texas Tech's Terry & Linda Fuller Track.
HORNS NO STRANGER TO BIG 12 TITLES ... UT's women's track and field team owns six Big 12 Outdoor Championships titles, the most a by men's or women's Big 12 team since the inception of the league in 1996. Not only does the program have the most titles, but they also hold the record for the highest point total (188 pts, 2003) in the history of the league's outdoor championship - men's or women's.
NEW FACES ON THE TRACK ... Those unfamiliar with the Texas Women's Track & Field team might have an even harder time this season as head coach Bev Kearney has 21 freshmen on the 2009 roster, marking Kearney's biggest freshman class. Despite not having a full year of collegiate experience under their belts, the group has accumulated 15 of UT's 41 NCAA Regional Marks, seven indoor All-Big 12 honors, and three NCAA Indoor All-America accolades.
400 STRONG ... To say the 400-meter dash is the Longhorn's strongest event is probably an understatement. UT 400m sprinters hold six of the top 14 Big 12 marks in the event, including four in the top 10. Four of the sprinters are freshman, including UT's fastest time of the year (52.90) ran by newcomer Stacey-Ann Smith. Along with owning the individual 400m, the Longhorns also have the second-fastest 4x400m relay in the nation and are the only school in the nation's top 25 to house three freshman (Angele Cooper, Lakedira Stewart, Smith) on their relay card.
HOOKER DOMINANCE ... Junior high jumper Destinee Hooker will look to become the second female high jumper in Big 12 history to collect six Big 12 Titles as she currently has three indoor and two outdoor crowns. Texas Ex Erin Aldrich holds the most league titles in the event with six (1998-2000). Hooker currently leads the nation with her Texas Relays winning clearance of 6-3.5 (1.92m). After taking a year off to train with USA Volleyball, Hooker has made herself the high jumper to beat this year after winning the NCAA Indoor Championship in demanding fashion with an NCAA record clearance of 6-6. Hooker broke a nine-year old collegiate indoor record and tied the outdoor record of 6-6 that has been held since 1999.
SMITH MAKING A SMOOTH TRANSITION ... Freshman Stacey-Ann Smith has quickly made an impact for UT since the beginning of the 2009 season. The newcomer joined UT as a 100m-200m sprinter but has since transitioned to the 200m-400m events. The change has been smooth for the freshman out of Bloomfield, Conn., as she holds the fastest-freshman 400-meter time in the nation with her regional-qualifying time of 52.90 at the Texas Twilight meet.
NCAA REGIONAL QUALIFIERS ... Texas has collected 41 regional qualifying marks in 13 events this season, 15 of which were reached by freshman. Newcomers Stacey-Ann Smith (200m and 400m), Judy Nwosu (400m), Angele Cooper (400m hurdles), Destiny Lumas (100m and 400m Hurdles), Mia Behm (5,000m run) and Amanda Van Dyke (shot put) have all earned the opportunity to compete at the NCAA regional meet. Senior Alexandria Anderson (100m, 200m and 400m), junior Jordyn Brown (shot put), sophomore Chantel Malone (400m, triple jump and long jump) and the Horns 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relays have also regionally qualified.
ANDERSON MAKING A NAME FOR HERSELF ... Texas women's track and field has its fair share of household names in its record books with the latest to join being Alexandria Anderson. The senior currently own the fastest 100m time in the nation (11.09), a time that also ranks as the fourth-fastest in the world. Also, after earning three All-America honors at the 2009 NCAA Indoor Championships, the senior moved her career total to 17, tying her for the second-most in UT history. Anderson joins Suziann Reid (1996-99) with 17 and sits behind Carlette Guidry who holds the UT record with 23 All-America accolades during her four year career on the Forty Acres (1988-91).
LAST TIME OUT AT TEXAS INVITE (5/2)... Senior Kelly Heinbaugh earned her first NCAA RQ mark of the year in the javelin with a personal-best throw of 144-10 (44.15m). UT posted seven regional marks and 12 personal bests, led by junior Jordyn Brown who captured the shot put and hammer throw.
A CHECK OF THE RANKINGS ... After starting the 2009 outdoor season with a No. 14 ranking by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches of America (USTFCCCA), the Longhorns have climbed up to the No. 6 spot, their highest ranking this season.
BEHM REGIONALLY QUALIFIES... Freshman distance runner Mia Behm became the latest UT freshman to regionally qualify for NCAAs as she posted a career-best time of 16:51.74 in the 5,000m at Drake Relays (4/23) to earn the first RQ mark of her career. The newcomer out of Tyler, Texas took over two seconds off her previous-personal best to become the first Longhorn to qualify for regionals in the event.
VAN DYKE IN PURSUIT ... Freshman shot putter Amanda Van Dyke, who hopes to follow in the footsteps of Olympian and Texas Ex Michelle Carter and current All-American junior Jordyn Brown, is well on her way after throwing a regional qualifying mark of 14.65m (48-0.75 feet) at the Texas Relays (4/3). Van Dyke also earned All-Big 12 honors at the indoor league meet and will look to add more to her resume in the event this weekend in Lubbock.
KEARNEY HONORED BY BCA ... Head coach Beverly Kearney added to her already staggering list of awards after being named the Black Coaches & Administrator's 2009 Female Coach of the Year. During the recent 2009 Indoor season, Kearney took her team from a No. 15 national ranking to a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Despite having only seven individuals on her roster competing at the meet, the Horns earned eight All-America honors, one individual national title in high jumper Destinee Hooker, and their second straight top-five finish at the Championships.