May 10, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas - A quartet of sophomores scored Friday led by Joshua Cox's gold medal in the javelin as Louisiana Tech opened competition at the 2013 Western Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships Friday at Maverick Stadium in Arlington.
The women's team finished the day in seventh place with 14 points, ahead of Seattle's 11 points. Texas State led the women's team standings Friday with 74 points while Idaho was in second place with 48 points.
On the men's side, the Bulldogs finished the day in seventh place with 11 points, just shy of Seattle's 13 points as the Redhawks finished in sixth. Host UT Arlington led after Friday's events with 76 points while Idaho was in second place, scoring 56 points.
"We had a great day one, we really did," said head coach Gary Stanley. "We started it off with Joshua Cox's school record in the javelin. He won it and was [ranked] third coming in and he had a great day. We advanced a lot of people. In the men's 1500 we got three runners in [the finals]. We advanced all of our hurdlers and in the 200m Trey Hadnot ran the 10th fastest time in the country with two more guys in the finals. It is all about getting into the finals for tomorrow. We had a few hiccups today but we think we are ready to come back tomorrow and race really hard."
Cox threw 223-11 (68.26m) and held off Idaho's Mike Marshall - who surpassed Cox for the 2012 WAC javelin title - as he claimed the first individual conference championship of his career. The Ruston, La. native's mark currently ranks 29th in the nation and 16th on the NCAA East Preliminary qualifying list.
Sophomore Charla Craddock claimed a silver medal in the women's long jump Friday as she jumped 19-4 (5.89m). Craddock finished just two inches shy of UT Arlington's Jennifer Brown, who claimed gold with a jump of 19-6 (5.94m). Tech's Marlesia Carey, also a sophomore, also scored in the event as she placed eighth as she jumped 18-10 (5.74m).
In the women's high jump, sophomore Pamela Lee scored points in the high jump as her mark of 5-7 (1.70m) placed her fourth overall. There were three jumpers that registered that mark but the three-way tiebreaker placed UTSA's Whitney Flannel third, Lee fourth and Texas State's Danessa Lyssy fifth.
The men's team claimed 13 spots in six finals races set for Saturday's races while the women's team reserved nine finals spots in five events.
Trey Hadnot unsurprisingly led the way for the Bulldogs, advancing to the finals in both the 200m and 400m dashes. Hadnot ran 20.56 in the 200m prelims, a time that currently ranks 10th in the nation. The junior's 200m time also ties for sixth in school history matching the 20.56 time ran by Cornell Garret on April 24, 1981 in a Southland Conference Championship meet that was, coincidentally, also ran at Maverick Stadium in Arlington.
"Trey has a different mental focus and that is the biggest difference," sprints coach Calvin Robinson said of Hadnot's performance Friday and continual improvement over the 2013 season. "He has always been a great athlete, no doubt about it, but I think he is a little more mentally prepared each and every week. He is in tune and he is focused throughout practices and that has been the biggest change for him from one year to the next."
Joining Hadnot in the 200m will be Niko Richey, who ran a personal record time of 21.01 as he won his heat. Kyonz Smith claimed the eighth and final spot in the finals as he ran 21.49 in the prelims. Hadnot also advanced to the 400m finals, running 47.89 in the prelims. Richey also moved on in the 100m after running 10.44, joining teammate Dennis Richardson who ran 10.43 to advance.
On the women's side, Kim Francis ran an impressive 13.15 in the 100m hurdles, a time that is currently tied for 11th in the nation and fourth in school history. Francis previously ran 13.14 earlier this season but that time was wind-aided and does not count in the national ranks.
Joining Francis in the 100m hurdles finals race on Saturday will be Bianca Jackson (13.56) and Marlesia Carey (13.79). Francis also advanced to the finals in the 100m dash after running 11.72 while Victoria Wade (11.92) and Charla Craddock (11.86) finished in the top eight in the prelims and will also advance.
Craddock, a native of Farmerville, Texas, also advanced in the 200m after running 24.31 in the prelims. Aldresha Bailey, a native of Arlington, ran 56.01 in the 400m to advance to Saturday's finals.
LA Tech had three men advance in the 110m hurdles with Kendall Hayes leading the way with a season-best time of 14.32. Hayes will be joined in the high hurdles finals by teammates Evan Warnick (14.58) and Brandon Crear (14.75).
Yusuf Muhammad advanced in the 400m hurdles, running a prelims best time of 51.52. Muhammad entered the WAC Championships with a league best time of 50.90 which ranks 12th in the nation.
In the men's 1,500m, senior Matt Wolfe led the way with a time of 4:00.19 to move on to Saturday's finals. He will be joined in the finals by two Tech teammates after Paul Sakit ran 4:02.90 and Tom Stringer ran 4:03.10 to advance.
Action at the final day of the 2013 WAC Outdoor Championships will resume at 11 a.m. with the men's hammer throw while track events will start at 5 p.m. with the women's 4x100m relay. Live stats can be found at LATechSports.com.
"We have to have another good day and not rest on their laurels," Stanley said as he previewed the final day of the championship meet. "We had a really good day in every area. I was really pleased with Coach [Justin] Wickard's hurdlers and Coach [Rob] Gire's javelin throwers. We have an amazing group of assistant coaches this year. It has been a great transition. In each of our event groups, the goal is to focus on finishing tomorrow."
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