May 8, 2013
RUSTON, La. - Top marks no longer matter and it is all about how you finish this week as Louisiana Tech's track and field programs head to the 2013 Western Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships at Maverick Stadium on the UT Arlington campus.
Athletes spend most of the season trying to hit a top mark to qualify for the NCAA East Preliminary Championships but the goal this week is to win a gold medal and help the team win a conference championship.
The meet, which runs from Wednesday through Saturday in Arlington, will only be the third WAC outdoor meet in the central time zone since 2005, when the Lady Techsters went on a run of winning seven consecutive outdoor crowns. Tech's first event at the championship meet will be on Friday, May 10.
The women's team, which finished third in last year's meet in Moscow, Idaho, is projected to finish third again as well this year while the men are projected to place fifth.
Francis leads the field in the 100m hurdles with a wind-aided time of 13.14 and a non-wind-aided time of 13.18. The Lafayette, La. native is ranked first in the conference and 12th in the nation in the hurdles event. She is also ranked sixth in the league in the 100m dash, an event a Lady Techster has won every year since 2005.
She also is on the 4x100m relay team that leads the conference with a time of 45.30. The Lady Techsters have claimed gold in the 4x100m relay every year at the WAC Championships since 2003.
Charla Craddock is only a half-inch away from the league leader in the long jump with a mark of 19-11 (6.07m) and has a strong chance at a gold medal this week with a good jump. Craddock is also ranked fourth in the 200m with a time of 23.77, but that is a mark she ran in the first outdoor meet of the season.
On the men's side, Trey Hadnot leads the league in the 200m with a time of 20.78. That mark ranks him 28th in the nation. The Ruston, La. native also runs in the 4x100m relay that leads the league with a time of 39.93 and also runs on the 4x400m relay that enters the championship meet ranked third with a time of 3:13.93.
The Bulldogs also have the best middle distance runners the team has had in several years with Paul Sakit leading the way. Sakit leads the league in the 1,500m with a time of 3:47.36 and is ranked eighth in the 800m, running 1:52.98. Both times were ran less than two weeks ago at the Bobcat Classic in San Marcos against WAC challenger Texas State.
Live results will be available on LATechSports.com and fans can follow @LATechTandF on Twitter for meet updates.
For complete coverage of Tech Track and Field, please visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.