Women's Track and Field Wins WAC Title in Record Fashion
Updated Feb 27, 2005 22:18:08
NAMPA, Idaho- Louisiana Tech took all the drama out of the final day of the Western Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday as the Lady Techsters dominated the running events in route to winning their first WAC title at Jackson’s Track at the Idaho State Sports Center.
Tech trailed SMU 39 to 37.5 entering the final day of the event but after the Lady Techsters went one-two-three in the 60-meter hurdles there was little doubt of the outcome of the meet. Tech scored 157 points with second-place Rice collecting just 84 points at the event. The 73-point margin of victory is the biggest in WAC Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championships history.
“An incredible performance by a great group of young ladies who represent Louisiana Tech in a first class way,” Stanley said. “It was the largest margin of victory in the history of the WAC and just a great outpouring of intensity an emotion by our athletes especially considering what they had to go through on Thursday with a 21-hour travel day.”
The championship is the first for the women’s track and field program since winning the Sun Belt Conference crown in 1999. It caps a steady progression to the top of the league after a third place finish in 2003 and a second-place result a year ago.
“We had some seniors that we not going to be denied and wanted this really bad,” said Stanley.
The Bulldogs came in fourth place with 69 points, which is the best the Tech men have done in the WAC.
The final day was highlighted by first place finishes by Shandra Freeman in the 60 meters, Latonia Wilson in the 200 meters, Nina Gilbert in the 400 meters, Doria Appleberry in the 60-meter hurdles, Ayanna Alexander in the triple jump while the No. 9 nationally ranked 1,600 meter relay capped the event with a conference title as well.
The 1,600-meter relay set the WAC Champions record (3:39.07) in the event and also set the arena record in a facility that hosts several big time indoor meets per year. Appleberry, Gilbert, Wilson and Krstal Cole are the members of the relay team.
Junior Donesha Spivey was the high point performer at the meet scoring 22 with second place finishes in the 60 meters and 200 meters after posting third place result in the long jump on Friday.
Stanley was named women’s coach of the year matching his outdoor women’s coach of the year he was honored with last May.
“Just like I said last May, this is not about me and I have the two hardest working assistant coaches in the league,” said Stanley. “Shawn (Jackson) and Larry (Carmichael) do a great job and they are a huge part of why we are so successful.”
The Tech coaching staff has more duties than coaches at many other universities as most schools have five or six staff members.
“This would also not have been possible without the great support we have from our university,” Stanley. “I work at a great university that allows us to be successful.”
The Bulldogs had a pair of first place finishes by Johnathan Holland in the 60 meters while Nolan Jackson defended his 60-meter hurdle title with a first place finish. Holland finished third in the 200 meters with the Bulldog’s 1,600-meter relay coming in second with a time of 3:15.74.
“The men had a great meet as well,” Stanley said. “They came out and competed their best and the fourth place finish is better than we were projected coming into the week.”
David Phillips came in second in the 800 meters as the senior was nipped at the finish line after running a time of 1:51.46.
“David led the entire the whole way and ran a really good race, he just could not hold on at the end,” Stanley added.
The Lady Techsters stretched their lead with the top three finishers in the 60-meter hurdles while placing athletes one-two in the 60, 200 and 400-meters.
Freeman broke her own school record in the 60 meters with a time of 7.42 while Gilbert broke her school record in the 400 meters with a 53.35.
All of Tech’s individual and relay titles for the women on Saturday were NCAA provisional qualifying marks.
Shaterika Allen and Bejide Williams won conference titles on Friday in the shot put and long jump.
Many of Tech’s athletes will now compete at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, March 12th hosted by the University of Arkansas.
1. Tech 157
2. Rice 84
3. Fresno State 76
4. UTEP 63
5. Nevada 60
6. SMU 58
7. Utah State 49
8. Idaho 43
9. Hawaii 34
10. Tulsa 20
11. Boise State 17
1. UTEP 184
2. Utah State 136
3. Boise State 133
4. Tech 69
5. Rice 58
6. Idaho 43
7. Tulsa 32
Tech's Individual Champions
Doria Appleberry, 60-meter hurdles
Shandra Freeman, 60 meters
Latonia Wilson, 200 meters
Nina Gilbert, 400 meters
Ayanna Alexander, triple jump
Bejide Williams, long jump
Shaterika Allen, shot put
1,600 meter relay: Appleberry, Wilson, Gilbert and Krystal Cole
Coach of the Year: Gary Stanley, Tech
High Point Performer: Donesha Spivey, Tech
Men's Individual Champions
60 meters: Johnathan Holland
60-meter hurldles: Nolan Jackson