College Track and Field: Bobcats take aim at WAC crown
Beginning today, Texas State will look to win its second conference title in track and field when it travels to Texas-Arlington to take part in the Western Athleitc Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Athletes will compete in the heptathlon and decathlon on Wednesday and Thursday, while the rest of the events start Friday.
The Bobcats hope to sweep both the indoor and outdoor seasons on the womens side while the mens team will be looking for its first WAC Championship. The Texas State women won the WAC Indoor Championship in February with head coach Dana Boone being named the conferences Womens Coach of the Year. The women won three gold medals and 10 total medals en route to the championship.
Meanwhile, the men won 10 medals as well, three of which were gold to finish fourth in the standings. UTSA won the mens indoor championship while last years outdoor champions were Idaho on the mens side and Utah State for the women.
While Texas States work will be cut out for the team, the Bobcats boast a number of athletes with conference best marks. Sophomore Darian Brown leads the team, ranked first in both the shot put and the discus while owning a No. 2 ranking in the hammer throw.
The Texas State throwers make a formidable group for the WAC as seniors Kelsey Titzman and Jalisa Hall and freshman Dasha Tsema all own top marks in the shot put, hammer throw and discus respectively.
In addition to Texas States top throwers, three other Bobcats are tops in their events. Three-time All-American Logan Cunningham owns the first place pole vault at 17-feet-7.25-inches, but his goal is to reach 18 feet. On the track, hurdlers Timothy Young and Chantesean White own the fastest times in the conference.
Young ran the 110-meter hurdles in a career best time of 13.90 while White has the top time in the 400-meter hurdles at 57.76, but she has ran as fast as 57.29 last season.
Texas State also has a chance in the womens 100-meter hurdles. Chelsea Stephen has the second fastest time in the conference at 13.61.
Sandra Venegas will represent the distance squad in the 5,000-meter run. She owns the second best time in the WAC at 16:46.30 and has broken the school record three times this season to get to that time.
Freshmen Tyrone Jackson and Hannah McWilliams are some of the top young guns on the team. They will have a chance at their respective events: the 800-meter run and the pole vault. Jackson has the second best time in the 800m at 1:49.52 while McWilliams vault of 3.80 meters (12-5.5) is second in the WAC. McWilliams, however, won the gold at the indoor championships in February with a vault of 3.92 meters (12-10.25) and is aiming for 13 feet.
Both 4x400-meter relay teams are currently second in the WAC. The men have a time of 3:10.76 and the womens best is 3:41.37. Other athletes that are just out of the top spot are William Murray in the long jump, Carter Nell in the decathlon and Danessa Lyssy in the heptathlon.
Lyssys school record of 5,206 points in the heptathlon is second in the WAC, but Texas State is bolstered in the event by third place Pilar Hastings-Smith and fourth place Tina Valenzuela.
The womens pole vault is a strong group as well as Leslie Ables is just behind McWilliams and Anicka Newell is fourth in the conference.