North Texas Daily

Record-breaking home meet leaves Track & Field excited for rest of outdoor slate

Record-breaking home meet leaves Track & Field excited for rest of outdoor slate

Record-breaking home meet leaves Track & Field excited for rest of outdoor slate
April 15
12:00 2021

Playing host to a pair of Big 12 Conference teams and several other squads from around the area on April 10, the track and field team held its annual home meet — the North Texas Classic.

Some participating schools in the eight-team field included the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University and Southern Methodist University. Mean Green athletes competed in 33 of the 38 events (18 for the men, 15 for the women) as four athletes from the men’s side secured wins in front of their home fans and families.

“Our team is a really good team now so there is a lot of support,” Director of track and field Carl Sheffield said. “We’ve gone to meets where there have been no fans or limited fans, now we had our fans, parents and spectators there, so that was fun. It was really cool because we’re halfway through our season and this is their parents first opportunity to see them run.”

Headlining the victories, sophomore sprinter Karlington Anunagba and senior long distance runner Jack Beaumont set stadium records in the 100-meter dash (10.27 seconds) and 300-meter steeplechase (9:11.50), respectively. Anunagba’s time was also a personal best and an exciting moment for the sophomore.

“For the 100 meters, I always pray before my races so I was like, ‘Lord, take control,’” Anunagba said. “I warmed up and everything felt good, I practiced my start and that felt good too. […] I went out and ran a [personal best] so I was really happy with that. It was a really good meet for me.”

Senior Antonio Delacruz came up limping in the 100-meter dash and was later carted onto the field to be in the team meeting when the meet ended. Sheffield said he was unsure of the injury’s severity as of 11:30 a.m. on Monday.

Seniors Karl Sralla and Michael Gonzalez were North Texas’ other two athletes to win their events. Sralla took the discus competition with a throw of 51.64 meters, more than two meters further than the second-place finisher. A transfer from the University of Southern California, Gonzalez took the pole vault title after clearing a height of five meters on his third and final attempt.

“Being in my fifth year, I don’t look towards a whole bunch of victories, I look more towards progression,” Gonzalez said. “I was hoping for a lot more, I was looking for that next bar and went straight to 5.20 meters to try and jump a bit higher but missed it. At this point of the season, I’m glad to be getting on bigger poles and looking forward to bigger heights, PRs.”

With this being a home meet, Anunagba said it was nice not having to wake up as early as normal.

“I think it’s really nice running a home meet because you don’t have to wake up early to get to the course,” Anunagba said. “Also, it’s the track you’ve always been running on so you’re used to the track, you’re used to the environment. I feel like that was an advantage.”

For the women’s team, sophomore Glenquioa Hardy and senior Haley Walker each took second in their respective events. Hardy was runner-up in the long jump with a leap of 5.73 meters on her first attempt, while Walker took No. 2 in the hammer throw with a personal best throw of 56.11 meters.

“Haley is coming along,” Sheffield said. “She’s primarily a discus thrower and she’s been working on a second event. She’s just a competitor, her and Jaleisa [Shaffer] go at each other all the time about who’s better in each event. It was good it came at this time because she’s had some good throws in the past but nothing like this weekend. I think that will bode well for getting ready for conference.”

Working her way back from injury this outdoor season, senior Aneesa Scott placed fifth in the 200-meter dash and was part of the women’s 4×100-meter relay team which finished second and set a new personal record for the group at 45.37 seconds.

“For the 4×100, we did good, we PR’d and we keep improving every week so that was really good to see,” Scott said. “The 200-meter dash, I wouldn’t say disappointed but I was disappointed at the same time because I was a 23-second runner [before the injury]. Coming off the injury, I just have to be patient […] and I’ll get back to where I was soon.”

The men’s 4×100-meter relay also finished second at 39.57 seconds, a mere 0.3 seconds behind Oklahoma’s quartet.

As the season progresses toward the Conference USA outdoor championships on May 13-16, Sheffield said the team’s three remaining outdoor events will be key in preparing for the Conference USA meet.

“We really got to start to confirm who the team is,” Sheffield said. “Because of COVID-19 limitations from a conference standpoint, they limited our numbers for a squad this year, so we’re going to be limited to 28 people per gender. We’re going to try and figure out who that 28 is over the next few meets.”

Featured Image: Senior pole vaulter Michael Gonzalez completes a successful vault on April 10 at the North Texas Classic. Gonzalez went on to win the event after clearing a height of five meters. Image by John Fields

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John Fields

John Fields

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