North Texas Daily

Track and field break records in final stretch of spring season

Track and field break records in final stretch of spring season

Track and field break records in final stretch of spring season
April 21
12:00 2023

Editors note: This story has been updated to correct the school year classification of KeAyla Dove.

With two meets remaining in its regular season, track and field look to continue building momentum and confidence going into the Conference USA Outdoor Championship. 

The Mean Green took home several titles and broke school records in the North Texas Classic on April 8. Director of track and field Doug Marshall said the atmosphere at the home meet played a role in the athletes’ performances. 

“It was a great turnout from a fan standpoint — our culture is built around family, and so it was a real big family atmosphere out there,” Marshall said. “You get to come out and compete in the facility that you practice in every single day — that’s a huge upper hand. Then you have your family out there, and you have your friends out there — it puts a little extra added pressure, but at the same time, it gives you a little bit more juice to go out and compete at a high level.”

Sophomore thrower Madison Sloan broke the school record in the women’s hammer throw with a mark of 190-9 (58.15m), winning the event title by over 27 feet. 

“I wasn’t really expecting to throw this mark,” Sloan said. “In practice, I’ve been throwing high 40s, and in other competitions, I was throwing high 40s. The weekend was really good […] my people were there, my mom was there, some of my old coaches were there — it’s better when you have everyone there to see it.” 

Sophomore thrower Jaleisa Shaffer winds up for a throw at
the North Texas Classic on April 8, 2023. Matt Iaia

North Texas took home several throwing titles as senior Jaleisa Shaffer won event titles in both the women’s shot put and discus. In men’s discus, senior Wardell Glaspie took first, and freshman Kevin Grubbs finished second. 

Freshman sprinter Kendahl Tucker lifted the women’s 4×400-meter relay to first place as she came from behind in the final leg of the race. Tucker said the encouragement of her teammates helped push her to compete at her best. 

“I can see what I need to do being a fourth leg, so that’s exciting for me because I do like to race, and I’m a very competitive person,” Tucker said. “I could see all my teammates just standing there cheering. That gives you the courage and the energy to just start pushing. It’s the home meet — you want to win it all.”

The relay finished with a time of 3:44.77. Tucker also recorded a second-place finish earlier in the day in the women’s 400-meters with a time of 55.12.

Junior hurdler Jordan Coates-McBride, who won the title in the men’s 400-meter hurdles with a time of 52.36, said his performance proved what he is truly capable of. 

“I knew coming off the curve that I was in first, and so I was really just running as hard as I could,” Coates-McBride said. “Once I finally crossed the line, it was excitement mixed with relief, knowing that I’m finally making those waves that I was supposed to be making. It definitely feels good. It lets me know that what we’ve been doing in practice is coming to fruition in the meets.”

In its most recent meet, the Sooner Invite in Norman, Oklahoma, North Texas saw more success as junior thrower KeAyla Dove broke her own school record in women’s shot put, and senior thrower Jake Parchman broke his school record in men’s hammer throw. 

Marshall said the outdoor season had been a “huge improvement” from the indoor season last fall and hopes the team can continue building positive momentum as they finish the spring season. 

“They’ve continued to push the limits every week in practice, and you can see it in the performances for sure,” Marshall said. “We had a team meeting, and one of the things that I mentioned in there was don’t get complacent. We’re happy with what we did, and we can be happy, but we can’t be satisfied. We have to continue to get better, and I think that we can definitely continue to get better.”

Featured Image Junior thrower KeAyla Dove winds up her throw at the North Texas Classic on April 8, 2023. Matt Iaia

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Jillian Nachtigal

Jillian Nachtigal

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