North Texas Daily

Track and field ends regular season strong in San Marcos

Track and field ends regular season strong in San Marcos

May 01
23:51 2016

Torie Mosley | Staff Writer

@toriemosley

The North Texas men’s and women’s track and field teams head into Conference play later this month riding high off a strong regular season-ending performance in San Marcos at the Bobcat Classic.

Twenty-eight top 10 finishes, six second-place finishes and three titles capped off a successful outing for the Mean Green.

The women’s squad was led by seniors Chastity Stewart (hurdles) and Tori Clark (throws), setting school records in their events at the meet hosted by Texas State University.

“Our upperclassmen leadership is starting to pay dividends for us,” head coach Carl Sheffield said. “When they run well, the rest of the team battle even harder.”

Stewart’s 13.03 time in the 100-meter hurdles clinched the fastest time in North Texas history over Alysha Adams’ 13.08 time set in April 2011. The senior also had a season-best time of 58.67 in the 400-meter hurdles, taking first place along the way.

The performance was a long time coming, according to Stewart.

“I had goals of getting the 100-meter and 400-meter hurdles school records ever since I’ve been in college,” Stewart said. “I got the 400 record a couple years ago, so getting the 100 hurdles school record on the last meet of the season was really exciting.”

Looking down the tunnel of her last North Texas outdoor season, Stewart said it’s been a journey growing as a runner for the Mean Green.

The Whitehouse, Texas native joined North Texas four years ago when Sheffield took over the reigns as head coach. Sheffield hadn’t recruited Stewart to the program, so the two grew a respect and trust for each other over time.

“Running under [coach Sheffield] was a big adjustment at first,” Stewart said. “I was training with someone I never met and had no idea what to expect.”

Sheffield’s coaching style grew on Stewart as well.

“He’s very stern and has strict rules, but he has a lot of experience to learn from,” Stewart said. “He told me to have faith in the program and process. When you have leaders with a resume that believe in themselves and you, it’s hard not to buy into what they’re teaching you.”

Sheffield said Stewart has become every bit of the athlete he thought she could become in her collegiate career.

“Four years ago, I knew how great of a runner she could be for our program,” Sheffield said. “She’s a great leader on and off the field, and that’s the type of athlete any coach would want.”

Stewart also helped the women’s 4×100-meter relay team take second place with seniors Mona Landry, Nadiyah El-Amin and sophomore Siara Obasuyi. The combo ran a season-best time of 45.17.

The men’s 4×100-meter relay team finished third with senior Kedron Sowells, juniors Collin Heard, Dominique Drayden and freshman Justin Joe clocking in at 40.78, just one millisecond off their season-best 40.77 mark.

Senior Troy Taylor finished fifth in the 800-meter at 1:50.39 with the fourth fastest time in school history. Fellow senior Bryce McAndrew finished behind Taylor at 1:51.01 with a personal best time as well.

“We competed hard like we have all season,” Taylor said. “It’s been a long year and we’ve changed a lot for the better.”

With the Conference USA Championships taking place May 12-15, Taylor said he hopes the team runs as fast as they have all year. The senior also hopes to run a tie of 3:44.0 in the 1500-meter run to qualify for NCAA competition.

“The conference championships will have a lot of fast teams, but we have a good shot,” Taylor said. “We just need to take it one day at a time and hope for the best.”

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