ALBUQUERQUE

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Senior Ashley Spencer looks to improve her No. 2 ranking in the 400 meters this weekend in Lexington, Kentucky.

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

The Texas indoor track and field team will split up for two meets this weekend. Most of the team will compete in the Rod McCravy Memorial in Lexington, Kentucky, and the pole vaulters and throwers will travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to participate in the Lobo Collegiate Invitational.

At the McCravy Memorial, which is typically a challenging meet with stacked fields, Texas will face off against eight men’s and women’s top-25 teams, including No. 1 Florida and Oregon, which has a second-ranked men’s team and third-ranked women’s team.

Texas is still a contender, however, bringing in the eighth-ranked men’s team and the fifth-ranked women’s team, which includes senior Ashley Spencer, junior Courtney Okolo and sophomore Kendall Baisden, who are all ranked inside the top seven for the 400 meters. In the 3,000-meter run, All-American senior Craig Lutz will compete against defending national champion Edward Cheserek from Oregon, as well as fellow All-Americans Kemoo Campbell of Arkansas and Johnny Gregorek of Oregon. Lutz also holds the second-best time in the nation this year in the 5,000 meters.

The action in Kentucky starts Friday, with combined events in the morning, field events at 2 p.m. and running events at 6:20 p.m. The SEC Network will broadcast Saturday’s events.

In New Mexico, the Longhorns will compete in the shot put, weight throw and pole vault at the Lobo Collegiate Invitational. Junior Ryan Crouser looks to start his trek toward a national champion repeat in the shot put. Arizona and Stanford are two of the prominent teams competing in these events.

The Lobo Collegiate Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico, starts at 11 a.m. Friday.

This weekend the No. 5 Longhorn women’s track and field team heads to a familiar venue in Albuquerque, N.M. to compete in the NCAA Indoor Championships. The women will send eight entries in six events.

Texas carries a top seed in two events with 400-meter sprinter Ashley Spencer and the 4x400 meter relay team of Spencer, Briana Nelson, Kendall Baisden, and Courtney Okolo holding the nation’s fastest times in their respective events.

Okolo and Baisden, seeded No. 2 and No. 11 respectively in the 400-meters, will also compete alongside Spencer for an individual title.

Sophomore Kaitlin Petrillose, seeded second in the pole vault, has had a fantastic indoor season and is another strong candidate to capture an individual title for herself.

The Longhorns are not currently favored to take home the national championship, but in a high-pressure meet with the best competition in the nation, athletes perform differently.

“It brings out the very best in our athletes” head coach Mario Sategna said.

Strong performances by the Longhorns very well could beat the odds and bring a national championship to Austin. 

Men's Tennis

The Texas track and field program competed at both the Razorback Invitational and the Bill Bergan Invitational over the weekend, posting strong results without sending complete squads.

The short-distance women went to Ames, Iowa, for the Bergan Invitational and won each of the four events they entered.

But the most impressive performance of the weekend came from Fayetteville, where senior distance runner Sara Sutherland won the women’s 3,000-meter in convincing fashion with the third-best time in school history.

“[Sutherland] knocked it out of the park,” head coach Mario Sategna said. 

Sutherland led the entire race and finished 18 seconds ahead of second-place teammate, senior Marielle Hall.

Sophomore Zack Bilderback dominated the men’s competition as he won the 400-meter at the Bergan invitational with a personal-best time of 46.98. 

The squad will return to Albuquerque, N.M., on Friday for the New Mexico Collegiate Classic.

Women's Tennis

The wind persisted throughout Texas’ meeting against Stanford, ultimately blowing in favor of the Cardinal, as the team beat the Longhorns, 6-1.

No. 17 Texas (3-1) came into this match without losing more than one point against its first three opponents.

The Cardinal, ranked No. 1, fared better than that, with no points lost through its first two matches.

Stanford claimed the doubles point with wins by its two top-16 tandems. No. 15 Kristie Ahn/Carol Zhao knocked off No. 21 Breaunna Addison/Pippa Horn, 6-2.

Senior Elizabeth Begley dropped her match at No. 2 singles (6-2, 6-0). Freshmen Neda Koprcina and Horn lost their matches as well, giving Stanford the victory.

Though the match was already decided, freshman Ratnika Batra continued her round against No. 34 Caroline Doyle. Batra prevented a Cardinal sweep with a 6-2, 6-3 win.

The Longhorns will travel to Charlottesville, Va., on Friday to compete in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship.

Track and Field

The Texas track and field program competed at both the Razorback Invitational and the Bill Bergan Invitational over the weekend, posting strong results without sending complete squads.

The short-distance women went to Ames, Iowa, for the Bergan invitational and won each of the four events they entered.

But the most impressive performance of the weekend came from Fayetteville, where senior distance runner Sara Sutherland won the women’s 3,000-meter in convincing fashion with the third-best time in school history.

“[Sutherland] knocked it out of the park,” head coach Mario Sategna said in a statement. 

Sutherland led the entire race and finished 18 seconds ahead of second-place teammate, senior Marielle Hall.

Sophomore Zack Bilderback dominated the men’s competition as he won the 400-meter at the Bergan invitational with a personal-best time of 46.98. 

The squad will return to Albuquerque, N.M., on Friday for the New Mexico Collegiate Classic.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico teenager accused of fatally shooting his parents and three younger siblings told police he had been having homicidal and suicidal thoughts.

According to a probable cause statement, a Bernalillo County sheriff’s detective questioned 15-year-old Nehemiah Griego on Saturday about the killings at the family home in a rural area southwest of Albuquerque.

The statement says Griego told the detective he first shot his mother as she was sleeping and then shot a younger brother in the same room and then two younger sisters in another.

It says he then told the detective he waited for his father to return home and then gunned him down.

Sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Aaron Williamson said Monday he couldn’t immediately comment on the document.

 ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Growing up in South Texas, Kiko Torres saw the Day of the Dead as an obscure holiday celebrated in southern Mexico. Few people dared to discuss it in his small but strong Catholic, Mexican-American community.

Still, Torres said he became fascinated by Day of the Dead folk art and ceremonies he saw during his father’s research trips to Mexico. Those images of dancing skeleton figurines and the event’s spiritual messages of honoring the dead, he said, were misunderstood in the United States.

“People here thought it was something to be scared of or evil,” said Torres.

But that’s changing. In the last decade or so, this traditional Latin American holiday with indigenous roots has spread throughout the U.S. along with migration from Mexico and other countries where it is observed. Not only are U.S.-born Latinos adopting the Day of the Dead, but various underground and artistic non-Latino groups have begun to mark the Nov. 1-2 holidays through colorful celebrations, parades, exhibits and even bike rides and mixed martial arts fights.

In Houston, artists hold a “Day of the Dead Rock Stars” where they pay homage to departed singers like Joey Ramone, Johnny Cash and even “El Marvin Gaye.” Community centers in Los Angeles build altars for rapper Tupac Shakur and Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.
“It’s everywhere now,” said Carlos Hernandez, 49, a Houston-based artist who launched the “Day of the Dead Rock Stars” event. “You can even get Dia de los Muertos stuff at Wal-Mart.”

The Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, honors departed souls of loved ones who are welcomed back for a few intimate hours. At burial sites or intricately built altars, photos of loved ones are centered on skeleton figurines, bright decorations, candles, candy and other offerings such as the favorite foods of the departed.

The holiday is celebrated in Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil and parts of Ecuador.

Leading up to the day, bakers make sugar skulls and sweet “bread of the dead,” and artists create elaborate paper cut-out designs that can be hung on altars. Some families keep private night-long vigils at burial sites.

The growing Latin American population in the U.S. and the increased influence of Hispanic culture here in everything from food to TV programming are obviously major factors in the growth of Day of the Dead celebrations. But the holiday’s increased popularity may also coincide with evolving attitudes toward death, including a move away from private mourning to more public ways of honoring departed loved ones, whether through online tributes or sidewalk memorials.

For some in the U.S., the Day of the Dead remains personal as they use the occasion to remember close loved ones. But for others, it’s a chance to honor late celebrities or just an opportunity to dress up as a favorite Day of the Dead character.

But as Day of the Dead grows in presence, some fear that the spiritual aspects of the holiday are being lost. Already in Oaxaca, Mexico, where Day of the Dead is one of the most important holidays of the year, the area is annually overrun by U.S. and European tourists who crowd cemeteries to take photos of villagers praying at burial sites.

Oscar Lozoya, 57, an Albuquerque-based photographer who shoots fine art photographs of La Catrina, said some newcomers to the holiday are merely using it as an excuse to party and dress up in skeleton costumes. He hopes that they eventually do their research.

“I know what it means and its importance,” said Lozoya. “So I think the more people look beyond the art and learn about it, the more people will understand its real significance.”

Printed on Thursday, October 20, 2011 as: Day of the Dead gains popularity in the U.S.

Men's Track & Field

The Longhorns moved up in the national rankings to No. 13 after a strong performance in New York at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational. This upcoming weekend, the men’s team will split up.

Friday, the sprinters and field team head to Albuquerque, N.M., to compete in the Don Kirby Invitational. On Saturday, the distance runners will be in Seattle, Wash., for the Husky Classic.

In Albuquerque, the Longhorns face a tough test against No. 4 Texas Tech, No. 3 Stanford and No. 16 Ohio State.
This should not phase the Longhorns because of their wealth of talent that includes sophomores Keiron Stewart and Marquise Goodwin.

Stewart, with a time of 7.68 in the 60-meter hurdles, automatically qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships last weekend. Meanwhile, Goodwin, who also plays wide receiver for the football team, set a UT record in the long jump to win the Razorback Invitational.

The distance runners are looking to improve upon an already solid performance at the Razorback Invitational. With two weeks off, they took advantage of the time for rest and work.

Ryan Dohner, the surprising freshman who placed seventh on UT’s all-time 3,000-meter performers list in Arkansas, remains rested and excited to elevate his game even further.

“I feel rested but not rusty,” he said. “We are just doing our normal workouts to prepare. Our normal workouts are sometimes even harder than a race.”

The track used at the Husky Classic is a little different than that of standard indoor tracks. For instance, the track itself is longer at 300m. This helps the runners utilize their speed rather than worry about turning, an aspect the distance runners want to take advantage of.

“It is longer than a regular indoor track, but it’s not anything we’re not use to,” Dohner said. “The times for this race should be a lot faster. I am going for the school record.”