the Houston Invitational

Women's Track & Field

Texas took the top two spots in the 400-meter races to lead a strong performance at the Houston Invitational. Alicia Peterson ran a 55.39 to win the event, and Danielle Dowie placed second with a time of 55.99.

“We have transitioned from having a good meet the last two weeks to a very good meet this weekend,” said head coach Beverly Kearney. “We had some very competitive season bests.”

Sophomore A’Lexus Brannon won the long jump with a 6.11 meter jump for her first win of the season. Victoria Lucas led Texas in the high jump where the Longhorns took the top three spots. She cleared 1.79 meters for first while Beverly Owoyele and Peterson placed second and third respectively after they each cleared 1.74 meters.

Amanda Van Dyke finished second in the shot put with a throw of 15.91 meters. Okwukwe Okolie took third with a throw of 14.52 meters and Akua Sencherey finished 10th.

Owoyele also took third overall in the pentathlon led by a second place finish in the high jump. Jessica Doyle finished seventh in the pole vault clearing a height of 3.6 meters in her second meet of the season.

“We did a good job of building on each other’s energy in the field events with all of them going on at the same time,” said Kearney. “We were ignited by Morgan Snow’s personal records in two events and that really set us off the rest of the meet.”

Snow finished third in the 60 meter hurdles and also took seventh in the 60 meter dash with Allison Peter running a 7.40 for third place.

Next, Texas will split into two teams with one competing in the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark. and the other going to the Washington Husky Classic in Seattle, Wash. Both events will take place on Feb. 10-11.

After splitting their team to take part in two different meets in different states, the Longhorns posted a combined 10 personal bests at the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., and the Houston Invitational & Multi’s this weekend.

Senior Chantel Malone completed the second-best long jump in Texas indoor history in Arkansas on Friday night with a mark of 6.65 meters.

Malone finished in first place and automatically qualified for the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships, which takes place in March.

“She stayed focused and kept improving to where she executed everything on time,” said Texas head coach Beverly Kearney. “That takes a lot of maturity, and we’re excited about what she can do this season.”

In the high jump, freshman Shanay Briscoe finished third with a personal best of 1.8 meters while Victoria Lucas finished fifth with 1.75 meters.
In Fayetteville on Saturday, junior Angele Cooper ran the season’s second-fastest 400-meter time countrywide at 52.69 seconds.

“When you look at Texas now, you see a complete team,” Kearney said.

In Houston, Amanda Van Dyke and IJ Ubabuike both posted personal bests in the shot put, and Jennifer Swan finished first in the 5,000-meter run.

The Longhorn women will split up this weekend, with some of the team attending the Houston Invitational and Multi’s and the rest competing at the Arkansas Invitational in Fayetteville.

The Longhorns are coming off a strong finish at their first meet Jan. 14, where they finished first with 177 points. The women won five events and set eight personal-bests competing against Rice, Houston, UT San Antonio and Louisiana Tech.

The ultimate goal of the Longhorns is to win a national title, but they plan to stay competitive at this weekend’s meets.

“We want to win a national title and everything that falls under that we want to win as well,” senior distance runner Betzy Jimenez said. “Some things don’t need to be said anymore, because things are already in motion. We just need to go with the tide because that has already been started.”

Half the team will compete against Houston and UT San Antonio again at the Houston Invitational and Multi’s, which will take place both Jan. 28 and 29. Other invited teams at the invitational include North Texas, Rice, Sam Houston State, and Lamar.

The Arkansas Invitational will be hosted by No. 6 Arkansas and will feature seven teams that are ranked in the latest release of the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association national poll.

The inclusion of highly ranked teams make the Arkansas Invitational an important meet for the Longhorns.

“The distance races are going to be more competitive in Arkansas,” Jimenez said.

Top ranked teams that will participate include number 19 Arizona, number three LSU, number 14 Florida State, and number 18 Texas. Also competing will be Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Stanford and TCU.

Jimenez said the young members of the team will create an all-around competitive attitude at both meets, even though it is still early in the season.

“In past years you have had to develop the girls, but these girls came in with that mentality,” she said. “They came ready to contribute.”

The Arkansas invitational will take place on Friday, beginning at 11 a.m. with the pentathalon and continuing with field events a 3 p.m. and distance at 6 p.m.


Razorback Invitational
Fri. to Sat.
Date: Fri. to Sat.
Time: All Day
Place: Arkansas Randall-Tyson Track
(Fayetteville, Kan.)

Houston Invite
Fri. to Sat.
Date: Fri. to Sat.
Time: All Day
Place: Yeoman Fieldhouse