Article Originally Published by Matthew Suarez on North Texas Daily
Article Originally Published by on North Texas Daily
The North Texas track and field team hopes to close out their last regular season meet on a high note as they travel to College Station, Texas, where they will competing against the Texas A&M Aggies. The Mean Green will have one last opportunity to break records and boost rankings before heading into the Conference USA Outdoor Championships. The Aggies will be unveiling their new outdoor track and field facility for the upcoming meet.
“We’re looking forward to getting down there and competing,” throwing coach Brendon Kelso said. “We’ve competed there indoors but they haven’t had an outdoor facility to host meets in a long time. We’re looking forward to using that new facility and getting some good marks.”
Similar to North Texas, the Aggies will be hosting a meet with their new state of the art facility at the E.B Cushing Stadium. The $39.8 million facility will host an outdoor track and field event for the first time. A&M has not hosted an outdoor track meet in 15 years . North Texas aims to continue the success they enjoyed during their time in California last weekend.
Freshman thrower Zion Hill will not be participating due to resting reasons. Hill competed in the javelin at the Long Beach Invitational and recorded a throwing distance of 67.99 meters. Fellow thrower junior Kristyn Archuleta participated in the javelin as well, throwing 45.55 meters.
“We’re fine-tuning things but not making huge changes,” Kelso said. “Everything is building towards keeping the system we need to use and not wearing ourselves out, but we still need to go and hit some quality throws and run fast — doing all the things we need to do at Conference but not as long or compete in as many events.”
Despite not participating in the Texas A&M meet, Hill responded with a level of excitement for his teammates for competing in College Station in a new facility. There was a concern at whether or not some players would take the meet off to rest, similar to Hill, in order to go into the conference championships at full strength.
“They’ll go all out, this is the last chance they have to qualify for regionals,” Hill said. “I think everyone is going to hit it hard to get their positions.”
Sophomore thrower Jaleisa Shaffer was awarded the Conference USA Female Field Athlete of the Week after her performance at the 61st annual Mt. SAC Relays. She is the second North Texas athlete to earn the award this season and the third in program history. Shaffer hopes to build off her performance in California in the regular season meet.
“I’m working towards making first round of nationals,” Shaffer said. “My plan is to throw 50 feet, which is like 15.30 meters. I’m not too far from it so it’s definitely within my reach.”
The Amarillo native captured a first-place winning mark in shot after establishing a new personal best throw of 14.75 meters for the second farthest mark in North Texas history. The Palo Duro native also threw a discus mark of 45.61 meters to earn sixth place and make a new season best for herself.
“I’m looking forward to getting more personal records,” Shaffer said. “Day by day right now, I am putting everything together, it’s finally all coming together really well. California was a great start on a new feeling in my technique, I feel like this coming meet it’s going to happen.”
Featured Image: Sophomore Jaleisa Shaffer throws shot put during practice at UNT’s new practice facility. Image by: Kara Dry.
Source: North Texas Daily