By Steve Holt, Sports Writer
ACU picked up new qualifiers in eight events between the men’s and women’s teams Saturday at the David Noble Angelo State Relays in San Angelo.
Three women qualified in three events and four men qualified in five events at the competition, which featured teams such as Texas Tech, South Plains, Wayland Baptist and Angelo State.
“Despite the situation, which was cold and win-dy, I thought we did really well,” said head coach Jon Murray. “We had some real good provisionals.”
For the men, senior Christie VanWyk ran a wind-aided but legal time of 10.22 in the 100-meter dash to put himself at the top of the Division II performance list and qualify automatically for the national meet. The Namibia native qualified provisionally in the 200-meter dash with a wind-aided time of 21.26. Teammate Marvin Bien-Aime was the other qualifier in the 200-meter dash with his preliminaries time of 21.23w.
Sophomore Yevgen Pash-chenko jumped himself to the top of the D-II list as well, winning the men’s long jump with a season-best leap of 25 feet.
“He was probably the highlight of the day in the field events,” Murray said of Pashchenko’s performance.
Freshman Stephon Green-lee ran 14.61w in the preliminary heat of the 110-meter hurdles to qualify provisionally, while transfer Marvin Essor improved his provisional mark in the 400-meter dash by running 47.69.
On the women’s side, freshman Jessica Hunt continued her successful debut season by qualifying provisionally in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.94w. Senior Sofi Hildenborg posted a provisional qualifying mark in the 200-meter dash with her 24.54w, and junior transfer Adeh Mwamba dominated the 800-meter field with her provisional first-place time of 2:13.66.
Some former ACU track and field stars found success at the Relays Saturday as well. Decathlete and 1999 graduate Stephen Moore continued his pursuit of qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Team by winning his event with 7,899 points.
Former Wildcat Terrance Woods won the high jump with a leap of 7-3 3/4. Woods needs to clear 7-5 3/4 to attain the Olympic “B” standard and qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials in July.
The minds of Murray and his teams, however, are on the NCAA Division II Outdoor National Championships, which will be run May 27-29 in Walnut, Calif. Three weekends of track and field action exist for ACU athletes before the Lone Star Conference Championships in Kingsville May 7-8. This weekend, many athletes will compete in the Baylor Invitational in Waco, while select athletes will travel to Walnut, Calif., for the prestigious Mt. SAC Relays.
“We’re getting there,” Murray said of the season’s progress. “We’re nowhere near where we need to be, but we’re getting there. We just need some good weather and good opportunities to compete and I think we’ll have some major breakthroughs. We’re just right on the verge of doing some great things.”