The track and field team had an exceptional season with 10 Wildcats receiving conference medals at the conference championships. The first meet was in College Station at the Texas A&M Team Invitational which left the ‘Cats at the bottom of the rankings.
Men’s team finished their first meet of the 2015 season in eighth place, while women finished in ninth, last of the competing teams. The highest Wildcat finish was claimed by Daniel Block, senior from Saskatchewan, Canada, in the 800-meter race with a time of 1:53.22.
With an overwhelming first weekend of disappointment, the ‘Cats returned to the track in their second meet at the Masked Rider Open with a finish of five victories. Block, a dependable top contender on the men’s team, shed off more than two seconds from his time and was named the winner of the lone race at the Masked Rider Open.
The women’s team left with a better finishing mark than they started with the help of four first-place finishes. Jessica James, junior from Couva, Trinidad and Tobago, won the 600-yard race and the women’s 4×800-meter race. Alexandria Hackett, sophomore from Cranston, Rhode Island, won the 3,000-meter race and was a runner in the 4×800-meter relay where the ACU group won with a time of 9:28.42.
“I think that the Wildcat performances this season proved that our hard work and dedication paid off in more ways than we expected,” said Hackett. “Yet, it just goes to show that we are ready to take on a whole new level of competition.”
The third meet of the season took place in Albuquerque at the New Mexico Track and Field Open. Rosen Daniel, freshman from Castries, St. Lucia, took three top-5 finishes at the meet. Daniel claimed third-place finish in the 400-meter dash, fourth-place in the 200-meter race and accomplished a fifth-place rank in the 4×400-meter relay.
James and Kimone Green, freshman from St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, claimed ninth and 10th-place finishes in the 400-meter race with times of 55.83 and 55.69 (a personal best for Green). Lexus Williams, senior hurdler from Mesquite, broke her previous record of 8.71 when she finished with 8.60 in the 60-meter hurdles. Johnathan Farquharson, junior from Freeport, Bahamas, also stood out during this meet with a 6.80 finish in the 60-meter race – the fastest time in the Southland Conference this season.
The New Mexico meet gave the ‘Cats a good match before the Southland Indoor Conference Championships took place. With 10 medals, the men’s team placed fifth with 70 points while the women placed fourth with 69 points out of the 13 Southland conference foes.
Green, Block and Daniel were the first Wildcats to claim first place titles in their events at the conference championships. Green scattered 28 points throughout four events for her women’s team while placing first in the women’s 400-meter dash. Block earned a spot in the record books under the men’s 800-meter race with a time of 1:50.01. This landed him the seventh-fastest time in Wildcat history, as well as a personal record. Daniel stole first in the men’s 200-meter dash with a time of 21.32, while also placing third in the men’s 400-meter.
After the conference championships, the ‘Cats took their talents to Lubbock one more time for the Texas Tech Open. The one-day tournament gave the ‘Cats one more opportunity to improve their times and finishes for the indoor season. The team had 13 personal records collectively as well as two runners broke all-time records at ACU.
Sophomore distance runner, Diana Garcia Muñoz, found a placement in the record books at the 10th fastest performer in the women’s 800-meter run. Williams, also gained a record breaking time with 8.07 on the women’s 55-meter hurdles, which gave her a ranking of sixth in ACU history. Team members like Hackett are more than satisfied with these results and are looking forward to what outdoor season will hold for the ‘Cats.
“We have come so far, yet we still have so much potential still ahead of us,” said Hackett. “The individual PR’s and top places at not only the conference meet but at every meet are really exciting.”
The ‘Cats will be back in action on March 20th for the first meet of outdoor season at the TCU Invitational.