Frogs Fall Short At Conference USA Meet
March 1, 2003
Despite posting six victories on Saturday, the TCU men's team fell short in its bid for a fourth consecutive indoor conference title as the Conference USA Indoor Track & Field Championships came to a close on Saturday. While the men took runnerup honors behind Houston, the TCU women posted a third place finish, their highest ever, in the championships completed at the Yeoman Fieldhouse on the University of Houston campus today.
"We virtually maxed out on the men's side," said TCU head coach Monte Stratton. "We really couldn't have done much better. We actually scored more points this year in finishing second than we did last year when we won the meet. I'm never happy with second, but we did all we could do," said Stratton. "For a still developing program, we made some wonderful strides on the women's side," Stratton continued. "This was our best finish ever and I think with what we have in place, we're ready to explode next year."
The men were paced today by Conference USA Indoor Track & Field Athlete of the Year Jackson Langat. The sophomore from Nairobi, Kenya, took the gold medal in both the mile and the 800 meters. A tired Langat tried to come back one more time with the meet on the line in the 3000 meters, but finished 13th.
"I felt good in the first two races, but was really tired in the 3000," admitted Langat. "The coach asked me to try it, so I did. I just didn't have anything left."
The men also had winning performances from Brandal Lawrence in the triple jump; Reggie Harrell, with an NCAA provisional mark in the 60 meter high hurdles; Brandon Simpson in the 400 and the 4x400 meter relay team. Lawrence posted his best mark of the season and set a meet record with a triple jump of 15.82 meters (51-11-00) on his first attempt. The three-time Conference indoor triple jump champion then fouled on his remaining five jumps.
"I was excited today," admitted Lawrence. "Maybe I was a little too pumped up and lost focus after that first jump. It only takes one jump to win it. I came into the meet confident that I could win and I was trying to go automatic. That didn't happen, but I'm happy with the meet record."
The Frogs received second place performances from Michael Frater in the 60 and the 200, Jerry Harris in the 400 and Jason Morgan in the 800. Shane Sims, who is an offensive lineman on the TCU football squad, took part in the shot put for the first time since high school and placed fifth with a mark of 15.22 meters (49-11.25).
The lone gold medal winner on the women's side was Monica Twum, who defended her title in the 60 meter dash with a time of 7.43 seconds. She edged teammate La' Toya White, who finished second in 7.49 seconds. Tiffany Starts (sixth) and Kandis Bell (seventh) also scored in the event for TCU. Twum also took second place in the 200 with a time of 24.25 seconds. Donita Harmon also brought home a silver medal in the 400.
The Frogs will travel to Ames, Iowa next weekend for the Iowa State Last Chance Meet on Saturday. That will be the final attempt to secure a berth in the NCAA Championships, which will be held in Fayetteville, Arkansas on March 14-15.
TEAM SCORES: MEN: 1. Houston 155; 2. TCU 140.50; 3. Memphis 75; 4. East Carolina 67; 5. Charlotte 63; 6. Marquette 62.50; 7. Southern Miss 58; 8. DePaul 40.
WOMEN: 1. Houston 135.50; 2. South Florida 131; 3. TCU 75; 4. Marquette 70; 5. Cincinnati 52.50; 6. Tulane 46; 7. Charlotte 35.50; 8. Southern Miss 28; 9. Louisville 27; 10. Memphis 19; 11. DePaul 17.50; 12. UAB 15; 13. East Carolina 11.
TCU'S RESULTS (Saturday):
60m High Hurdles: 1. Reggie Harrell 7.94 (NCAA provisional mark).
Pole Vault: 6. Cody Koontz 4.55m (14-11.00)
Shot Put: 5. Shane Sims 15.22m (49-11.25)
60m Hurdles: 5. Julie Curtis 8.73.