Flyin' Frogs shine at MWC Championships

Virgil Hodge

Virgil Hodge

May 17, 2008

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FORT WORTH, Texas - The Flyin' Frogs posted 25 NCAA regional qualifying marks, won 15 of the 27 events, set a new St. Kitts national record and recorded two new meet records on Saturday to conclude the Mountain West Conference Outdoor Championships.

"I thought we had an outstanding day all around. For the men to score almost 200 points on the final day of competition was phenomenal," said head coach Darryl Anderson. "I feel really good for Jonathan Jackson, Joe Brown and Virgil Hodge that they could go out as champions in their senior years. We just need to keep getting better and the really big part of our season begins to start now with regionals and the NCAA's."

The TCU men, who entered the day with only 19 points, finished in second-place with 192 points, while the Flyin' Frog women ended competition in fourth with 126 points. BYU won the men's title with 210 points, while Colorado State took home the team title on the women's side with 187 points.

Virgil Hodge, a senior from St. Kitts, closed out her MWC career in style as she clocked a new personal best time of 11.21 seconds in the 100 meters to claim her third-straight conference outdoor title. In doing so, Hodge, who set a new St. Kitts national record, broke the meet and complex record in the event. Her time is currently the seventh-fastest time in the nation and ranks in the top 25 in the world standings. Her teammate Brittany Blaylock also had a successful day in the event, clocking a regional qualifying time of 11.67 seconds to place fifth overall. On the men's side, the Flyin' Frogs posted the top-three times of the day. Justyn Warner won the title by crossing the line in 10.44 seconds, while Otis McDaniel earned runner-up honors by clocking a time of 10.47 seconds. Junior Andon Mitchell closed the TCU scoring by finishing in third-place with a time of 10.55. All three individuals recorded NCAA regional qualifying marks on Saturday.

Hodge came back later in the day and posted her third-straight outdoor 200-meter championship title with a time of 22.94. Junior Jessica Clarke followed in second-place with a personal-best and regional qualifying time of 23.30 seconds. In the men's 200 meters, TCU dominated with seven of the final eight placing positions being Flyin' Frogs. McDaniel collected title honors by clocking a regional qualifying time of 20.60 seconds. Freshman Mychal Dungey and sophomore Clemore Henry recorded the second and third-place positions with regional qualifying times of 20.86 and 20.94 seconds, respectively. Finally, junior Andon Mitchell placed fourth overall with a personal-best and regional qualifying time of 20.96.

In the men's javelin, senior Joe Brown closed his MWC career in winning-fashion, taking the title on his last attempt in competition. Overall, Brown blasted a throw of 221 feet, 7 inches to become only the second Horned Frog ever to win a conference crown in the javelin, and the first since Wes Ritchey won the Southwest Conference in 1954. Brown's seasonal-best and regional qualifying toss currently ranks as the No. 21 throw in the NCAA this spring.

In the women's 400, Clarke won the event title with the fifth-fastest time in championship history on Saturday. Her blazing regional qualifying time of 52.52 is currently the seventh-fastest time in the nation and ranks in the top-50 in the world standings. Overall, the Flyin' Frogs have now won the 400 meters for three-straight years. On the men's side, TCU recorded four of the top-five times on the day with freshman Matthew Love posting runner-up honors with a time of 47.36 seconds.

"Jessica Clarke elevated herself this week. She did a great job on the track today and I am very pleased for her," said Anderson.

TCU freshman Jordan Pitts had an outstanding day on the track as he took home both the 110 and 400-meter hurdle titles. In the 110-meter hurdles, Pitts crossed the finish line in 14.12 seconds to win the event with a regional qualifying time. He came back later in the day to claim the 400-meter hurdle title with a personal best and regional qualifying time of 51.94 seconds. Junior Aaron Macklin, who placed fourth overall, also recorded an NCAA regional qualifying time in the event with a personal best time of 52.48 seconds. Both Pitts and Macklin posted their first NCAA regional qualifying marks of the season in the event.

On the women's side, Kishelle Paul, who earned third-place honors in the 100-meter hurdles with a regional qualifying time of 13.84, broke the previous complex record in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 58.84 seconds to place second overall. Paul just missed winning the event as Utah's Chelsea Shapard clipped Paul at the tape with a time of 58.51 seconds. The junior's mark is currently ranked No. 16 in the nation and is the No. 4 time in the Midwest Region.

Other highlights on the day included, senior Jonathan Jackson claiming his third career MWC outdoor crown in the men's triple jump with a winning leap of 51 feet, 2 ¼ inches. Overall, the Grand Prairie native won the event by more than four feet over Colorado State's Nnamdi Agwu. On the women's side, San Diego State junior Decontee Kaye and sophomore Neidra Covington each broke the former MWC Championships meet record with best leaps of 43 feet, 1 3/4 inches. Kaye took top honors though as her second-best mark outdistanced Covington's No. 2 jump.

In the relays, TCU dominated as both the men and women claimed the 4x100 and 4x400 titles. The women's 4x100 unit consisting of La'Quinta Ross, Clarke, Paul and Hodge clocked a winning time of 44.36 seconds to defend its title, while the men won the event for the second-consecutive year with a time of 40.03 seconds. TCU has now won the men and women's 4x100 title three-straight years.

The women's 4x400 team of Ross, Clarke, Shekila Wilkinson and Paul held off San Diego State for the title in a regional qualifying time of 3:39.61, while Henry, Dell Guy, Sean Zurko and Love crossed the finish line in 3:10.77 to win the event on Saturday. The TCU women have won the event during each of their three seasons as members of the league, while the men have won it two-straight years.

Finally, TCU sophomore Festus Kigen clocked a personal-best time of 3:48.28 seconds to earn runner-up honors in the men's 1,500 meters.

"I am pleased at where we are. I think it was an eye opening experience for our women to go from winning the indoors to placing fourth overall, but that is going to make us better in the long run because they know I am going to keep pushing them to get better," said Anderson. "We now go after our objective to be a top-20 team nationally and we are going to start chasing that within the next 10 days."

The Flyin' Frogs will have a week off before traveling to the Midwest Regional in Lincoln, Neb., on May 30-31.

 

 


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