TCU Track & Field Women Set For Regional Meet

MaKeatha Cooper

MaKeatha Cooper

May 23, 2005

Seven members of the TCU Flyin' Frogs women's track & field team will travel to Norman, Oklahoma this weekend to take part in the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships. The two-day event begins Friday at the John Jacobs Complex on the University of Oklahoma campus.

The Frogs will be represented by Jamee Jones in the 100 meter dash, Donita Harmon in the 200, Nathandra John and Deborah Jones in the 400, MaKeatha Cooper in the 100 meter hurdles, Zelma Wade in the discus throw and by the 4x400 meter relay team of Marquita Davis, Deborah Jones, Harmon and John.

"We have seven shots to get to Sacramento and the national championships," said first year TCU head coach Darryl Anderson. "We are ready to run and ready to run fast. It will be a very competitive meet, but if we do well, this could be the start of re-defining TCU women's track. We want to be looked at as a team to be reckoned with, not only at the conference level, but at the regional and national levels as well."

2005 marks the third year of the regional format in which the top five individuals from each event, along with the top three teams in the relays from each of the four regions, gain an automatic entry into the national meet, which will be held in Sacramento, Calif., June 8-11. In addition, a handful of at-large bids will be handed out, based on a descending order list.

Cooper, a sophomore from Grandview, Mo., figures to be the Frogs' best bet to advance to the national meet. The TCU school record-holder ranks third among 16 Midwest qualifiers in the 100 meter hurdles with a season-best time of 13.35 seconds. She finished 11th at the regional meet a year ago, but received an at-large berth to the national meet, where she placed 25th.

Harmon, a junior from Albuquerque, N.M., ranks fifth among the 200 meter runners vying for the Midwest regional crown this weekend. Harmon, who finished second at the C-USA meet in the 200 a week ago, has a season best time of 23.49 seconds. She finished seventh at the regional meet a year ago, but gained an at-large bid to the national meet where she finished 12th.

The 4x400 meter relay team currently owns the region's fifth fastest time with a school record mark of 3:33.76. The Conference USA champions will be trying to catch Texas Tech (3:29.70), Texas (3:30.68), Baylor (3:30.95) and Wyoming (3:33.31) for one of the three automatic bids.

"We have the seventh fastest time in the nation in the 4x4, but are ranked fifth in the region," noted Anderson. "We felt our chances of not only getting to the nationals, but advancing to the finals at the NCAA meet, were better in the 4x4 than in the 4x1, so we opted to put all of our eggs in the mile relay basket and not run the sprint relay. We also want the girls to have a chance to run and run well in their individual events.With the two-day format and our lack of depth, it is too much to ask the girls to do too much. My hope is in the future we will have more depth that we can do more things across the board," added Anderson.

In the other events, John is ranked seventh in the region in the highly competitive 400 meter dash with a school record time of 52.91. Deborah Jones is 10th in the 400 with a season-best time of 53.55. Jamee Jones ranks 11th among 14 competitors in the 100 meter dash with a season-best time of 11.70. Zelma Wade enters the meet with a mark of 48.14 meters in the discus throw, which ranks 21st in the Midwest region.

"Overall, I'm very optimistic," said Anderson. "The girls have been training well. It will be a great affair."

The field events get underway at noon on Friday, while the first running event on the track is set for 4 p.m. On Saturday, the field events again begin at noon, while the first running event is slated for 5 p.m.



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