Women open strong with three wins at Relays


Thomas Allison

Sophomore Marielle Hall was one of many Texas athletes to find success on day two of the Texas relays placing first in the 5-kilometer race.

Kristin Otto

With the dawning of day two, 21 heptathletes returned to Mike A. Myers Track & Soccer Stadium Thursday at noon to resume the multi-event competition that jump-started the 85th year of Texas Relays.

Throughout the course of Wednesday’s first four heptathlon events, West Virginia’s Chelsea Carrier-Eades and Texas Tech’s Precious Nwokey were neck and neck. At the end of the day, Carrier-Eades and Nwokey ranked first and second, respectively.

On Thursday, the two leaders kept the standards high in the heptathlon’s three remaining events: the long jump, the javelin and the 800-meter run.

Despite fouling on her first attempt, Carrier-Eades, who reigned victorious in the meet’s first event, followed the first-place theme with a leap of 6.22 meters (918 points) in the long jump. Nwokey emerged with a second-place finish.

Fresh faces appeared at the top of the pack with a freshman duo, Lindsay Vollmer and Jena Hemann, claiming the top two spots in the javelin throw.

In the 800-meter, Nwokey wrapped up the heptathlon in the same fashion that she closed out Wednesday’s last event — with a win. However, Nwokey’s overall performance was not enough to rise above the West Virginia senior, Carrier-Eades, who clinched the event with a total of 5,821 points.

Burnt orange appeared on the track for the first time at this year’s Relays with the commencement of Thursday’s afternoon session. In the 400-meter hurdles prelims, senior Angele Cooper, junior Alicia Peterson and sophomore Danielle Dowie were three of 60 runners vying for a top 8 finish. While Peterson was unable to make the mark, her fellow teammates had times that earned them spots in the event finals at 4:15 p.m. on Saturday.

Clocking in at 57.59, Dowie, who was awarded first team honors in the 4×400-meter relay at the NCAA Indoor Championships, proved herself to be the fastest competitor out of eight heats of athletes. The sophomore will be joined in the finals by Cooper, who finished fifth with a 58.98 qualifying time.

While the event’s traditional fish fry got going at 6:30 p.m., the night was far from finished for the Longhorns.

Texas’ participation in Thursday’s evening session began with Katie Hoaldridge and Anne Jones who ran in the Section B 1500-meter. Hoaldridge finished fourth and Jones finished in third.
The next race on the schedule was the 3,000-meter steeplechase, a feat that combines running, jumping over barriers and clearing water obstacles. Out of a pool of 12 contestants, junior Brittany Marches conquered the event, claiming first with a 10:53.72 finish.

In the absence of Sara Sutherland, who earned fifth in the event at the Indoor Championships from the 5000-meter roster, six Longhorns looked to make their presence known in the 5-kilometer race.

Ultimately, with half of the Texas runners placing in the top 10 — sophomore Marielle Hall took first, freshman Jessica Harper placed fourth, and Laleh Mojtabaeezamani came in eighth — Texas was able to demonstrate its strength as a well-rounded team in the last race of Thursday night’s relays.

Printed on Friday, March 30, 2012 as: Longhorns find success on track