Houston, Texas – The University of Tulsa track and field teams won four gold medals and set two meet records on the first day of action at the Conference USA Indoor Track and Field Championships on Friday at The University of Houston.
John Beattie repeated as the men’s 5,000m champion with a new meet record, Alex Becker won the women’s 5,000m, and the men’s and women’s distance medley relay teams captured first-place finishes with the women’s team setting a new C-USA meet record.
Both the men and women’s teams sit in the third place with 30 points after the first day of events. The men’s squad is tied with UTEP and is currently behind Houston (40) and Rice (30.5) after five completed events, and the women’s team sits behind UTEP (41) and Rice (35) after six events.
Beattie won the 5,000-meter title for the second-straight season with a C-USA meet and field house record time of 14:09.42. Beattie blew away the field finishing over 16 seconds ahead of UTEP’s Nicodemus Ng’etich who placed second in 14:25.53.
Beattie’s time, which is also an NCAA provisional qualifying mark, edges Japheth Ng’ojoy’s (UTEP) record mark of 14:10.74 set at the 2007 C-USA Indoor Championships.
Alex Becker won the women’s 5,000m with an NCAA provisional time of 16:22.51, edging Risper Kimaiyo of UTEP who placed second in 16:24.57. With the win, Becker claims her seventh career C-USA individual track and field title, and her sixth indoor crown.
The women’s distance medley relay team of Melanie Cleland, Caroline Schuster, Tayler Rigsby and Paula Whiting ran a C-USA meet record time of 11:37.32 to win gold, narrowly defeating SMU who finished second in 11:37.95. The DMR team topped the 2007 Tulsa team of Dawn Nagazina, Jessica Ford, April Montgomery and Alex Becker’s previous meet record of 11:40.37
The men’s DMR team of Justin Duncan, Matt Davis, Steven Morrow and Mark Davidson captured gold by .34 seconds, edging Rice with a time of 10:18.48.
The men’s team dominated the 5,000-meter run for the second straight season taking four out of the top seven finishes in the event for an impressive 20 team points. After Beattie’s gold medal performance, Kyle Dekker finished fourth in 14:58.14 for five points, followed by Daniel LePage who placed sixth in 15:00.98 for three points. Carl Stones came in seventh place with a time of 15:04.53 to grab another two points for the men’s squad.
Lydia Chamberlin turned in a school-record performance in the heptathlon with 3,663 points to finish in third place. Brianna Steel placed ninth with 3,303 points, edging teammate Carolin Imhof who finished 10 with 3,302 points.
Caitlin Clancy tied her own school record of 3.55m (11-07.75) in the pole vault to finish in fifth place.
In men’s preliminaries action, Justin Duncan (3, 800m), Steven Morrow (7, 800m), Julian Frazier (3, 400m) and David Fitter (8, 200m) all qualified to run the finals of their respective events tomorrow.
On the women’s side of preliminaries, Tayler Rigsby (1, 800m), Ashley Wills (3, 400m) and Jennifer Mace (1, 400m and 3, 200m) all moved onto tomorrow’s finals with qualifying times.
The 2010 Conference USA Indoor Track and Field Championships conclude tomorrow at the Bill Yeoman Fieldhouse at The University of Houston. Live results can be viewed at http://flashresults.com/flashtexas/cusaindoor10/