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UNT athletes leave their mark on the Sun Belt
Audra Stamp / Staff Writer
UNT athletes have made a mark on the Mean Green nation by breaking records and making history over the past semester. With the move to Conference USA, some athletes have left times that will remain in the record books forever, and others have become role models for younger teammates.
UNT sophomore distance swimmer Kimmy Phillips, junior track and field thrower John Garrish and junior softball pitcher Ashley Kirk are just a few UNT athletes who have made it into the UNT record books this semester
“It’s still amazing to me, swimming is going to be out of the Sun Belt forever,” Phillips said. “So my record is going to be held there forever.”
The swimming and diving team broke records in 14 of the 22 events, including all five relays. Phillips broke the school and Sun Belt Conference record in the 1,650-meter freestyle and became the first UNT swimmer to compete at the NCAA Championship meet. Krista Rossum and Mona Groteguth are just a few more to have school record-breaking swims.
“It’s a reflection of our work throughout the year,” Phillips said. “Every year we break records, every year we get faster.”
Junior diver Rebecca Taylor made history by becoming the first UNT diver to make it into the championship round during the NCAA Zone D Diving meet, where she placed 12th.
Track and field also broke a lot of records this indoor and outdoor season, which is still in competition. Seven indoor records have been broken, including senior Chelsea Hermes in the women’s pentathlon and junior Clinton Collins when he broke his own 400-meter dash time.
Freshmen Silvester Harrison III and Bryce McAndrew both qualified for the 2013 USA Track and Field National Junior Olympic Championships with their performances in the 1,500-meter run. This is the first time in school history that UNT has sent two athletes to the junior championships.
In outdoor, senior Josephine Adams broke the 1,500-meter run, junior Shahaf Bareni broke her own school record in the high jump and Garrish threw a score of 191-05 feet in the hammer throw, shattering the school record by 20 feet.
“When I realized it happened I was incredibly excited because it was also a personal record,” Garrish said. “It’s an honor to represent this school. I’m really excited to not only be able to represent my name, but also the coaches’.”
This weekend in softball, Kirk became the career strikeout leader at UNT with 127 strikeouts this season and 448 in her career.
Overall, UNT left its mark while it was in the SBC, and it is gearing up for new competition in C-USA. And while some athletes will graduate, they have motivated their younger teammates to one day have their own names in the record books.
“There is no reason that the best athletes in the country shouldn’t want to be a part of this,” Athletic Director Rick Villarreal said. “So for some student athletes to come in a break a record or go to an NCAA tournament for the thrid time, that just tells other student athletes out there that ‘I can go there and do that.’”