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Track and field looks to rebound in Oklahoma
Brett Medeiros / Staff Writer
Coming off its first meet of the year in College Station, the UNT track and field team will travel across the Red River to Norman, Okla. to compete in the J.D. Martin Invitational for the second consecutive year.
Similar to last year, the Mean Green will compete against Oklahoma University, the University of Texas at Arlington and Grambling State University all day Saturday.
“We’re expecting a lot of solid performances from an individual standpoint,” junior sprinter Clint Collins said. “At the end of the day, we have a lot of competition to get through this year, so the biggest thing is just to focus.”
The women head to Norman as the defending Sun Belt Conference champions. Senior high jumper Haley Thompson said the championship has not added any pressure to the team, even with the new reputation to uphold.
“Either way you look at it we just need to trust in our fall training and things will work in our favor,” Thompson said. “I’m not too worried or stressed about protecting our title. There’s no reason not to expect winning it again.”
The women’s team placed ninth and the men’s team placed 11th in the Texas A&M 12-Team Invitational last weekend.
Head coach Carl Sheffield said he is looking for improvement.
“After OU, we should be right there behind them, but I said that last week and we got crushed,” head coach Carl Sheffield said. “There were 12 teams last week, so it just spread us really thin so now with a triple dual meet we should look a lot better.”
A triple dual meet is an event in which each athlete competes individually against the athletes from the other schools.
Oklahoma’s women’s and men’s teams rank among the top in the country, so they will be the biggest challenge for the Mean Green over the weekend.
The Invitational will serve as a measuring stick to prepare the team to face high-ranking opponents Texas Christian University, the University of Texas and Texas Tech University, among others later this season.
The field events are set to begin at 11 a.m., with the running events starting at 12:30 p.m.