Frogs Fall Short at Conference USA Track Meet
May 15, 2004
Louisville, KY - The TCU women fell one point shy of their first-ever conference outdoor track & field title, while the Flyin' Frog men finished third, as the 2004 Conference USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships came to an end at a rain-drenched Cardinal Park Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday. Houston took the women's title with 121 points to edge TCU (120), while Cincinnati captured the men's title with 159.5 points, outscoring Houston (120) and the Frogs (117).
"We had a good meet," said TCU head coach Monte Stratton. "It's hard to feel too disappointed when we squeezed just about all we could out of it on both sides. I was very pleased with our performance, especially considering the weather conditions were not ideal. We had some tremendous individual efforts in the last two days."
The Frogs brought home 11 of the 42 gold medals handed out, getting first place finishes from Michael Frater in the 100, Jabari Fields and Donita Harmon in the 200, Jerry Harris and Larissa Bakasa in the 400, Mary Kinyanjui in the 5000, MaKeatha Cooper in the 100 meter hurdles, Aundre Edwards in the long jump, the men's 4x100 meter relay and both the men's and women's 4x400 meter relays.
In the 100 meter dash, the TCU men were dominant with a 1-2-4 finish, scoring 23 team points. Michael Frater captured his second C-USA sprint title with a season-best time of 10.20 seconds. Defending champion Jabari Fields was second with a season-best time of 10.27, while Cleavon Dillon placed fourth with a 10.40 clocking. The TCU women tallied 17 points in the short sprint with a 2-3-6 finish. Donita Harmon gained the silver medal with a season-best time of 11.46 seconds. Freshmen Virgil Hodge was third in 11.65 while Jamee Jones was sixth in 11.81.
In the 200 meter dash, Jabari Fields (20.54) nipped Houston's Stanford Routt (20.60) at the wire to take the gold medal. Jerry Harris was third in 20.98, while Che Chavez placed sixth in 21.30. The Frogs made it a sweep of the event as Donita Harmon set a Conference USA meet and Cardinal Park Stadium record to take the women's title in 23.14 seconds. Virgil Hodge earned the bronze with a time of 23.70, while Larissa Bakasa placed seventh, finishing in 24.60 seconds.
The Frogs also swept the gold in the 400 meters. On the men's side, senior Jerry Harris led a 1-2-4 finish for the Frogs with a winning time of 45.76 seconds. Brett Wilson was second in a season-best time of 46.45, while Che Chavez placed fourth with a time of 46.77 seconds. Larissa Bakasa brought home the gold on the women's side. The senior from Zimbabwe posted a winning time of 54.25 seconds. Freshman Deborah Jones added one point with an eighth place finish, turning in a one-lap time of 56.51.
The women got a huge boost in the 5000 meters, with Mary Kinyanjui and Ami Butler taking the top two spots. Kinyanjui, who has been battling an injury and was able to compete in just one event this weekend, won the 5K in 17:07.93, while Butler, who was competing for the first time since the NCAA Cross Country Championships last November due to injuries, was second in 17:18.45. For Kinyanjui, it completed a personal trifecta, as she previously won the 2003 Conference USA cross country title and the 2004 C-USA indoor 5,000 meter championship.
Freshman MaKeatha Cooper posted a Cardinal Park Stadium record in the 100 meter hurdles with a winning time of 13.37 seconds. It was her second best time of the season, behind only a school-record 13.24 seconds, set at the Texas A&M Invitational on April 10. Cooper also was the C-USA indoor champion in the 60-meter hurdles.
The Frogs went 1-2 in the men's long jump with Aundre Edwards taking the title with a best jump of 7.42 meters (24-04.25). Jonathan Jackson took the silver medal with a leap of 7.34 meters (24-01.00). For Edwards, a senior from Kingston, Jamaica, it was his fourth straight Conference USA long jump title, taking both the indoor and outdoor crowns in each of the last two years. Jackson came back with a fourth place finish in the triple jump with a mark of 15.06 meters (49-05.00). TCU football wide receiver Michael DePriest added a seventh place finish in the triple jump with a mark of 14.54m (47-08.50) in his first competition since the Texas high school state meet in 2002.
In the 4x100 meter relay, the Flyin' Frogs posted an easy victory on the men's side. The sprint relay quartet of Jabari Fields, Cleavon Dillon, Jerry Harris and Michael Frater circled the track in 40.10, finishing well ahead of Houston (40.53). The TCU women finished a disappointing third behind surprise winner Southern Miss (45.21) and Houston (45.51). The Frogs appeared to be in good shape until Kandis Bell pulled a hamstring late in the third leg of the race, and the Frogs were able to turn in a time of just 45.65 seconds, well off their best time of the season (44.48). Bell was unable to compete in either the 100 or 200 meter dashes following the injury.
TCU's 4x400 meter relays both posted relatively easy wins. The women's quartet of Deborah Jones, Jamee Jones, Larissa Bakasa and Donita Harmon turned in a time of 3:39.95, while the men's foursome of Che Chavez, Brett Wilson, Nathaniel Garcia and Jerry Harris finished in 3:08.43.
Freshman Calandra Stewart took the bronze medal in both the 800 and 1500 meter runs with times of 2:14.40 and 4:32.22 respectively. Justina Malone added a point with an eighth place finish in the 800, clocking a 2:20.05. Nathaniel Garcia took third place in the men's 400 meter hurdles, completing the one-lap hurdle event in 51.94 seconds. JimAnne Baker added a fourth place finish in the triple jump (12.12m/39-09.25) to the second place finish she earned in the long jump on Friday. Rob Coffman placed eighth in the pole vault, clearing 4.55 meters (14-11).
The Frogs will not compete again until their top athletes travel to College Station, Texas to take part in the Midwest Regional Championships, May 28-29.
MEN: 1. Cincinnati 159.5; 2. Houston 120; 3. TCU 117; 4. Memphis 78.5; 5. Louisville 73; 6. Southern Miss 60; 7. Marquette 57; 8. Charlotte 50; 9. USF 58; 10. East Carolina 33; 11. DePaul 22.
WOMEN: 1. Houston 121; 2. TCU 120; 3. USF 103.33; 4. Southern Miss 78.83; 5. Tulane 60; 6. Cincinnati 48.5; 7. East Carolina 48.33; 8. Marquette 48; 9. UAB 47; 10. Charlotte 42.67; 11. Louisville 40.33; 12. DePaul 34; 13. Memphis 27.
TCU RESULTS (Saturday):
1500 meter Finals: 12. David Harris 4:12.96
400 meter Hurdles Finals: 3. Nathaniel Garcia 51.94
Triple Jump Finals: 4. Jonathan Jackson 15.06m (49-05.00); 7. Michael DePriest 14.54m (47-08.50)
Pole Vault: 8. Rob Coffman 4.55m (14-11.00)
1500 meter Finals: 3. Calandra Stewart 4:32.22
100 meter Hurdles Finals: 1. MaKeatha Cooper 13.37
Triple Jump Finals: 4. JimAnne Baker 12.12m (39-09.25)