McClanahan wins third shot put crown in program annals on Saturday
SAN MARCOS — Junior Zaquita McClanahan won UTSA's third shot put title in program history and the Roadrunners moved up to second place in the team standings on Saturday at the Southland Conference Championships.
McClanahan recorded a career-long measurement of 49-5 ½ (15.07m) for the first league title by a Roadrunner since Kim Bush won consecutive gold medals in 1994-95. The Hurst native won the event by more than a half foot and her mark bettered her previous best by more than seven inches.
"It's been a long year, but all the hard work has paid off," McClanahan said. "I worked hard today and just want to say good luck to all my teammates. Hopefully, we can win a Southland Conference Championship tomorrow."
Junior Chenale Smith just missed sweeping the conference's indoor and outdoor high jump crowns after being one of three athletes to clear 5-8 (1.73m), which was a season best. However, the Mansfield native placed second due to more misses than champion Danielle Candelaria of Texas State. Freshman Whitney Flannel recorded a personal-best of 5-6 (1.68m) en route to a fifth-place performance, as UTSA scored a combined 12 points in the event.
The Roadrunners received eight points in the 3,000-meter steeplechase when sophomore Samantha Fish (PR 11:05.38) and junior Jessica Bitterly (11:24.50) finished third and seventh, respectively, and seven more in the long jump following fourth- and seventh-place efforts by sophomore Greneshia Wright (19-5 ¼/5.92m) and junior Eboni Johnson (PR 19-1 ½/5.83m), respectively.
UTSA sent a meet-best 11 athletes into Sunday's running finals, including redshirt senior Dana Mecke, who qualified in both the 800 and 1,500 meters. She won both events two years ago en route to being named Southland Athlete of the Year.
Freshman Shahira Ehiemua also was a double qualifer in the 100 and 200m, while sophomore Jhorden Hunter peeled off a wind-aided personal-best 11.47 (No. 3 UTSA history) en route to the fastest 100m preliminary time of the day.
The Roadrunners, who came into the day in fourth place with 13 points, now have scored 50 during the first two days of competition (through eight events) and they trail only three-time defending champion Stephen F. Austin (55), which saw a half dozen runners move on to Sunday's running finals.
The three-day meet concludes on Sunday.