Roadrunners to compete at Southland Conference Championships this weekend
SAN ANTONIO — The UTSA men's track & field program will be in search of its third Southland Conference indoor/outdoor championship sweep in the last five years this weekend when it competes at the league's annual outdoor meet.
The three-day event is scheduled to get underway on Friday at the Texas State Track & Field Stadium in San Marcos. Click here for the meet's complete schedule and real-time results will be available here.
The Roadrunners, who won their Southland-record seventh consecutive indoor title in February, have won the conference's outdoor title in two of the last four campaigns (2008, '10) and, all told, UTSA has claimed nine of the last 13 track & field crowns dating back to the 2006 campaign.
Four Roadrunners come into the meet atop the league leaderboard in a half dozen events.
Leading the way is sophomore Keyunta Hayes. The Tyler native has recorded the circuit's fastest 110-meter hurdle and 400m hurdle times of the spring. His career-best mark of 50.45 (No. 2 UTSA history) in the low hurdles currently ranks ninth in the country and his program-record clocking of 13.75 in the highs stands in a tie for 16th. Hayes is the meet's defending champion in the 400m hurdles and he scored 16.75 points last year en route to Southland Freshman of the Year accolades. A two-time Southland Athlete of the Week honoree this season, he also is a member of UTSA's 1,600m relay that owns the conference's second-best time of the spring (3:08.81). Meanwhile, his 400m mark of 46.73 (No. 2 UTSA history) ranks fourth, although he is not expected to run in the event.
Junior Richard Garrett Jr. leads the league in the shot put and discus and he will look to become the first Roadrunner to win a throws event in program history. A two-time All-American a year ago, he owns season-bests of 59-11 (18.26m) in the shot and a program-record 181-0 (55.18m) in the discus this spring. Those marks rank 26th and 33rd, respectively, on the national leaderboard. He has won the league's last two shot put titles indoors but will be in search of the first outdoor crown of his career this weekend.
Meanwhile, classmate Tyler Williamson comes into the weekend with the nation's ninth-best long jump measurement, a mark of 25-6 that he recorded two weeks ago at the Bobcat Classic. The Houston native, who was tabbed Southland Athlete of the Week following his performance, is just the third Roadrunner to surpass the 25-foot barrier in school annals and he was just three-quarters of an inch short of current UTSA jumps coach Steven Brown's school record set six years ago. Williamson won the Southland title as a freshman in 2010.
Junior Phil Steinert is the other UTSA athlete sitting at the top of the conference standings. The Round Rock native has a season best of 196-2 (59.79m) in the hammer and he has been victorious in three of his last four outings in his specialty event.
The Roadrunners also boast defending high jump champion Keith Benford. The junior from Pflugerville owns a season best of 7-0 ½ (2.15m), which ranks second in the circuit, and the two-time All-American will attempt to collect the program's third consecutive gold medal in the event.
UTSA has won three Southland Outdoor Championships (2001, 2008 & 2010) since joining the conference in 1992 and the program boasts a total of 49 individual/relay champions in its 21-year history in the league.