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Lynn Hickey newsletter

The AD's Corner — Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Mike A. Myers Stadium

Roadrunners To Compete At NCAA Championships Preliminary Rounds
UTSA will continue postseason competition this weekend at the NCAA Championships Preliminary Rounds in Austin. The three-day meet will get underway on Thursday at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas.

The Roadrunners men, fresh off winning the Conference USA Outdoor Championship two weeks ago in El Paso, will send nine athletes that will compete in a total of eight events at the three-day meet (11 entries overall), while the women will be represented by a half dozen that will see action in a total of three events.

Leading the way is two-time All-American Keyunta Hayes.

Hayes comes into the national meet with the country's fifth-fastest 400-meter hurdles time (49.48) and the senior from Tyler is coming off a successful defense of his C-USA title two weeks ago.

Also among the top 15 nationally is Christopher Hall, who currently ranks 13th in the 400m (45.67). The senior from Killeen also will compete in the 200m (20.93m) and join Hayes, Dionte Robinson and Jurmarcus Shelvin in the 1,600m relay. The quartet matched the program's 14-year-old record of 3:07.44 in a runner-up performance two weeks ago at the league meet.

The women will be led by C-USA Champions Whitney Flannel (high jump) and Stephanie Wangui (800m).

Each field will be cut in half after the first round and top 12 finishers in the quarterfinals will advance to the NCAA Championships semifinals at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. The final two rounds will be contested from June 10-13.

All-Conference USA honorees

Baseball Rakes In Postseason Honors
Catcher John Bormann was one of 12 student-athletes named to the Conference USA All-Academic team and one of four Roadrunners selected to the all-conference teams announced last week.

Bormann is a three-time Johnny Bench Watch List member as the nation’s outstanding collegiate catcher. Off the field, the Seguin native was awarded the C-USA Academic Medal last month and is a member of the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll. This is his third consecutive year on the C-USA All-Academic team.

Joining Bormann on the all-conference first team was second baseman Jesse Baker. Outfielder Trent Bowles and pitcher Chance Kirby landed on the all-freshman squad.

Baker batted .330 and led the team with 71 hits, 21 doubles, 15 home runs, 137 total bases, 44 RBIs and a .637 slugging percentage.

Bowles hit .283 with 54 hits, 16 doubles, four home runs and 30 RBIs, while Kirby posted a 5-4 record, 4.90 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 21 appearances.

The Roadrunners’ season came to a close last Friday when Middle Tennessee posted a 5-4 comeback victory in an elimination game at the C-USA Tournament in Hattiesburg, Miss. UTSA finished with a 32-26 record, its third straight 30-win campaign under head coach Jason Marshall.

Tomas Stillman vs. LSU

Stillman Caps Memorable Final Season
UTSA men's tennis senior Tomas Stillman capped a memorable senior season with an appearance in the round of 64 at the NCAA Singles Championships, which was held last week in Waco. The Harlingen native, who was ranked 70th nationally by the ITA, dropped a two-set decision to No. 6 national seed and fourth-ranked Soren Hess-Olesen of Texas, who was a part of the Longhorns' NCAA champion doubles team.

Stillman collected numerous honors in his final campaign, including being named C-USA Player of the Year and Outstanding Singles Player of the Championship after helping the Roadrunners win the league title and earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. He finished with a 20-3 dual match record and was 34-7 overall in 2014-15.

He plans to pursue a professional career after he earns his undergraduate degree later this year.

Women’s Tennis Receives NCAA Academic Progress Honor
The UTSA women’s tennis program was one of 11 C-USA teams in all sports to receive the NCAA Public Recognition Award for its 2013-14 Academic Progress Rate (APR).

The APR provides a real-time look at a team’s academic success each semester by tracking the progress of each student-athlete. The APR includes eligibility, retention and graduation in the calculation and provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport.

Six UTSA women’s tennis players landed on the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll and two players — Lina Hallgren and Nicole Karaklis — were C-USA Academic Medal recipients during the period recognized by the NCAA.

Incoming Men's Golf Signee Named San Antonio Express-News Player of the Year
UTSA men's golf signee Sean Meehan of San Antonio Johnson High School was named San Antonio Express-News Boys Golf Player of the Year on Sunday. He won the Region IV-6A individual title in helping lead the Jaguars to the team championship in April. He went on to finish sixth at the state tournament, the last of his seven top-10 finishes during his senior season. Meehan will join the Roadrunners this fall.

Seats For Soldiers Tops 1,000 Before Memorial Day
While Memorial Day remembers those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, Roadrunners fans are doing their best to pay tribute to active and retired military and their families living in the San Antonio area.

More than 1,000 UTSA football game tickets have been purchased by Roadrunners fans through the “Seats for Soldiers” program. As a company, IMG Learfield sells more than 22,500 tickets each year and donates these tickets so military families can attend college football games.

Throughout the summer and fall, IMG Learfield agents in the UTSA Ticket Office will be asking fans to purchase single game tickets for military families. We are already close to eclipsing the 1,100 tickets purchased and distributed during the 2014 season.

If you would like to purchase a block of single game tickets for the “Seats for Soldiers” program, you can call the UTSA Ticket Office at (210) 458-UTSA (8872).

Conference USA Champions

Final Thoughts
Since we last visited two weeks ago, the men’s track & field team captured the Conference USA Championship in El Paso and we have toured the state with football head coach Larry Coker, meeting with alumni and new students as part of the Roadrunners Road Trips.

Men’s track & field entered the conference meet at UTEP hoping to finish in the top three, but our student-athletes exceeded expectations and brought home a conference championship for the 10th year in a row.

All day, the men’s team covered for each other. If one event missed scoring expected points, the next event exceeded expectations. With only the 1,600-meter relay left, UTSA led by eight points. A final leg kick by Christopher Hall helped the relay team match the school's 14-year-old record (3:07.44), capture eight points with a runner-up finish and seal the team title for UTSA. It was so thrilling to watch.

The UTSA women’s track & field team entered the meet depleted by injuries. They too pulled it together to set a season best in the 1,600m relay and placed in a sixth in the final team standings.

Both the men and women have several team members moving on to the NCAA Championships Preliminary Rounds beginning Thursday in Austin. All will be hoping for a place or a performance that will qualify them for the NCAA Championships semifinals and finals on June 10-13 at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

UTSA captured three conference championships in 2014-15. Volleyball, men’s tennis and men’s track & field proved once again that UTSA has stepped up its game to meet heightened competition in C-USA.

The nights were late and the bus trips were long, but the excitement generated by the Roadrunners Road Trips made them all worthwhile. Coach Coker, the Alumni Association, the Office of Admissions and the UTSA Bookstore joined our staff for trips to Houston (May 5), the Rio Grande Valley (May 19), Austin (May 21) and the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex (May 22).

Attendance at this year’s stops grew with the addition of incoming freshmen and their parents. It was so rewarding to see the excitement of not only the newest Roadrunners but also their parents when Coach Coker talked of the upcoming season. The youngsters seemed to invigorate our alumni and make them even prouder to wear orange and blue.

Before each evening reception, Coach Coker spent the day visiting with radio and TV stations. He met with KGBT-TV in Harlingen (click here to watch) and KTBC-TV in Austin (click here to watch).

The last stop in Dallas was extra special. Our Learfield Sports partners hosted the reception in their headquarters offices. CEO Greg Brown and his executive team joined the alumni and freshmen for the event. Mr. Brown topped off the evening by purchasing a Roadrunners Road Trip T-shirt for everyone in attendance.

Learfield Sports is our partner in sponsorship and ticket sales. They represent more than 100 universities and conferences throughout the country. Each client’s football helmet and a basketball, as well as their logos, grace the walls of the Learfield Sports headquarters reception and meeting area. The surroundings provided a perfect environment for the Road Trip gathering.

This was the fourth year for the Roadrunners Road Trips. Coach Coker is so generous with his time and attention given to everyone who attends. Each trip ended this year in the early morning hours after a long bus ride either back home or to the next location. It was fun, but it was a marathon.

That brings me to my last thought. A staff member recently asked me, “What do you call a large gathering of Roadrunners?” I guessed “gaggle” or “flock.” Turns out he had discovered on the Internet that a large group of Roadrunners is called a “marathon.”

Unknowingly, Coach Coker and I have said that building the football program and moving our entire athletics program to the next level is a marathon, not a sprint. Little did we know that Roadrunners running and working together are always a marathon.

Yesterday we passed the 100-day mark until the 2015 football season kicks off on Sept. 3 at Arizona. Many thanks to those who have purchased season tickets. For those who have not yet joined the Roadrunners football marathon, game day is drawing near.

Thanks for all of your support.

Go Runners!


Lynn Hickey
Director of Athletics

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