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Women find early season success at Lopez Classic

By Bhagwat Kumar     3/29/12 7:00pm

The Victor Lopez Classic, held the weekend of March 24, was marked by both success and growth for the women's track and field team. The meet, which welcomed 3,500 spectators on Saturday night, according to Head Coach Jim Bevan, consisted of 75 high school and collegiate teams comprised of 1,800 athletes. The meet has grown in popularity in recent years, with the last two being the largest ever, according to Bevan. The team came in fifth overall with a total of 43 points, with Notre Dame winning the competition thanks to a score of 53.

"We are off to a great start in the season," Bevan said, referring to the 15 personal bests set in the meet.

The meet was marked by notable performances from junior Sharae Robinson in the discus with a mark of 47.72 meters, senior Allison Pye in the 10,000-meter and junior Lillian Nwora in the 800-meter. Bevan believes that Robinson's mark will get her into the National Meet and, while she remains proud of her impressive performance since it was just shy of her best despite it still being early in the season, Robinson is still looking to improve; she said she was hoping to set a new personal record. Due to Robinson's success so far, she also said she is excited about the rest of the season, as she hopes to return to the NCAA Regionals and place higher than she did last season.

Nwora's performance was also particularly impressive, as she ran the 800-meter for the first time and won, which Bevan described as a big breakthrough. Pye was another first-place finisher, winning the 10,000-meter with a mark that is one of the best in the nation so far, according to Bevan. Freshman Claire Uke also performed well, finishing second in the shot put with a mark of 14.77 meters. "Overall, I was happy with how I did," Uke said. However, Uke also added that she wasn't completely satisfied since she had wanted to finish first. Still, Uke remains excited, not only about this season, but also about her career going forward.

"It's been a blessing to come as far as I have now," Uke said. "I just hope that, in time, I'll be able to be mentioned among the elite athletes in the country."

Overall, the team is performing while improving.

"We should see some big breakthroughs in the next few weeks," Bevan said.

"The team definitely did not disappoint," Uke added, echoing his sentiments.

The team's recent success and development, with its continued progress towards being fully healthy, which Bevan expects will happen in two to three weeks, has its prospects looking bright going forward, starting with the Texas Relays this upcoming week.

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