Spring Sports Preview: McMurry Track Eyes 31st and 32nd Conference Championships
Of the last 48 American Southwest Conference Team Champions, 30 have come from McMurry’s prestigious track and field program. The men’s team has amassed 17 conference championships in 24 years and the women have won 13 over the same period of time. This makes McMurry one of the most dominant athletic programs in the history of the American Southwest Conference.
The 2022 Men’s Track and Field team returns 17 athletes who scored in the 2021 ASC Championships along with a host of new talent. Jayden Sloan leads a group of talented sprinters with Jamari Williams, Dazhaun Walton, and Caleb Kwiatkowski returning from last year’s championship team. Jayden Sloan currently ranks 46th in the nation in the indoor 200-meter dash with a time of 22.38 seconds and 36th in the nation in the indoor 400-meter dash with a time of 49.84 seconds. Distance Runners Abram Maldonado, John Zuniga, Gabriel Sanchez, Marcos Tellez, and Ethan Turner lead a young and talented crop of distance runners. Maldonado has already broken the 2-minute barrier in the 800-meter dash with a 1:59.36 indoor time. Justin DeLeon returns as one of McMurry’s leaders in the hurdle events and will be a force in the 400-meter hurdles.
The field events group is shaping up to be great. Dontre Sinegal has been off to a flying start in the jumping events with a leap of 7.15 meters in the long jump, a mark that puts the talented freshman at 15th in the nation. Sinegal is also a former 4A state champion in the triple jump and will remain a threat in both jumping events. Rylan Rogers and Jayden Gonzales return as a talented 1-2 punch in the pole vault events. McMurry throwers have become a staple in dominance in the conference championship meets, and this year’s throwers look equally dangerous. Sutton Welch, Jarrett Hart, Vern Angton, Daniel Zarzoza, and Jessy Villagomez are all returning scorers from last year’s team and will look to build on their marks from last year. Reagan Owen, Zachary Pomele, and Christian Morales are new throwers who will make a big impact at the conference meet. The Javelin squad will be extremely deep with Rylan Rogers, Jayden Gonzales, Zach Wood, and a group of others returning from last year’s squad. With all the big names and returners from last year’s championship group, McMurry’s Men’s Team will be a heavyweight contender in completing their three-peat.
McMurry’s Women’s Squad looks just as dangerous. Returning 12 scorers from last year’s team, the women will look to lean on their returners for leadership. Jazmin and Janeth Chacon are two of the best female distance runners in Division 3 and will bring a level of high-end talent to the women’s distance group that has been on the rise the last few years. Kelby Tidwell is an extremely versatile athlete and can score in and win several different events for the Lady Warhawks and will bring a high level of leadership to the squad. Naj Campbell and Nandhi Brown are a tremendous hurdle duo and will also contribute in both sprints and jumps. Breauna Conner has been a mainstay in the longer sprinting events and will round out a very talented women’s sprints group. Ellie Ryan will headline a deep group of female throwers. Glenda Parra and Margo Mendoza will be major contenders for a discus title come May, while Corbin Stulir brings the ability to contribute in three different throwing events for the women’s squad. Elizabeth Jordan and Jaalah Puryear will bring tremendous depth in the women’s hammer squad that dominated conference last year.
With their eyes on the prize, Coach Knight will bring two tremendously talented teams to the conference meet, headlined by not only athletes mentioned here but also a host of up-and-coming fabulous freshman who will have an opportunity to leave their mark on the conference.