Northcutt, McDaniel excel as freshmen

By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY, News-Telegram Sports Editor

May 15, 2008 - Graham Northcutt will be competing this weekend in the Big 12 Track and Field Championships, while his former classmate, Whitney McDaniel, led her team in the Lone Star Conference Golf Championship.

Northcutt, a freshman at Texas A&M University, has been competing this season in a variety of distance events, culminating in the Big 12 outdoor championship meet at the University of Colorado's Potts Field this weekend.

Northcutt, who won a silver medal in the Class 4A 1,600-meter run at the state meet last year as a senior at Sulphur Springs, has ran the 1,500, the 3,000-meter steeplechase and the 800 this year for the Aggies.

His best time in the 1,500 came April 19 at the LSU Alumni Gold Relays in Baton Rouge, La. He clocked a time of 3 minutes, 56.82 seconds. His best time in the steeplechase was a 9:44.10 at the Rice Invitational in which he placed seventh.

He also was seventh in the 1,500 at the Houston Invitational on May 3 in which he ran a 4:04.92. Northcutt was also part of the 4x800-meter relay team that won the Florida State Relays on March 29. The quartet ran the race in 7:40.80, an average of 1:55 per runner.

McDaniel, meanwhile, made a name for herself as a freshman member of the East Central Oklahoma golf team after finishing 16th in the conference tournament.

McDaniel shot an 84-78 during the two-day LSC tournament at the WinStar Golf Course in Thackerville, Okla. She finished with a 162 to lead her team, which came in eighth.

As a senior last year at SSHS, she was the district individual champion, finished fourth at regional and 12th at the UIL state tournament.

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