DECATHLON TO START
The first Cougar in competition at the Texas Relays will be decathlete Nathaniel Mechler. Mechler, The American champion in the heptathlon, enters the 2-day, 10-event competition at 11 a.m., Wednesday with the 100-meter dash. The Ontario, Canada, native will also compete in the long jump, shot put, high jump and 400-meter dash on the first day, before finishing with the 110-meter hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1,500-meter run on day two.
ON THE STRAIGHT TRACK
The Cougars will have six competitors in the 100-meter dash at the Texas Relays. Beginning Friday morning, Bria Carter and Justice Henderson will run in the preliminary rounds of the women’s University/College edition of the event, while John Lewis III and Cameron Prejean will run on the men’s side.
Henderson enters the event ranked No. 71 in the NCAA for women, while Carter ranks No. 76. Lewis and Prejean enter No. 21 and No. 76, respectively.
Qualifying athletes will advance to the final round of the University/College races on Saturday, while Cameron Burrell and Mario Burke will each be on the track for the 100-meter dash invitational. Burrell enters competition with the No. 3 time in the 100 nationally, while Burke holds the 24th fastest mark.
OVER THE HURDLES
Four Cougar hurdlers will be in action at the relays in Austin. Junior Kelsey Roy and sophomore Amere Lattin will run on the straight track in the 100- and 110-meter hurdles, respectively, while sophomore Raymund Clarke and freshman Birexus Hawkins will run in the 400-meter hurdles.
Hawkins will be the first Cougar on the track on Thursday at 4:30 p.m., in the preliminary rounds, while Clarke will follow at 5 p.m. Lattin enters with the nation’s No. 6 time in the event, and he will run simultaneously with Roy on Friday morning.
FROM LONG DISTANCE
Houston will field five individual distance runners throughout the week. Chris Ibarra will run the shortest of the distance races in the 800-meters, while Jennifer Dunlap and Blake Contreras will run the women’s and men’s 1,500-meter races, respectively.
The reigning American Athletic Conference outdoor champion in the steeplechase, Selena Sierra, will make her return to the 3,000-meter event on Friday, while Maddie Brown will compete in the 5,000-meters to wrap the second day of competition.
The Cougars will field four athletes in the long jump competition, while having two compete in the triple jump and one in the high jump. Freshman Samiyah Samuels ranks No. 23 in the NCAA this season and will be the lone Cougar in action in the women’s long jump, while Trumaine Jefferson and Jared Kerr will compete in the long jump ‘B’ section ranking No. 18 and No. 27, respectively, and Cameron Burrell will compete in the long jump ‘A’ section for the men.
Junior Tonye’cia Burks will compete in the ‘A’ section of the women’s triple jump. Burks jumped 43-5.0 (13.23m) at the Victor Lopez Classic a week ago to break the school record and post the No. 2 time in the nation. In the men’s triple jump, sophomore Cameron Prejean will enter the triple jump ‘B’ section, while sophomore Colin George will enter the ‘B’ section of the high jump with the nation’s No. 63 mark this season.
THROW IT FAR
A pair of hammer throwers opens field competition for the Cougars on Thursday morning. School record holder Mikaila Martin will throw in the ‘B’ section for the women at 11 a.m., while senior Damon Thompson will follow for the men at 2 p.m. Thompson enters with the 84th best throw this season.
Junior Cameron Cornelius will put his winning streak in the shot put on the line in the ‘A’ section at the Texas Relays. Cornelius enters with the No. 8 mark in the nation this season, and he has won seven straight competitions, including two on the outdoor circuit. He will be joined by teammate Alex Garza who will make his 2017 outdoor debut at the event.
The Cougars will enter a pair of throwers in the ‘B’ section of the shot put. Sophomore Nora Monie will throw the disc for the women, while junior Zach Oliva competes on the men’s side.
Seven different relays will take to the track this weekend for Houston, including the men’s and women’s 4x100-meter squads. The Houston men enter the event with two separate teams inside the top-10 in the nation, including Lewis III, Burke, Jacarias Martin and Lattin who ran 39.37 a week ago to rank No. 3 in the NCAA.
Each of the men’s and women’s teams will field 4x200- and 4x400-meter relay teams, while the women will run a distance medley relay and the men will run the 4x800-meter relay.