The Houston Cougar Men’s Track & Field team will send three athletes to compete in four events, plus the 4x400-meter relay to the NCAA Indoor Championships, to be held across March 9-10 at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium in College Station, Texas.
Final rankings were released late Tuesday night, and Houston landed Elijah Hall (60- and 200-meter dash), Kahmari Montgomery (400-meter dash) and Nathaniel Mechler (heptathlon) as well as the 4x4 team on the list. Hall and Montgomery each enter the Championships with top-5 times in their respective marks, while the 4x4 squad enters fourth in the NCAA.
Hall becomes the first athlete at Houston to qualify for multiple individual events at the NCAA Indoor Championships since Darius Pemberton (55-meter hurdles and long jump) accomplished the feat in 1996. Hall ran the third-fastest time in the nation and the second-fastest time in school history in the 60-meter dash at 6.58 to win the Tyson Invitational earlier this season. At the Charlie Thomas Invitational, held at the same venue as the Championships, Hall broke his own school record in the 200 when he ran 20.51, the fifth-fastest time in the nation this season.
Montgomery will make his second trip to the NCAA Indoor Championships, and his first since transferring to the Cougars from Missouri prior to this season. Montgomery claimed The American Indoor Championship and broke the school record in the 400 a week ago, when he ran 45.53 to post the fifth-fastest mark in the NCAA this season.
Mechler will make Houston’s first appearance in the heptathlon since 2011 after a school-record setting performance at The American Indoor Championships. The sophomore claimed his second-consecutive title in the heptathlon after scoring 5,703 points in the seven-event competition, shattering Wesley Bray’s program-best mark.
Hall and Montgomery will join a combination of juniors Amere Lattin and Mario Burke, and freshman Quivell Jordan in the final race of the indoor championships, the 4x400-meter relay. Houston’s squad broke the school record twice this season and posted the fourth-fastest time in the nation, when they ran 3:04.18 to win the Tyson Invitational.
Some controversy here as the NCAA decided to add 4 schools to the 4x400 race (normally only the top 12 make it). Looks like either the SEC was upset because the B1G used lanes 7 & 8 during their 4x400 races which they aren’t supposed to do. NCAA bowed and allowed 4 more squads in (which just so happened to include National Title contenders Auburn and Tennessee).
Top 10 Predicted team scores
Texas Tech 35
Texas A&M 23
Three Cougars and a relay team in the hunt for NCAA title
“I think we can score anywhere between 20 and 40 points,” said head coach Leroy Burrell. “We’re certainly relying on some individuals to do that. But I think Eli (Hall) can contend for a championship in both events, I think Kahmari (Montgomery) can as well, and I think the 4×4 can as well. When you’re in the top five, you’ve got a shot. What we need is a surprise point here or there (from) Nathaniel (Mechler). I think if we do that then we’ll be in the hunt. If not then we won’t.”
- Mechler will be in action starting at noon in the Heptathalon
- Hall will run at 6:05 in the Semifinals of the 60m
- Montgomery will run at 6:25 in the Semifinals of the 400m
- Hall will run against at 7:35 in the Semifinals of the 200m
- Mechler will be in action in the Heptathalon
- 60m Final will be at 4:30
- 400m Final will be at 4:50
- 200m Final will be at 5:50
- Coogs will be in the 4x400 final at 6:40
Nice start for Nate Mechler in the hep…
Nate Mechler opens the NCAA Indoor Championships with a personal best 7.07 in the heptathlon 60-meter dash to pick up 858 points! #GoCoogs #HTownSpeedCity
Mechler may be the key as to whether UH can win the team title. If he can score points, things get really interesting.
Saving the best for last! Nate Mechler uses his final attempt in the long jump to leap a personal best 24-6.5 (7.48m) to finish fourth in the event and score 930 points! #GoCoogs #HTownSpeedCity
2 events…two PR’s
So, all the Coogs will be there tomorrow. Still a chance to win this thing.
Eli Hall’s amazing 200m
Here’s the 60m