WHAT TO WATCH FOR
The Houston Alumni Invitational will be action packed, especially in the relays, where the Cougars have posted some of the top times in the nation this season. In the men’s 4x100-meter relay, Houston is the only program in the NCAA to have two separate squads run top-5 times nationally, with its season best coming a week ago at 38.92 to win the Texas Relays. That time ranks No. 3 in the NCAA, while they have also run 38.95 (No. 4) and 39.96 (No. 28).
The women have two of the top 4x100 times in the NCAA at 45.15 (No. 42) and 45.61 (No. 69), while the men’s 4x400-meter relay team ran 3:07.81 at the Texas Relays to post the nation’s No. 19 time.
Houston enters with four of the nation’s top times on the men’s and women’s side of the 100-meter dash. John Lewis III leads a trio of men with the NCAA’s sixth fastest time this season at 10.13, while Mario Burke ranks 27th at 10.40 and Nick Alexander’s 10.54 places him 85th.
In the women’s 100, Brianne Bethel holds the 28th-best time nationally at 11.49.
Also in the sprints, NCAA Champion in the indoor 200-meter dash Elijah Hall enters the weekend with the fastest overall time in the outdoor version of the event with a time of 20.11.
Houston’s hurdle crew has looked strong this season with three athletes posting four of the NCAA’s best times. Amere Lattin holds top-10 times in each of the 110- and 400-meter hurdles at 13.72 (No. 7) on the straight track and 50.29 (No. 2) in the full lap race. Quivell Jordan holds the nation’s 12th-best time in the 400 hurdles at 51.11, while in the women’s 100-meter hurdles, freshman Naomi Taylor ranks 29th with a top time of 13.45.
Senior Brian Barraza will also be in action at the Houston Alumni Invitational. Barraza broke the school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Victor Lopez Classic, when he ran 8:41.58 to post the nation’s third-fastest time this season.
Jack Thomas leads a laundry list of throwers on the national list into the weekend, with the sixth-best throw this season in the javelin. Thomas opened the season with the second-best mark in program history at 234-10 (71.58m) at the Cougar Spring Break Invitational.
Felipe Valencia leads four student-athletes into shot put competition on the weekend with a season-best mark of 59-4.75 (18.10m) at the Texas Relays to move to No. 31 in the NCAA. Cameron Cornelius also enters the men’s competition with a mark of 55-3.0 (16.84m) to rank No. 85.
For the women, Nora Monie enters competition fresh off a win at the Texas Relays, where she marked the second-best time in school history at 51-5.75 (15.69m) to move to No. 27 in the nation, while Priscilla Adejokun ranks No. 42 in the nation and third in school history with her mark of 50-4.0 (15.34).
Monie also enters with the 40th-best mark nationally in the discus after winning at the Texas Relays at 170-4 (51.91m), while on the men’s side, Zach Oliva enters at No. 82 in the nation with a mark of 169-10 (51.77m).
Taylor Scaife rounds out the ranked throwers after breaking the school record at the Texas Relays with the 34th-best mark in the NCAA at 195-6 (59.60m).
In the lateral jumps, Samiyah Samuels enters with the fifth-best mark this season in the long jump with a wind-legal 20-7.75 (6.29m), while for the men, Antwan Dickerson ranks 14th at 25-5.25 (7.75m) and Jared Kerr ranks 31st at 24-9.75 (7.56m).
Kerr ranks 92nd in the triple jump with a season-best 48-0.75 (14.65m), while Tonye’cia Burks holds the nation’s 22nd-best mark on the women’s side with a mark of 41-10.5 (12.76m).
A trio of Cougars hold top times in the vertical leaps, including a pair in the high jump in Hawa Wague and Colin George. George holds the men’s 34th-best mark at 6-10.75 (2.10m), while Wague’s mark of 5-7.0 (1.70m) ranks 70th for the women.
Freshman Ben Percefull holds the nation’s 87th-ranked pole vault mark this season after going up-and-over the bar at 16-0.75 (4.90m).