Sorry for the delay…Sleep schedule has been all over the place and I ended up sleeping through the evening:
HOW IT HAPPENED
Samuels was the final Cougar in competition on Thursday, but she saved the best for last in the women’s long jump. Samuels used her first attempt to jump 19-8.0 (5.99m) to grab the 12th and final qualifying position in the event.
Samuels becomes Houston’s first individual women’s qualifier for Houston since Sade-Mariah Greendige (100-meter hurdles) and Brittany Kinney (triple jump) in 2015.
The NCAA West Regional began in impressive fashion for Houston, when Amere Lattin broke the school record in the first event on the track, the 400-meter hurdles. Lattin qualified for Friday’s quarterfinal when he finished the full-lap race in 49.71 to win his heat and break Kevin Mason’s program mark from 1987 of 49.72.
Freshman Quivell Jordan also booked a spot in the 400 hurdles quarterfinal with a third-place finish in his heat. Jordan circled the track in a personal-best 50.44 to post the sixth-fastest time of the qualifying rounds.
Lattin and Jordan will return for the quarterfinal at 9 p.m. CT, Friday.
Sophomore Birexus Hawkins also booked a spot in Friday’s quarterfinal with the 10th-fastest overall time in the women’s 400-meter hurdles. Running in the final heat, Hawkins crossed the line in 58.51 to finish second and pick up the automatic-qualifying position. Hawkins will return to action at 9:15 p.m. CT.
The Cougars saw five sprinters reach the finals in the men’s 100-meter dash, including Cameron Burrell, who ran the fastest wind-legal time ever recorded at the west prelims. Burrell sprinted across the line in 10.02 to punch his ticket to the quarterfinals.
Mario Burke posted the eighth-fastest time of the afternoon with a second-place finish in the second heat, when he ran 10.25, while Elijah Hall crossed in 10.39 to book the 20th qualifying position. Nicholas Alexander and John Lewis III rounded out Houston’s qualifiers in the 100-meter dash with Alexander running 10.39 to place 21st and Lewis III taking 22nd in 10.43.
The five Cougar men will return to action for the quarterfinal at 8 p.m. CT, Friday.
Each of Houston’s women in the 100-meter dash booked spots in the quarterfinal, including Brianne Bethel who posted the ninth-fastest time overall. Bethel crossed the line in 11.35 to finish second in her heat and grab an auto-qualifying spot, while freshman Tristan Evelyn ran 11.54 to grab the 19th-best mark and qualify on time.
Bethel and Evelyn return for the quarterfinal at 8:15 p.m. CT, Friday.
Junior Kahmari Montgomery was Houston’s final quarterfinal qualifier of the afternoon, posting the second-fastest time in the 400-meter dash. Montgomery breezed one lap around the track in 45.61 to win the third heat and automatically qualify. Montgomery will return to action at 7:30 p.m. CT, on Friday.
Junior Nora Monie just missed booking a trip to nationals with her 13th-place finish in the women’s shot put. Monie fell just short of her personal-best when she marked 52-8.75 (16.07m) on her final attempt. Freshman Priscilla Adejokun made her regional debut with a 45th-place finish in the event at 46-2.0 (14.07m).
The Cougar men picked up two more top-15 finishes in the men’s long jump, when Jared Kerr took 13th and Antwan Dickerson placed 14th. Kerr leapt 25-0.5 (7.63m), while Antwan Dickerson finished right behind at 24-11.75 (7.61m). Trumaine Jefferson placed 26th with a best of 23-11.75 (7.31m).
In the pole vault, freshman Ben Percefull made his regional debut with an 18th-place finish in the men’s pole vault. Percefull went up-and-over the bar at 16-4.75 (5.00m).
Cameron Laverty was the final Cougar in action on the track on the first day of the regional, competing in the 800-meter run. Laverty finished the two-lap race in 1:52.13 to finish 35th.