T&F Travels to Texas Invitational

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Small group heading to Austin Friday and Saturday.

American Athletic Conference Field Athlete of the Week, Taylor Scaife, will open the Texas Invitational for Houston in the women’s hammer throw. Scaife holds the 16th-best mark in the nation this season after becoming the first Houston woman to throw over 200 feet with her mark of 203-8.75 (62.10m) at the Houston Alumni Invitational.

Houston will also field a pair of nationally-ranked long jumpers on Friday, when Antwan Dickerson and Jared Kerr enter the competition. Dickerson opens action with the 16th-best jump of the season at 25-5.25 (7.75m), while Kerr ranks 16th with a mark of 24-9.75 (7.56m).

Also in the jumps, senior Tonye’cia Burks will look to improve on the 24th-best triple jump mark in the nation on Saturday. Burks enters the competition with a season-best leap of 41-10.5 (12.76m).

As always, Houston will be represented well in the sprints, including the 100-meter dash, where the Cougars will enter a top-ranked competitor on each of the men’s and women’s sides. Reigning American Conference Track Athlete of the Week, Brianne Bethel, enters with the 28th-best time this season at 11.42, while Mario Burke joins the men’s race with the 39th-fastest time at 10.40.

Nora Monie continues her impressive spring season by entering a pair of events with top-ranked marks. Monie enters the shot put with the 35th-best distance this season at 15.69m (51-5.75), while her discus toss of 170-4 (51.91m) sits 46th.

Priscilla Adejokun holds the 53rd best mark in the women’s shot put at 50-4.0 (15.34m), while Zach Oliva ranks 92nd in the men’s discus with a top throw of 170-10 (52.08m).

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Live Scoring: http://texas.karmarush.com/2018-Texas-Invitational/

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Junior thrower Taylor Scaife has been the pace-setter for the Cougars this season, and after a lengthy weather delay, Scaife would once again start Houston off on the right foot, breaking her own school record in the hammer throw. Scaife topped her own mark for the third time this season, when her fourth attempt traveled 204-7 (62.37m) to place her fourth. That mark moves Scaife into 15th on the NCAA list this year.

Freshman Ben Percefull kept the momentum going for Houston in the men’s field events with a second-place finish in the pole vault. Percefull cleared the bar at a personal-best 17-0.75 (5.20m) to take the silver and move to 33rd in the nation this year.

In the women’s pole vault, Sarah Howe cleared 11-5.75 (3.50m) on her first attempt to finish fourth, while Olivia Winterkamp cleared the same mark on her third attempt to finish ninth with her personal best.

Houston would advance to pick up three top-5 finishes in the long jump, including Jared Kerr who took third on the men’s side. Kerr used his first attempt to jump 24-11.25 (7.60m) to take the bronze, while Trumaine Jefferson placed fourth at 24-8.5 (7.53m). On the women’s side, Justice Henderson used her final attempt to travel 18-10.75 (5.76m) to place fifth.

A 400-meter specialist normally, Kahmari Montgomery set his sights on the 200-meter dash on Friday, where he ran the 21st-best time nationally at a wind-aided 20.74. Montgomery placed fifth overall and fourth collegiately, while Mario Burke took sixth (fifth collegiately), in 20.84.

The Cougars picked up two more top-5 finishes on the track to end the night, with Meredith Sorensen and Jahnavi Schneider in the women’s 1,500-meter run. Sorensen crossed the line in 4:45.97 to take fourth, while Schneider finished fifth in 4:51.02.

On the men’s side, Blake Contreras finished sixth in the 1,500 in 3:56.63.

The night ended in the field, where the Cougars saw a pair of throwers reach the finals of the shot put. On the men’s side, Cameron Cornelius finished sixth with a season-best throw of 57-2.0 (17.42m), while on the women’s side, Priscilla Adejokun also took sixth with a mark of 46-4.0 (14.12m).

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The Cougars picked up their first win of the afternoon on the distance circuit, when Maria Gonzales took gold in the women’s 3,000-meter run. Gonzales finished the 7.5-lap race in a personal-best 10:31.50. Senior Mackenize Ilari took fifth in the event with a personal-best 10:55.87.

Devin Fahey would follow Gonzales’ performance with a win of his own in the men’s 3,000-meter run. Fahey surged ahead on the final lap of the race to finish in 8:40.94 and take the Texas Invitational gold. Chris Wallace finished fourth in 9:00.02, while Gabe Lara rounded out the top-5 in 9:05.38.

Houston opened individual track events in the 800-meter run, where the squad picked up their first top-5 finish of the afternoon, when Brianna Nolen placed fourth in the women’s race in a personal-best 2:19.18. Kristina Knowles finished right on Nolen’s heels in 2:19.56 to place sixth.

Mario Burke followed on the track with one of the top performances of the day in the 100-meter dash. Burke clocked the 16th-fastest time in the NCAA this season in the 100, when he crossed the line in a wind-aided 10.28 to finish second overall and first among collegiate competitors.

In the women’s 100, the Cougars picked up a pair of top-10 finishes. Essance Sample crossed the line in eighth after running 11.93, while Samiyah Samuels set a personal-best with a time of 11.96 to place ninth.

Senior Tonye’cia Burks earned a top-3 finish in the field for Houston with her performance in the women’s triple jump. Burks used her second leap of the competition to travel 41-7.25 (12.67m) to finish third.

The Houston Women closed the meet with a second-place finish in the 4x400-meter relay. The Cougars won the opening heat in a season-best 3:41.07.

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