Cougars Head West for Pair of Meets - Houston to compete at Mt. SAC Relays, Beach Invitational

The Cougars will be well represented in the sprints in California this weekend. Houston will travel with 10 sprinters ranked among the nation’s best according to

Four Cougar men will enter the 100-meter dash ranked among the nation’s best. Junior Cameron Burrell holds Houston’s top mark this season at 10.26, while John Lewis III ranks second on the team at 10.27. Their marks place them No. 18 and No. 19 in the nation, respectively. Sophomore Cameron Prejean enters ranked No. 48 at 10.41, while sophomore Mario Burke ran 10.47 to hold the No. 63 spot. In the women’s 100, freshman Sierra Smith enters ranked No. 44 in the NCAA with a mark of 11.52 last week at the Houston Alumni Invitational.

Each of the women entering competition this weekend in the 200-meter dash hold two of the nation’s top times. Senior Tori Williams ranks No. 26 in the NCAA with a time of 23.18, while freshman Brianne Bethel’s mark of 23.48 places her No. 43. In the men’s race, sophomore Jacarias Martin enters with the nation’s No. 22 time at 20.75, while junior Trumaine Jefferson sits 63rd in 21.06.
Sophomore Raymund Clarke rounds out the ranked sprinters for the Cougars in the quarter-mile race. Clarke enters the weekend’s 400-meter dash competition with the nation’s 56th fastest time at 47.11.

Sophomore hurdler Amere Lattin will be in action in each of the 110- and 400-meter hurdles for the second consecutive weekend. At the Houston Alumni Invitational, Lattin swept the events after running 13.73 in the 110 and 51.38 in the 400 to move to No. 9 and No. 22 in the nation, respectively. The performance for Lattin earned him his third American Athletic Conference Track Athlete of the Week award for the outdoor season and fourth overall in 2017.

Senior distance runner Selena Sierra will be Houston’s lone ranked distance runner at Mt. SAC. The school record holder in the 3000-meter steeplechase, Sierra enters the event ranked No. 64 in the nation after running 10:40.85 at the 90th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays earlier this season.

While competing on Easter Weekend, it’s only fitting that the Cougars would enter a bevy of top-ranked jumpers in the weekend competitions. Four Cougars enter the weekend ranked inside the nation’s top-50 in the long jump while three hold top-15 marks.

In the women’s event, junior Tonye’cia Burks holds the nation’s No. 7 mark at 21-0.5 (6.41m), while freshman Samiyah Samuels’ leap of 20-6.25 (6.25m) places her 14th on the national list. Each of their jumps earned them American Conference Field Athlete of the Week honors in their respective competitions. Burks will also be in action in the triple jump where she enters ranking No. 8 in the NCAA at a school-record 43-5.0 (13.23m).

A trio of men’s jumpers will be in action, led by Jefferson who posted a mark of 25-3.5 (7.71m) at the Texas Relays to open the month and ranks 11th on the NCAA list. He will be joined by juniors Antwan Dickerson (24-5.0; 7.44m) and Jared Kerr (24-4.25; 7.42m) who rank No. 45 and No. 53 in the event, respectively.

Sophomore Colin George is scheduled to be in action in the high jump at The Beach Invitational. George enters with the No. 86 height in the nation after hopping 6-8.75 (2.05m) at the Texas Relays.

The Cougar men boast two of the nation’s top shot put competitors in the nation. Junior Cameron Cornelius will look to continue his stellar season in California, entering competition with the nation’s 12th best mark at 61-11.5 (18.88m). Senior Alex Garza made his outdoor debut at the Houston Alumni Invitational last week where he threw 57-8.25 (17.58m) to earn second in the event and move to No. 66 on the national list.

Senior Damon Thompson earned his top mark this season in the hammer throw at the Alumni Invitational to enter the national rankings. Thompson threw for a mark of 192-6 (58.67m) on Saturday to move to No. 95 in the NCAA.

Competing in the first section of the steeplechase, Sierra crossed the line in 10:26.41 to finish fifth in the race. Sierra’s mark breaks her previous school best of 10:31.07, which she ran to win the 2016 American Athletic Conference Championship in the event, and moved her to No. 26 on the NCAA list for the steeple this season.

Sierra holds two University of Houston distance records after breaking the indoor 5,000-meter dash record last season, and then topping her own mark in 2017 at the American Indoor Championships.

A pair of Houston throwers opened competition for the Cougars on Thursday in the men’s and women’s hammer throw. Senior Damon Thompson was in the ring for the men, where he qualified for the finals with a mark of 188-0 (57.32m) on his first attempt. On his final throw, Thompson would improve to 192-3 (58.59m) to finish sixth.

Sophomore Taylor Scaife set a new personal best in the women’s hammer. Scaife tossed a career-best 183-0 (55.79m) on her first throw, and later improved to 183-1 (55.80m) in the final round. Scaife’s eighth place finish moves her to No. 94 in the nation this season.

Competing for just the second time during the outdoor season, Garza wasted no time setting a new career best in the event. The senior’s top mark flew 59-0.0 (17.98m) to earn him the gold medal. Garza’s mark moves him to No. 61 in the NCAA this season.

Samuels was locked in a tight competition that saw the top-7 competitors finish within eight inches of each other. Samuels qualified for the finals on her third attempt with a mark of 19-8.75 (6.01m) to move past Madisen Richards of USC and take the lead. Samuels would match the mark on her sixth and final attempt to seal the victory.

Junior Tonye’cia Burks also posted a top-5 finish in the event. Burks jumped 19-5.5 (5.93m) to finish fourth. In the men’s long jump, Antwan Dickerson leaped 23-8.0 (7.21m) to finish sixth, while freshman multi-athlete Nate Mechler finished eight in 22-11.25 (6.99m).

Sophomore Raymund Clarke opened the sprints with a top-10 finish in the 400-meter dash. Clarke crossed the line in 47.74 to finish eighth in the event. Sophomore Mario Burke would follow with the sixth fastest time in the 100-meter dash. Burke posted his top time this season in the event after crossing the line in 10.42.

A pair of women’s sprinters posted top-10 marks in the women’s 200-meter dash. Freshman Brianne Bethel finished ninth with a time of 23.73, just edging senior Tori Williams who ran 23.74 to place 10th.

Action on the final day in California begins at 9 a.m., at The Beach Invite with the 1,500-meter run. Houston’s third day of competition at the Mt. SAC Relays kicks off with the long jump at 1 p.m.

Junior triple jumper Tonye’cia Burks and the men’s 4x400-meter relay broke school records as the Houston Cougar Men’s and Women’s Track & Field teams wrapped competition at the Mt. SAC Relays and Beach Invitational on Saturday in California.

Just one day after a fourth place finish in the long jump, Burks was back on the runway for the triple jump on Saturday. Burks used her first jump to go 40-5.0 (12.32m) and qualify for the finals. The former Kilgore High School standout sat eighth heading into her final leap where she exploded for a mark of 44-4.75 (13.53m) to win the competition and break her own school record of 43-5.0 (13.23m), which she set earlier this season.

Burks owns each of the indoor and outdoor school records in the event and with her mark today now ranks No. 4 on the NCAA national list this season.

The men’s 4x400-meter relay closed the competition at the Mt. SAC Relays by leaving their mark on the school record books. The squad of Raymund Clarke, Amere Lattin, Mario Burke and Trumaine Jefferson crossed the line in 3:04.48 to finish second. The time breaks the old school record set by Anthony Authorlee, Greg Christie, Karim Alston and Dennis Darling at 3:06.39 in 1999.

The mark for the Cougars moved them to No. 9 in the NCAA this season according to

The Cougar men’s 4x100-meter relay put on a show of their own to open competition on the final day at Mt. SAC. The team of Cameron Burrell, Burke, Jacarias Martin and Eli Hall posted the third fastest time in school history when they ran 38.59 to finish second. The mark ranks them second in the nation during the outdoor season.

Following his impressive leg of the 4x100-meter relay, Burrell was back on the track as an individual in the 100-meter dash. Burrell matched his season best time with an eighth place finish (fourth among collegiates), in 10.26.

Hall was also in action as an individual for the first time during the outdoor season, competing in the invitational section of the 200-meter dash. Hall crossed the line in 20.75 to finish seventh (third among collegiates) in the event.

A pair of Cougar throwers posted top-10 marks, with sophomore Nora Monie taking sixth in the discus, while junior Cameron Cornelius placed seventh in the shot put. Monie’s top mark in the discus traveled 160-9 (49.00m), and Cornelius’ top attempt in the shot traveled 59-0.75 (18.00m)

In the jumps, sophomore Trumaine Jefferson posted Houston’s final top-10 mark of the Mt. SAC Relays. Jefferson leapt 23-3.25 (7.09m) to place 10th in the invitational long jump.
stevemagnessThis group of 5 ladies came to Mt Sac and 4 came away with PRs and one missed by two tenths in a tactical race. Four of these women entered college with HS mile PRs over 5:20. (One over 5:40…), and one can only run 3 days a week right now. After this weekend 3 of them have run sub 17 for 5k, one 10:26 steeple, another 4:31 and another 4:44 for 1500. When we started this journey 4 years ago we didn’t have a single sub 18 5k runner on the squad. All of the women have done an amazing job of buying in and putting in the work. We don’t always get the HS studs or the most talented athletes. But we get people who have a desire to get better. And that’s what they’ve done. Testament to their work ethic and belief.

Video of the 4x100 :astonished:

In the 4x100m relays, both the Cougars and the Tigers had world-class performances mirroring the races from the National Championships last June. Burke, senior Cameron Burrell and juniors Jacarias Martin and Eli Hall-Thompson ran 38.59s in the event — second only to LSU’s 38.57s.

Together the two teams stand alone as the nation’s two fastest times, almost two tenths of a second faster than the third-best time.