Cougars to Host Houston Alumni Invitational

Teams Competing: Houston, Houston Baptist, Illinois, Rice, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas Southern, Tulane, UTSA, USF

HOUSTON – The Houston Cougar Men’s and Women’s Track & Field teams welcomed back their all-time greats and put on a show at the Houston Alumni Invitational on Saturday.

Senior thrower Damon Thompson took home Houston’s first victory at Saturday’s meet. The school record holder in the indoor weight throw, launched the hammer 192-6 (58.67m) to set a new season best and win the event by four feet.

Running events at the Alumni Invitational began with the men’s and women’s 4x100-meter relays. The Cougar women were on the track first, coming away with a victory in 44.39. The men followed with a win of their own and a time of 40.15.

The Cougar men also took gold in the 4x400-meter relay to wrap the running events on Saturday. The Cougars entered three separate teams into the event, however it was the ‘A’ squad that crossed the line first in 3:16.02.

Sophomore Amere Lattin dominated each of his races on Saturday, sweeping both the 110- and 400-meter hurdles. On the straight track first, Lattin ran 13.73 to claim the 110 hurdles and move to No. 8 in the NCAA.

A short while later, Lattin was on the track again for the 400-meter hurdles for the first time in 2017. The 2016 American Champion in the event, Lattin crossed the line in 51.38 to move to No. 20 in the nation and win his second event.

Jumper Tonye’cia Burks continued her strong junior season at the Alumni Invitational. After breaking both the indoor and outdoor school records in the triple jump, Burks turned her sights on the long jump.

Burks qualified for the finals of the event with a mark of 20-3.0 (6.17m) on her first attempt. The American Champion in the triple jump would not improve until her final attempt where she exploded to leap 21-0.5 (6.41m) to win the event and move to No. 5 in the NCAA this season.

Sophomore sprinter Raymund Clarke continued to impress in the 400-meter dash in his second season. Clarke finished Saturday’s event in 47.55 to edge Lestrod Roland of Elite Performance and take first place in the quarter-mile race.

Junior thrower Zach Oliva improved on his strong third season on campus, moving to No. 7 in the American Athletic Conference in the discus on Saturday. Oliva launched the disc 163-4 (49.78m) to win the event by a foot.

Sophomore Nora Monie made it a clean sweep for the Cougars in the discus competition, winning the women’s event of the invitational. Monie threw 157-03 (47.94m) to reach the top of the podium by nearly nine feet.

The Cougars also had a number of runner-up finishes on Saturday, beginning with Antwan Dickerson in the men’s long jump. Dickerson used his final attempt to jump a wind-aided 24-9.0 (7.54m) and finish first among collegians and second only to Bermudian Olympian Tyrone Smith.

Houston saw a trio of sophomores take 2-through-4 in the men’s 100-meter dash. John Lewis III ran 10.27 to finish second and move to No. 14 in the NCAA this season. Jacarias Martin crossed in third in 10.40, while Cameron Prejean ran 10.41 to take fourth.

Martin would move on to take second in the 200-meter dash later in the day in 20.75, moving him to No. 12 in the nation this season. Trumaine Jefferson placed fourth in the event in 21.06, while Lewis ran 21.24 to place fifth.

Senior Tori Williams improved on her top time in the 200 this season when she took second in 23.18 to move to No. 23 on the NCAA list. Freshman Brianne Bethel finished right on her heels in third at 23.48 to rank 39th in the nation. Williams also ran 11.50 in the 100 to place fifth.

Senior thrower Alex Garza made an impressive outdoor debut with a runner-up finish in the men’s shot put. Garza threw 57-8.25 (17.58m) to edge teammate Cameron Cornelius who finished third in 56-10.75 (17.34m).

Three other Cougars posted top-3 finishes at Houston’s second home outdoor meet. In the jumps, sophomore Colin George took third in the men’s high jump with a top mark of 6-8.0 (2.03m), while freshman Breyon Thurman jumped 46-9.0 (14.25m) in the triple jump for his bronze. Senior thrower A’Nease Linnear took Houston’s final podium finish with a mark of 43-11.25 (13.39) on two of her attempts in the shot put.

The Cougars head west for a pair of meets in The Golden State of California. Some Cougars will compete at the prestigious Mt. SAC Relays, while the remainder will travel to Long Beach State to compete in the Beach Invitational.

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