T&F Set for Mark Colligan Memorial (Coogs win 6 events)


The Cougars are scheduled to have a number of the top athletes in the nation in action in their respective events on Saturday, including each of the men’s and women’s 60-meter dashes. For the men, Mario Burke (6.73) and Joe Williams (6.77) enter competition ranked No. 25 and No. 44 in the nation, respectively, while Brianne Bethel hits the straight track for the women with the 30th ranked time in the NCAA after clocking a 7.42 a week ago.

Williams will also be in action in the men’s 200-meter dash, where he posted the No. 58 time collegiately at 21.68 at the Leonard Hilton Memorial, while Elijah Hall, who currently holds the nation’s fastest time in the 60-meter dash (6.60), will enter the blocks for a full-lap for the first time this season.

Staying on the straight track, but adding some obstacles, the Cougars will field two student-athletes in the men’s and women’s 60-meter hurdles that currently rank among the top-20 in the collegiate standings. Amere Lattin hits the straightaway with the NCAA’s 14th best mark in the young season of 7.85, while Naomi Taylor sits 20th in the women’s ranks after a time of 8.36 at the Corky Classic.

Felipe Valencia and Cameron Cornelius return to the ring for the men’s shot put at the Mark Colligan Memorial, where Valencia will try to win his third consecutive competition in the event. Valencia won the Reveille Invitational to open the season with a mark of 59-4.25 (18.09m) to post the 23rd best throw this season before also taking the title at the Leonard Hilton Invitational, while Cornelius ranks 36th at 57-9.5 (17.61m) after his runner-up finish in College Station.

In the vertical jumps, a trio of nationally-ranked Cougars will hit the runway, beginning with Jared Kerr in the men’s long jump. Kerr marked a season-best leap of 24-1.75 (7.36m) at the Hilton Invitational to post the 29th ranked mark in the nation this year.

In the women’s triple jump, Tonye’cia Burks returns to action after posting the nation’s seventh-best mark of 42-4.75 (12.92m) to win the Leonard Hilton Invitational, while Paige Lawrence enters 48th with a mark of 39-9.25 (12.12m).

High jumper Hawa Wague rounds out Houston’s ranked competitors at the Memorial. The freshman has gone up-and-over the bar at 5-7.0 (1.70m) to rank No. 60 in the early season.

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Senior Elijah Hall again led the way for the Cougars, running the nation’s second-fastest time in the 200-meter dash. Hall, already the NCAA’s leader in the 60-meter dash, ran 20.76, finished just five-hundredths of a second off his school-record mark to take the gold. Junior Amere Lattin finished third in the event with a time of 21.29 to move to 21st in the NCAA.

Sophomore Samiyah Samuels gave Houston its first win of the afternoon, taking the gold in the women’s long jump. Samuels qualified for the finals with the best jump of the first three rounds at 19-5.5 (5.93m) to take the lead heading into the final three jumps.

Samuels would improve to 19-7.5 (5.98m) on her fifth attempt, and would hit that mark again in her final jump, to win the event and move into a tie for 27th on the NCAA long jump list this season.

In the sprints, the Cougars finished 1-through-3 in the 60-meter dash. Sophomore Brianne Bethel crossed the line first in a personal-best 7.37, which moves her into a tie for 17th this season. Sophomore Sierra Smith took the silver in 7.50, while freshman Ariele Adams clocked a personal-best 7.55 to take third.

Freshman Essance Sample also made the finals in the 60, finishing fifth in 7.58.

Bethel later made it a clean sweep, winning the 200-meter dash in 23.78 and clocking the nation’s eighth-fastest time this season. She led a group of Cougars, who placed four in the top-5, as Smith finished third in 24.44, Sample took fourth in 24.47 and Adams’ 24.69 placed her fifth, respectively.

Junior Kahmari Montgomery made an impressive solo debut, running his first singles event in the 400-meter dash. Kahmari finished the 400 in 46.83 to claim the event and post the fourth-fastest time in program history. Montgomery’s mark also moves him to No. 9 on the NCAA list this season.

Felipe Valencia picked up a victory for the Cougars in the throws, his third shot put title of the young season. Valencia used his fifth attempt of the afternoon to throw a season-best 60-8.0 (18.49m), winning the title and moving him to 18th on the NCAA list in 2018.

Four more Cougars qualified for the finals in the men’s 60-meter dash, where junior Mario Burke’s season best of 6.71 placed him second in the event and moved him into a tie for 19th in the NCAA this season. Freshman Joe Williams matched his personal best at 6.77, while junior John Lewis III finished fourth in 6.812 and freshman Nicholas Alexander crossed the line right on his heels in 6.817 to take fifth.

On the men’s side of the long jump, the Cougars picked up two more top-3 finishes. Antwan Dickerson used his first attempt to travel 23-10.25 (7.27m) to place second, while senior Jared Kerr finished right behind at 23-8.75 (7.23m) in third.

Junior Mikaila Martin opened the afternoon for the Cougars with a second-place finish in the women’s weight throw. Martin just missed a new personal record when her fourth attempt traveled 51-0.25 (15.55m), which would stand as her best mark of the meet.

Lattin started off Houston’s participation in the running events with the men’s 60-meter hurdles. He crossed the line in 7.89 to take third, the Cougars’ first top-3 finish of the day on the track. Freshman Quivell Jordan finished fourth in a personal-best 8.03.

In one of the rarely run events in the indoor season, Kristina Knowles finished third in the women’s 600-meter run. Knowles ran the 3-lap race in 1:34.92. On the men’s side, Aaron Hurd ran the race in 1:22.34 to also finish third.

In the women’s shot put, junior Nora Monie set a personal record en route to a silver finish. Monie used her fifth throw to PR at 48-4.75 (14.75m), while freshman Priscilla Adejokun finished fourth with a top mark of 45-4.25 (13.82m), which she recorded on her fourth attempt.

In the jumps, senior Tonye’cia Burks continued her strong start to the season with a second-place finish in the women’s triple jump. Burks used her final attempt to leap 41-0.5 (12.51m) and take silver in the event. On the men’s side of the triple, Kerr moved into the nation’s top-60 in the event with a third-place finish at 48-7.25 (14.81m).

Senior Maddie Brown wrapped up the individual events for the Cougars, making her senior season debut in the 3,000-meter run. Brown shaved nearly 10 seconds off her previous personal best in the event, clocking a 10:02.82 to finish fourth.

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