HOUSTON – The Houston Cougar men’s and women’s track & field teams wrapped up competition on day one of the Houston Invitational by qualifying 11 student-athletes for Saturday’s semifinals. Action resumes at 9 a.m., on Saturday, inside the Yeoman Fieldhouse.
ABOUT THE HOUSTON INVITATIONAL
Where: Yeoman Fieldhouse | Houston | Jan 27-28 | Friday: 10 a.m. | Saturday: 9 a.m.
Schedule of Events
Teams Competing: Houston, Sam Houston State, UL Monroe, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, UTSA, Rice, Houston Baptist, UT Rio Grande Valley, Stephen F. Austin, Prairie View A&M, Texas Southern, Lamar, Texas
HOW IT HAPPENED
Five Cougar men will run in Saturday’s semifinal of the 60-meter dash, including senior Cameron Burrell who qualified with the fastest overall time at 6.67. Junior Eli Hall and sophomore Mario Burke each picked up auto-qualifying positions with Hall running 6.72 and qualifying third, while Burke ran 6.88 to sit ninth. Junior Trumaine Jefferson and sophomore John Lewis III each ran 6.82 to qualify 11th and 12th respectively on time.
The women sprinters would also qualify five student-athletes, taking four of the automatic qualifying positions in the 60. Freshman Sierra Smith ran 7.60 to qualify third overall and clock the fastest collegiate time in the preliminaries. Freshman Brianne Bethel and Senior Bria Carter each ran 7.61 to qualify fourth and fifth respectively, while freshman Justice Henderson was the last Houston auto-qualifier at 7.65, qualifying eighth overall. Freshman Samiyah Samuels matched Smith’s time of 7.60, but qualified 11th overall after making the cut on time.
In the 60-meter hurdles, sophomore Amere Lattin qualified with the second fastest overall time, and the first among collegiate competitors. Lattin clocked a 7.96 in the prelims to win the third heat and qualify for Saturday’s semifinal automatically.
A pair of Houston long jumpers set new personal bests at Friday’s Houston Invitational. Jefferson was back in action for the competition using his final jump to go 25-2.0 (7.67m) and place second overall and first among collegiates. Jefferson’s distance is the 12th best mark in the NCAA this season and tops in the American Athletic Conference. Senior Antwan Dickerson set a new indoor best with a leap of 24-4.25 (7.42m) to finish third overall and register the No. 34 long jump in the nation this season.
Sophomore Taylor Scaife continued her impressive season in the weight throw. A week after setting the second best mark in program history, Scaife tallied a runner-up finish at Friday’s competition. Twice in the event, Scaife threw 56-1.25 (17.10m), missing first by just 4.5 inches.
The 2-day event allowed for the first multi-event competition of the season. Freshman Nathaniel Mechler finished the first day with the top overall score in the heptathlon through the first four events, with 2,951 points. Mechler scored big points by winning the heptathlon long jump with a mark of 23-11.5 (7.30m). Mechler’s mark is now fifth in the conference among all competitors. He would go on to finish third in the 60 (7.25), fourth in the high jump (6-3.25, 1.91m) and 10th in the shot put (36-1.25, 11.00m). The final three events of the heptathlon will be held Saturday.
In the women’s multis, freshman Anna Larsson wrapped her first pentathlon performance with a third place finish at 3,263 points. Larsson scored most of her points with a second place finish in 18-0.5 (5.50m). She would follow that with a third in the 800-meters (2:32.23) and a fourth in the shot put (30-5.5, 9.28m). Larsson’s point total ranks her second in The American in pentathlon competition.
A full list of results for Friday’s competition can be found by clicking HERE.
FOLLOW ALONG LIVE
Live results for Saturday’s portion of the Houston Invitational will be made available courtesy of Flash Results Texas. Fans can find results by visiting FlashResultsTexas.com or by clicking HERE
ABOUT THE 2016-17 COUGARS
The Houston men return 93 of their 152 points from last year’s American Athletic Conference Indoor Championship team, including NCAA Runner-Up and American Champion in the 60-meter dash Cameron Burrell. Also returning for Houston will be thrower Felipe Valencia, who took the indoor championship in the shot put a year ago.
For the women, 17 freshmen will look to play their part in improving on the team’s ninth-place finish from a year ago. A young squad, the women will have just six seniors for the indoor slate, including 2016 American Champion in the outdoor steeplechase Selena Sierra.
FOLLOW THE COUGARS
Fans can keep up with the latest in University of Houston Cougar athletics by following us on Facebook (Facebook.com/HoustonAthletics), Twitter (@UHCougars), Instagram (houstoncougars) and YouTube.com (Youtube.com/UHAthletics). In addition, the Track & Field team has established its own official Facebook (facebook.com/HoustonCougarTrackandField) and Twitter pages (@UHCougarTF).