HOUSTON – The Houston Cougar Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams split up their squad and sent athletes to the first day of the Tyson Invitational, while the remainder stayed home to host the Howie Ryan Invitational, in a day that saw some of the top times and marks in program history, on Friday.
AT THE TYSON INVITATIONAL
Sprinter Elijah Hall continued to burn up the track in his senior season, picking up a victory in the 60-meter dash on Friday. Hall ran 6.60 in the semifinals to qualify second overall, before clocking the second-fastest time in program history at 6.58 in the final to take the gold. Hall’s time moves him into third place by himself on the NCAA list this season.
Junior Mario Burke finished seventh in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.84, however his mark of 6.67 in the semifinal round moves him to No. 17 in the nation in 2018.
Sophomore hurdler Amere Lattin continued to climb the rankings in the men’s 60-meter hurdles this season. Lattin qualified for the finals of the hurdles with the second fastest overall time at 7.83, before returning to the track to run 7.79 in the final and take the silver. Lattin’s time is a season-best and moves him into a tie for 14th in the NCAA this season.
Junior sprinter Kahmari Montgomery closed the opening day of the Tyson Invitational in a big way with a fourth place finish in the men’s 400-meter dash. Montgomery finished two laps around the track in 46.00 to tie for the second-fastest time in program history and move to No. 4 on the NCAA rankings this season.
Junior distance runner Meredith Sorensen opened competition in Arkansas with a runner-up finish in the women’s mile. Sorensen crossed the line in 5:06.36 to get the day started for the Cougars.
In the men’s invitational 800-meter run, junior Cameron Laverty turned in another strong performance with a runner-up finish in the event. Laverty finished the half-mile race in 1:52.93, just seven tenths of a second behind the leader.
In the middle distance, the Cougars picked up a pair of top-5 finishes in the half mile. On the men’s side, Nicholas Hamilton clocked a personal best 1:52.85 to take third in the collegiate 800-meter run, while in the women’s collegiate race, Ebony White ran the 4-lap event in 2:14.22 to place fourth.
Jennifer Dunlap wrapped the distance action on the first day of the Tyson Invitational with a fifth place finish in the women’s mile Invitational, crossing the line in 4:58.86.
In a loaded field of sprinters in the women’s 60-meter dash, sophomore Brianne Bethel finished 13th with a semifinal run of 7.36. Bethel’s mark sets a new personal best, while moving her to third all-time on the Houston 60-meter dash list and ranking her tied for 28th in the NCAA this season.
Sophomore jumper Samiyah Samuels wrapped up the field events on the first day at Tyson with a fifth place finish in the long jump. Samuels’ top leap traveled 19-9.75 (6.05m) to secure the top-5 finish.
Day two of the Tyson Invitational resumes at 11 a.m., with the women’s pole vault, while running events are set to kick off at 2 p.m., with the men’s 200-meter dash final.
AT THE HOWIE RYAN INVITATIONAL
Houston’s top performance at the home meet came from freshman Priscilla Adejokun and junior Nora Monie, who finished 1-and-2 in the women’s shot put. With the competition coming down to the final throws, Adejokun exploded to a personal best of 50-7.5 (15.43m) to win the event, while Monie’s final throw traveled 50-6.25 (15.40m) to place her second.
Adejokun’s throw moves her to No. 2 on the all-time shot put list at Houston and places her No. 49 in the NCAA this season, while Monie’s throw moves her to third on the Houston list, and 52nd on the national rankings.
A triple jumper by trade, junior Cameron Prejean gave the Cougars their first win of the afternoon in the men’s 60-meter dash. Prejean ran the second-fastest time in the opening round at 6.80 before qualifying first overall for the finals at 6.74. Prejean returned for the finals and again clocked 6.74 to claim the victory.
Freshman high jumper Hawa Wague picked up Houston’s second podium finish of the day with a third place finish in the high jump. Wague went up-and-over the bar at 5-6.0 (1.68m) to take the bronze.
Houston picked up a pair of top-5 finishes in the men’s and women’s weight throw. On the men’s side, Jose Herrera launched the weight 54-8.75 (16.68m) to set a new personal best and take fourth in the event, while on the women’s side, Mikaila Martin also set a new personal record with a top mark of 54-5.25 (16.59m).
Sophomore Nikesha Keith and freshman Nicholas Fernandes picked up a pair of fourth place finishes in the women’s quarter mile and the men’s mile, respectively. Keith ran the 400-meter dash in 58.64, while Fernandes finished the 8-lap race in 4:24.13.
The men’s shot put wrapped up the Howie Ryan Invitational, where Guillermo Galvan finished third in the event. Galvan used his fifth attempt to throw the shot a personal-best 53-3.5 (16.24m).
UP NEXT FOR HOUSTON
The Cougars have two weeks off from competition before returning to action for The American Athletic Conference indoor Championships. The Championships will be held across Feb. 23-24 at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Ala.
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