April 26, 2014
HOUSTON - In the final preparation for the inaugural conference championships, two University of Houston track and field school records have been broken at Rice University's J. Fred Duckett Twilight Meet Saturday evening.
"It was the most amazing feeling ever. There really is no other feeling better than getting a PR, and knowing it was a school record made it that much sweeter," King said. "I haven't had the best outdoor season, so begin able to come out on top of a huge field tonight boosted my confidence and now I'm ready to take on conference."
King jumps to the top of the American Athletic Conference performance list by 2.5 feet and is now seventh in the region and 15th in the nation. King's mark is also tied for 37th in the world.
"I was just trying to stay relaxed today and have fun," King said. "We had been studying film from when I was jumping really well during the indoor season and a few minor adjustments can make a huge difference."
Junior Yonas Tesfai joins King as he broke the 16-year-old 800m school record with a time of 1:48.40. Karim Alston set the previous record of 1:48.81 at the 1998 C-USA Championships in Tampa, Fla.
"Yonas ran a great race today. He really elevated himself and showed that he can compete on the national level," distance coach Steve Magness said. "It's a testament to the hard work he puts in and takes our middle distance group to another level."
Tesfai continues to top the conference performance and moves up to fourth in the region and No. 17 in the nation.
King and Tesfai are the first two Cougars to break records this outdoor season and become the fifth and sixth Cougars to break records this year.
Junior John Horton also took first place for the Cougars as he leaped 15.39m (50'-6") in the triple jump. His mark stays No. 3 in the conference and moves up to No. 16 in the region.
Houston athletes continued to improved their outdoor marks as there were 21 season bests tonight, 16 of which were personal bests.
Houston travels to Tampa, Fla., for the inaugural American Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships May 2-4. The Cougars look to take the athletic department's first team championship in the new conference.