EUGENE, Ore. -- The Houston Cougar Men's 4x100-meter relay team is the 2017 NCAA Champion after winning the event at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at historic Hayward Field on Friday.
Houston's team of John Lewis III, Mario Burke, Jacarias Martin and Cameron Burrell qualified for the finals by running 38.86 to post the seventh fastest time in the semifinals. On Friday, the Cougars passed the baton one lap around the track in a blistering 38.34 to claim the NCAA title by edging Auburn (38.44).
Houston's time of 38.34 broke the school record that was set in 2016 when that squad consisting of Burrell, Martin, Burke and LeShon Collins took silver in 38.44. The mark for the Cougars ranks as the No. 4 time in NCAA Championship history and is the sixth-fastest time ever run in the collegiate ranks. Houston also set a new Hayward Field mark, topping LSU's NCAA Championship winning time of 38.42 from 2016.
The 4x100-meter relay championship was the second in school history for the Cougars and the first since Charles Young, Mark McNeil, Anthony Ketchum and Stanley Floyd won gold in 1982 (38.53). That squad's mark stood as the school record until 2016.
As a program, the Cougars' gold medal was the first NCAA Championship for Houston since 2013 when Errol Nolan claimed the indoor 400-meter dash title. The win was the first outdoor championship for the Cougars since Sam Jefferson's 100-meter dash win in 1994.
Cameron Burrell was back on the track an hour later for the finals of the 100-meter dash. Burrell qualified third overall on Wednesday after winning his heat in a school-record 9.93. With the conditions cold, wet and windy for the final, Burrell crossed the line in 10.12 to claim the silver medal. The runner-up finish for Burrell is the top Houston performance in the event since Jefferson's gold in Boise, Idaho Boise, Idaho.
With the second place finish, Burrell completed his fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships in a straight-track race after qualifying for the indoor 60-meter dash and the outdoor 100-meter dash in each of the last two seasons. Burrell's silver medal was the fourth of his career after taking second in each of the 2016 and 2017 NCAA indoor 60 championships and helping the Cougars to a runner-up finish in the 4x100-meter relay in 2016.
Burrell and the 4x100-meter relay squad combined to score 18 points for the Cougars, marking their highest point total since 1989 when Tom Tellez's team scored 21 points. The Cougars placed tied for 12th overall at the NCAA Championships marking back-to-back seasons the team has finished inside the top-15 and the 13th time they have accomplished that feat in program history.
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