Cougars Advance at World University Games

Aug. 23, 2017

TAIPEI – The Houston Cougar Men’s and Women’s Track & Field teams opened the first day of competition as the USA Team at the World University Games in Taipei, on Wednesday.

The Cougars were on the track for the first time at the event with the first round of the women’s 400-meter hurdles, where sophomore Birexus Hawkins and alum Kelli Hardnett were in action in heats three and five, respectively.

Hawkins crossed the line in 57.14 to finish fourth in Heat 3 and earn an automatic qualifying berth into the semifinal round, while finishing with the 24th fastest preliminary time. Hardnett followed by running 54.47, the 13th fastest qualifying time and the fourth fastest mark in her heat to place her in the semis.

The 100-meter dash saw the first two rounds of action completed on the opening day. Senior Cameron Burrell ran 10.43 to win his opening round heat before clocking a 10.42 in the second round to qualify for the semifinals with the eighth-fastest overall mark. Alum LeShon Collins ran the second-fastest time in the opening round at 10.30 before returning to run 10.43 in the second round and qualify ninth for Thursday’s semifinal.

Sophomore Sierra Smith qualified for the second round of action after a time of 11.98 earned her a position on time. Smith would return to the track to run 12.04 in the second round and finish 29th overall.

In the field events, sophomore Samiyah Samuels became the first Cougar to reach the finals after her second attempt in the long jump traveled 19-11.5 (6.08m) to qualify ninth overall for Wednesday’s competition.



Sophomore Justice Henderson jumped 16-10.0 (5.13m) to finish 26th in the long jump.

In the throws, senior Cameron Cornelius wrapped the shot put with a 12th place finish after a mark of 57-4.25 (17.48m).

Selena Sierra begins her competition at the World University Games in the first round of the 3,000-meter steeplechase beginning at 10:45 p.m. CT, Wednesday. Junior throwers Mikaila Martin and Taylor Scaife will each be in action for the hammer throw qualification round beginning at 11:45 p.m.

Hawkins and Hardnett will return to action on Thursday morning for the semifinals of the 400-meter dash at 12:15 a.m. CT, while Samuels will conclude action in the long jump at 5:40 a.m.

Burrell and Collins will return for the semifinals of the 100-meter dash at 6:20 a.m. CT, before concluding the event with the finals at 7:40 a.m.

Live coverage for each of the finals events as well as a handful of first round and semifinal events will be broadcast courtesy of the International University Sports Federation. Fans can find a complete schedule of the live streaming events as well as individual links to each sport by visiting the FISU website or by clicking HERE.

Live results for each event of the Universiade will also be made available courtesy of the organizations website. Start lists, heat sheets and live results can be found by clicking HERE.

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/UHCougarTF) and Twitter pages (@UHCougarTF).

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