HOUSTON – The Houston Cougar Men’s and Women’s Track & Field teams are set to compete at the Charlie Thomas Invitational across Feb. 2-3, inside Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium in College Station, Texas.
ABOUT THE CHARLIE THOMAS INVITATIONAL
The Charlie Thomas Invitational is Houston’s second meet in College Station this indoor season after opening the season there at the Reveille Invitational. The Cougars are scheduled to compete against the host school Texas A&M as well as Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Rice, TCU, UT Arlington, UT-San Antonio and South Plains Junior College.
The first day of the Charlie Thomas Invitational features the multi and distance events, with action set to begin at 2:30 p.m., with the pentathlon 60-meter hurdles. The men’s heptathlon kicks off at 2:45 p.m., while the women’s and men’s distance medley relays and 5,000-meter runs will begin at 6:30 p.m.
The meet will conclude on Saturday beginning at 10:30 a.m., with the final three events of the men’s heptathlon. The men’s long jump, men’s weight throw and women’s shot put will open the field events at 12:30 p.m., while the preliminary running events are set to begin simultaneously with the women’s 60-meter dash.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Competition will open with sophomore Nathaniel Mechler’s return to the men’s heptathlon. Mechler last competed in the seven-event competition at the 2017 American Athletic Conference Indoor Championships, where as a freshman he claimed gold with 5,636 points. Mechler’s performance in the event was the second best performance in program history in the heptathlon and sits just 35 points shy of the school record.
Senior sprinter Elijah Hall returns to action at the Charlie Thomas Invitational, and he enters with two of the nation’s top-5 times in separate events. Hall ran the NCAA’s No. 2 time in the 60-meter dash in 6.60 at the Leonard Hilton Invitational, while at the Mark Colligan Memorial a week later, he posted the No. 4 time in the nation in the 200-meter dash at 20.76.
Elsewhere in the men’s sprints, a trio of student-athletes are expected to be in action on the men’s side that enter with times inside the nation’s top-100 in their respective events. Mario Burke enters with the NCAA’s 32nd best time in the 60-meter dash at 6.71, while Jacarias Martin ranks 45th in the 200-meters at 21.30 and Kahmari Montgomery sits 22nd in the 400-meter dash with a season best of 46.83.
In the women’s sprints, Brianne Bethel hits the track, looking to improve on the nation’s 31st and 37th fastest times in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, respectively.
A trio of the nation’s top ranked hurdlers hit the straightaway at the Charlie Thomas Invitational, led by Amere Lattin who posted the 16th fastest time in the nation at 7.80 a week ago. Quivell Jordan (8.03) ranks 65th in the men’s 60-meter hurdles, while freshman Naomi Taylor has the nation’s 42nd fastest time on the women’s side at 8.38.
Tonye’cia Burks and Samiyah Samuels headline a talented group of jumpers at the Charlie Thomas Invitational. Samuels enters competition as the No. 26 long jumper in the nation with a top mark of 19-11.5 (6.08m), while Burks holds the nation’s 20th best triple jump (42-4.75; 12.92m) and 50th ranked long jump (19-7.0; 5.97m).
UP NEXT FOR HOUSTON
The Cougars split up the squad in three separate ways in the final tuneup weekend before The American Athletic Conference Championships. A select number of athletes will compete at the Tyson Invitational on Feb. 9 & 10 in Fayetteville, Ark., while a handful of athletes will remain at home to run at the Howie Ryan Invitational inside Yeoman Fieldhouse. Houston’s distance runners will head west for the Husky Classic on Feb. 10, in Seattle.
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