HOUSTON – The postseason has arrived and the Houston Cougar Men’s and Women’s Track & Field teams are heading to Birmingham, Ala., to compete at the 2018 American Athletic Conference Indoor Championships to be held over Feb. 23-24.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
Action on the first day of The American Indoor Championships begins at 9 a.m., Friday with the 60-meter hurdles of the women’s pentathlon. The 60-meter dash, the first of four events of the men’s heptathlon kicks off at 11 a.m. Individual field events kick off at noon with the men’s pole vault, while trials of the running events begin at 12:15 p.m., with the women’s mile run.
Saturday’s competition begins with the final three events of the men’s heptathlon, starting with the 60-meter hurdles at 9 a.m. The final day of individual events begins in the field with the women’s high jump at 9:45 a.m., while the finals for running events are set to kick off at 11:15 a.m., with the women’s mile run.
A full schedule of events can be found by clicking HERE.
Fans can follow the action through multiple outlets, beginning with a live video courtesy of the American Digital Network for each day. Day one’s stream can be found by clicking HERE, while action on the final day can be found by clicking HERE. Live results for each day of the championships will also be available courtesy of Xpress Timing and can be found by clicking HERE.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
The Houston men will look to win its fourth consecutive American Athletic Conference Indoor Championships and will look to score big in the sprint events. The Cougars currently enter with five of the top-9 times in the conference, including Elijah Hall and Mario Burke, who sit 1-2 with times of 6.58 and 6.67, respectively. Cameron Prejean enters with the No. 5 time in the league at 6.74, while John Lewis III sits sixth at 6.77 and Nicholas Alexander holds the No. 9 time at 6.79.
Hall also holds the conference’s top mark in the 200-meter dash after breaking the school record with a time of 20.51, while Jacarias Martin’s time of 21.23 ranks him second in the league.
On the women’s side, sophomore Brianne Bethel holds top-3 times in each of the 60 and 200. Bethel ranks second in the straight-track race with a time of 7.36, while her fastest mark this season in the 200 at 23.78 places her third.
In the 400-meter dash, Houston enters with three of the top-10 times on the men’s side, including Kahmari Montgomery, who ran the fastest time in the conference during the regular season at 46.00. Quivell Jordan ranks ninth with a time of 38.13, while Naaman Outing’s 48.72 sits 10th.
Houston enters with the top times in the conference on each side of the men’s and women’s 60-meter hurdles. For the men, Amere Lattin holds the fastest mark at 7.79, while Quivell Jordan sits third at 8.03, and on the women’s side, freshman Naomi Taylor leads the pack with a time of 8.26.
In the middle distance, Cameron Laverty enters competition with the fourth-fastest time in the men’s 800-meter run with a season best 1:50.77, while on the women’s side, Ebony White holds the 13th best time at 2:14.22.
Senior Maddie Brown leads the distance team with the best showing of the 2018 season. Brown ran the second-fastest time in program history in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 16:53.99 to rank third in the event this season.
Houston will also look to make a few moves in the distance, with a few athletes that are on the cusp to score points. Jennifer Dunlap enters with the No. 11 time in the mile this season at 4:58.86, while G.J. Reyna and Chris Wallace enter No. 11 and No. 13, respectively, in the 5,000-meters at 14:54.49 and 14:56.40.
Relays will wrap up competition on each day at the American Championship. The distance medley relay will end Friday’s action, where the Cougar women enter with the fifth fastest time at 11:53.14, while the men’s best time sits seventh at 10:29.53. The 4x400-meter relay represents the conclusion of the meet, where the men enter as the favorites with the fourth-fastest time in the nation and school-record mark of 3:04.18, while the women enter fourth at 3:45.65.
The Cougars will look to pick up big points in each of the horizontal jump competitions. In the women’s long jump, Samiyah Samuels holds the conference’s top spot with a season-best mark of 20-2.25 (6.15m), while Justice Henderson enters fifth at 18-9.0 (5.71m). On the men’s side, Antwan Dickerson (24-7.75, 7.51m) and Jared Kerr (24-4.5, 7.43m) enter fifth and sixth, respectively, while the duo enters with Kerr in sixth and Dickerson in 10th of the triple jump at 49-0.25 (14.94m) and 47-2.25 (14.38m), respectively.
In the vertical jumps, freshman Hawa Wague sits third in the women’s high jump, going up-and-over the bar in a season best 5-7.25 (1.71m), while in the pole vault, Ben Percefull enters with the ninth-best mark for the men at 16-0.75 (4.90m).
The Cougars will look to win their fourth consecutive American Indoor title in the men’s shot put, when Felipe Valencia and Cameron Cornelius enter the competition. Valencia holds the league’s top mark of the season at 60-8.0 (18.49m), while Cornelius enters fourth at 57-9.5 (17.61m). On the women’s side, freshman Priscilla Adejokun and junior Nora Monie threw the second- and third-best marks in school history this season, and enter ranked fifth and sixth overall at 50-7.5 (15.43m) and 50-6.25 (15.40m), respectively.
Sophomore Nathaniel Mechler will look to defend his American Indoor crown in the men’s heptathlon. Mechler has not completed a heptathlon this season, but set what would have been four personal bests in the heptathlon at the Houston Invitational had he finished the event. In the women’s pentathlon, Anna Larsson’s 3,499 points at the Houston Invitational ranks her sixth in the conference.
A full list of competitors for the American Athletic Conference Indoor Championships can be found via the Heat Sheets, by clicking here for the MEN and WOMEN.
UP NEXT FOR HOUSTON
Qualifying athletes will have two weeks to prepare for the NCAA Indoor Championships to be held across March 9-10. The top-24 athletes on the men’s and women’s side of each event, will converge in College Station, Texas, for the championship event.
FOLLOW THE COUGARS
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).