PREVIEW: Track & Field Heads to Austin

Senior Brittany Wallace will make her 400m debut of the season this weekend in Austin.

April 11, 2014

Houston Rankings

Texas Invitational
 Dates  April 12, 2014
 Location  Mike A. Myers Stadium
 Austin, Texas
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HOUSTON - After a week off from competition, the University of Houston track and field team heads back to Austin for the Texas Invitational on Saturday.

Student-athletes from SMU, Rice, South Florida, Baylor, Texas State, SFA and host school Texas will give the Cougars tough competition this weekend.

The one-day meet begins Friday at 10:30 a.m. with the women's hammer and men's javelin followed by the rest of the field events. Running events begin promptly at 1:30 p.m. with the women's 4x100m relay.

This will be one of the last times the entire team will travel together before the inaugural American Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships in Tampa, Fla.

Admission is free to the public. Gates will open at 9 a.m.

Senior Errol Nolan, the 2013 NCAA Indoor Champion, will make his season debut in the men's 400-meter dash along with sophomore LeShon Collins who will also make his season debut in the men's 200m dash. Nolan is currently No. 5 in the 400m USTFCCCA national rankings for his 2012 outdoor season best (45.28). He also has the 17th fastest 200m-dash time in the West Region according to TFRRS.org.

The men's 4x100m relay team (Collins, Nolan, Cameron Burrell, James Arnett) looks for redemption this weekend after a bad handoff kept Houston from reaching the finals during the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays two weeks ago. With the season best time of 39.85, the Cougars sit fifth regionally, 12th in the nation.

On the women's side, the 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams look to improve their times along with the rest of the squad in individual events. The 4x100m relay team currently has the sixth fastest time in the region, 10th nationally while the 4x400m relay team ranks 13th in the region (21st - nation).

Senior Brittany Wallace will make her 400m-dash debut this weekend. She was ranked No. 16 on the USTFCCCA national rankings for her 2013 outdoor season best time (52.48) before suffering a season-ending injury.

While the sprints/hurdles and field event athletes took a week off, the distance squad traveled to the Stanford Invitational last weekend.

Freshman Brian Barraza was the top performer finishing second in his section of the men's 5,000m run with an overall personal best time of 14:13.54. His time leads all Cougars runners this season and enters the top five all time list.

Junior Yonas Tesfai placed sixth in the men's 1,500m with a season best time of 3:51.63. He also finished in the top 15 of the 800m run with a team best time of 1:50.96. Freshman Chris Ibarra set an overall personal best in the 800m with a time of 1:51.52 to place in the top 25 along with teammate Anthony Coleman (1:51.54).

On the women's side, freshman Janae Bottoms ran in her first 5,000m of the outdoor season at the San Francisco State Distance Carnival. She finished 18th in the competition with a time of 17:16.08, the best time by a Cougar this season.

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