Track & Field Sends 31 Athletes to NCAA West Regionals
May 22, 2014
HOUSTON - The University of Houston Track and Field program will send 31 athletes and four relays that qualified to compete in the NCAA Division I West Preliminary Rounds in Fayetteville, Ark., next weekend.
This year marks the most student-athletes to represent Houston at the regional championships since the 2003 season when 30 athletes attended the Midwest Regional in Lincoln, Neb. The 31 Cougar men and women count for 36 entries in this year’s meet with several athletes competing in more than one event.
All 31 student-athletes qualified for the three-day competition by ranking among the region's top 48 in their respective events, while the relay teams ranked among the top 24. Individuals with the top-12 times/marks and the best 12 relay teams at both the East and West prelims will qualify for the NCAA Division I Championships in Eugene, Ore., on June 11-14.
Senior Errol Nolan will represent the Cougars in four events next weekend as he has qualified in the 200m, 400m and as a member of the 4x100m and the 4x400m relay teams. Nolan ranks in the top 25 in the 200m and top 15 in the 400m.
Cameron Burrell is another Cougar who will also represent Houston in four events at the regional meet. Burrell has qualified individually in the 100m, 200m and long jump and will also compete as a member of the 4x100m relay team.
Junior triple jumper John Horton reaches the regional meet for the third time in his career at Houston. He has finished high enough to qualify for nationals each year. This season, Horton enters the meet in the top 30 in the region with a leap of 15.39m (50’-6”) set when he won the J. Fred Duckett Twilight Meet hosted by Rice University.
For the second consecutive year, sophomore LeShon Collins has qualified in the 100m and as a member of the 4x100m. Recently, Collins was crowned the inaugural American Athletic Conference 100m champion in Tampa, Fla. Last year, Collins just missed a trip to the NCAA Championships in the 100m by one place. He did, however, help the Cougar men’s 4x100m relay to a national championship bid where the squad finished 21st.
Issac Williams looks for redemption as he qualifies for the regional meet in the 110m hurdles. Last year, Williams qualified for the national championships with the sixth fastest time at regionals, but couldn’t compete after suffering a sprained ankle.
The No. 12 regionally ranked 4x100m relay team of Collins, Nolan, Burrell and James Arnett will look to qualify for the national championships. The quartet ran a season best of 39.61 at the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championships to win the crown.
Freshman Jack Thomas becomes the first javelin thrower from Houston to compete at the regional meet since 1998. In his first meet of the season, Thomas jumped into the record book immediately. Last weekend, he broke his previous record with a collegiate best of 65.32m (214’-4”), still the third best mark in school history.
Shot putter Cameron Cornelius qualified for the regional meet with his 18.36m (60’-3”) throw at the American Athletic Conference Championships a few weeks ago. He sits No. 20 in the region.
For the women’s team, senior Ngozi Onwumere will return to the postseason in the 200m dash. Last year, she qualified for nationals with the ninth fastest time and finished 21st in the semifinals.
In her final campaign, senior Brittany Wallace makes her fourth postseason appearance after missing last year due to a season-ending injury. She will compete in the women’s 400m relay as well as a member of the 4x400m relay team. From 2010-12, Wallace was a regional qualifier in the 4x400m relay and also qualified individually in 2011.
Hurdler Sade-Mariah Greenidge has qualified in both hurdle events (100m, 400m hurdles) for the regional meet next weekend. For the last two seasons, Greenidge has only qualified for the 100m hurdles. Last year, She made it to the national championships where she finished 14th and earned second team All-America status.
This is senior Karley King’s second trip to the regional meet in her collegiate career. Her school record of 4.21m (13’-9.75”) in the pole vault pushed the Louisiana native to the eighth best mark in the West region and No. 17 in the nation.
The women’s 4x100m relay team of Bria Carter, Kiersten Brewer, Alicia Perkins and Onwumere will represent the Cougar women’s team. Brewer, Perkins and Onwumere were on the 2013 squad that reached All-America status, finishing 16th at the NCAA Championships.
James Arnett - 100m
Kiersten Brewer - 100m, 200m