HOUSTON – The Houston Cougar Men’s and Women’s Track & Field teams open the 2017-18 indoor season at the Texas A&M Reveille Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 9 in College Station, Texas.
The Reveille Invitational kicks off at 3 p.m., inside the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium on the campus of Texas A&M University, with the men’s high jump final and the women’s shot put. Running events also open at 3 p.m., on Saturday, with the sections of the men’s and women’s 60-meter hurdles.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
USTFCCA All-Americans Jacarias Martin, Amere Lattin, Mario Burke and John Lewis III return to action for Houston at the Reveille Invitational. Lattin will open the day in the 60-meter hurdles, while Burke and Lewis III will make their 2017 debuts in the 60-meter dash. Martin will open his junior season in the 200-meter dash.
Cameron Cornelius and Felipe Valencia highlight what should be a competitive shot put field on the opening weekend. Cornelius begins his campaign in search of his fourth American Athletic Conference Indoor Championship in the shot put, while Valencia returns to the ring after redshirting throughout the 2016-17 season.
Brianne Bethel returns to the track after an impressive freshman season. Bethel helped lead the Cougars to a silver medal in the 4x400-meter Relay in the indoor season and was also a silver medalist in the 100- and 200-meter dashes as well as the 4x100-meter relay.
In total, 17 student-athletes are scheduled to make their Houston Cougar debut on Saturday including 16 true freshmen and a pair of redshirt freshmen.
A full list of competitors for the Reveille Invitational can be found with the heat sheets by clicking HERE.
ABOUT THE MEN
The Cougars enter the 2017-18 season as the defending American Athletic Conference Indoor Champions after claiming the title for the third consecutive season last February. The Cougars will be tasked with replacing sprinter Cameron Burrell and distance runner Brian Barraza who were each USTFCCCA Indoor All-Americans in 2017 but only have outdoor eligibility remaining in 2018.
Houston returns indoor All-Americans in Mario Burke and Amere Lattin as well as outdoor All-Americans Jacarias Martin and John Lewis III, and welcomes back 2016 American Champion in the indoor shot put, Felipe Valencia who redshirted throughout the 2016-17 season. Elsewhere in the field events, sophomore Nathaniel Mechler looks to defend his 2017 American Heptathlon title.
The men welcomed 17 freshman as part of their 2017 signing class, and also added one of the nation’s top 400-meter specialists in Missouri transfer Kahmari Montgomery.
ABOUT THE WOMEN
The Houston women took great strides in collecting their first podium finish as a team since joining the American after taking third a season ago. The Cougars will need to replace graduated sprinter Tori Williams, who claimed the indoor 200-meter crown at The American Championships, but triple jump champion Tonye’cia Burks returns to lead a majority of athletes who helped tally the Cougars’ highest point total at the indoor meet since 2009 with 99 points.
A pair of sophomore sprinters lead the way for the Cougars into the 2018 campaign, including Sierra Smith who was the American runner up in the 60- and 200-meter dashes as well as Brianne Bethel who surged late into her freshman season and claimed three silver medals at the outdoor conference meet.
Sophomore Birexus Hawkins will enter the season looking to build upon a bronze medal in the indoor 400-meters a season ago, while in the field events, Taylor Scaife and Mikaila Martin, Houston’s record holders in the weight throw and hammer throw respectively, are poised to have big seasons after each qualified for the NCAA West Regional in the outdoor season in May.
The women’s roster is very young, with just 18 student-athletes entering their junior season or later. 12 true freshmen will join 13 sophomores as the Cougars continue to build toward their first indoor conference championship since 2006.
FOLLOW THE COUGARS
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