Diggs rises to top in outdoor opener
UH welcomed back a familiar face when it kicked off its outdoor track and field season last weekend at the 58th annual Texas Southern Relays.
After missing the entire 2008 outdoor season due to injury, senior captain Ivan Diggs took home first place in the men’s high jump. Diggs was back to regular form, posting a NCAA regional qualifying mark of 2.13 meters (6 feet, 11.85 inches).
To add to a great return, Diggs was named Conference USA Male Track and Field Co-Athlete of the Week with Rice’s Ugo Nduaguba. This is the second Track Athlete of the Week honor for Diggs, a three-time NCAA All-American from Wichita, Kan.’
The rest of the Cougars followed Diggs’ lead, racking up 15 top five finishes, including seven victories, during the two-day meet.’
Junior Erica Hannemann, who competed with freshmen Ciera Johnson, Clarissa Payton and Stephanie Aldea, led the women’s 3,200-meter relay team to a first-place finish in 9 minutes, 10.9 seconds. Hanneman, Payton and Aldea also teamed up with sophomore Candyce Cross to win the 4,000-meter distance medley relay in 12:14.25.
Senior Seun Adigun continued her great indoor-outdoor season by winning the 100-meter hurdles in 13.95 seconds. Her preliminary mark of 13.6 seconds was an NCAA regional qualifying time.’
Junior Quin’shundolyn McPherson, sophomore Kalyn Floyd, freshman Grecia Bolton and Johnson won the 1600-meter medley relay in 4:00.94. McPherson and Floyd kept their success going in the women’s 800-meter relay, teaming up with sophomore Christie Jones and freshman Whitney Harris to win the competition in 1:35.24.
The team of sophomores Tyrone Carrier and Ed Turner and freshmen Isaiah Sweeney and Kevin Hobson won the men’s 400-meter relay in 40.78 seconds. Junior Steven Jones’ of 14.70 seconds landed him in second place in the 110-meter hurdles.
Junior Jason Perez, the 2008 Conference USA 400-meter hurdles champion, looked strong at TSU, winning the event in 52.12 seconds. Freshman D’Korian Ford followed closely behind, grabbing second after finishing the race in 52.36 seconds.
In the field events, senior Jonathan Ochoa won the javelin competition with a throw of 59.27 meters (194 feet, 5.46 inches). Ochoa’s senior teammate Morgan Floyd was second with a toss of 58.77 meters (192 feet, 9.78 inches).
Junior Alex Bentley, who missed time because of an injury, took first in the pole vault with a clearance of 5.20 meters (17 feet, 0.72 inches). Sophomore Shannon Arnold finished second with a mark of 3.25 meters (10 feet, 7.95 inches). Sophomore Charlissa Foster finished off a successful weekend by winning the woman’s discus event with a toss of 44.67 meters (146 feet, 6.66 inches).’
The Cougars will take a week off before returning to the track to compete in the coveted Texas Relays on April 1-4 in Austin.