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Sunday, September 24, 2023


Houston adds to NCAA regional list at LSU Invitational

The Cougars earned four NCAA regional qualifying marks and five wins at the LSU Alumni Gold Invitational Saturday in Baton Rouge, La.

Senior captain Ivan Diggs notched his fourth consecutive victory in the high jump competition, clearing another NCAA regional qualifying mark of 2.14 meters (7 feet, 0.25 inches). Diggs will join freshman Whitney Harris, sophomore Kalyn Floyd and junior Quin’shundolyn McPherson at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship, May 29-30 in Norman, Okla.

‘I was just telling Ivan earlier today that he was putting together one of those dream seasons, and he’s getting everything he wanted done,’ head coach Leroy Burrell said. ‘He is going to be a threat to win Nationals.’

Diggs received icing on the cake Tuesday, earning the fourth Conference USA Male Athlete of the Week Award of his career. This is the three-time All-American’s second straight award and third of the 2009 outdoor season.

Diggs’ stellar season includes four jumps over 2 meters, putting him atop the C-USA high jump standings. He is the only high jumper in the conference to record a mark above two meters this season.

The Cougars took home the top three places in the men’s long jump. Sophomore Chris Carter was first with a 7.49-meter (24 inches, 6.89 inches) clearance, junior Lamar Delaney finished second with a mark of 7.18 meters (23 feet, 6.68 inches), and sophomore Ed Turner took third with a clearance of 7.18 meters (23 feet, 6.68 inches). Delaney defeated Turner because he had fewer scratches.

Harris led the women’s team by setting the first individual regional NCAA qualifying time of her career in the 400-meter run. Harris’ 53.83-second finish landed her in sixth.

‘It was a proud moment. It was good just to get it out of the way, and I really didn’t have to worry about setting it at the next meet,’ Harris said. ‘It was a good time to open up my 400 (meter), especially for a freshman. I set a good mark for myself.’

Harris has been battling a knee injury and has performed strong since returning to competition.

‘Outdoor season has been a great success,’ Harris said. ‘I just want to improve my time, hopefully get it down to 52 seconds by the end of the season. That would be good for a freshman.’

In the women’s long jump, McPherson leaped 6.13 meters (20 feet, 1.34 inches) to set an NCAA regional qualifying mark and finish fifth.

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