Cougars see progress in New York
In a meet that featured more than 100 schools and 2,000 athletes, the Cougars made strides at the talent-rich New Balance Invitational held at the historic Armory over the weekend in New York.
Head coach Leroy Burrell saw positive signs, but wishes to see more out of both the men’s and women’s teams.
“All in all, I think we did some good things, (but) I’d like to see more all-around effort on the women’s side,” Burrell said. “We had a really nice performance from Kalyn Floyd, but all-around performance was a bit lacking. I was a bit disappointed in the women’s 200; I thought we would be better there.”
Floyd qualified for the 400-meter finals and finished ninth in 55.58 seconds.
Despite the success of some athletes, Burrell is eager to get back to work this week.
“We’ve got to go back and get to practice, get a little faster and get a little more technically proficient and prepare ourselves to compete,” Burrell said.
Kiera Pulliam placed fifth in the shot put, throwing for 47 feet, 5 ¾ inches.
Burrell stressed the significance of Pulliam’s role on the team.
“Ultimately, our first goal is to win the conference,” Burrell said. “I think both teams are set up pretty nicely. We’ll need every point we can get, so the more she prepares herself for the conference meet, the better off we are.”
Because of the number of teams and athletes, meet officials had to divide many of the events into separate heats. The men’s 4×400-meter relay team placed second in its heat in 3 minutes, 16.36 seconds, and the women’s squad finished its heat 11th in 3:45.48.
“We have a really good women’s 4×400. But we just can’t seem to get all four on the track ready to run,” Burrell said. “We’re going to have get that done next weekend.”
D’Korian Ford and Jason Perez replaced Tyron Carrier and Errol Nolan on the mile relay so Carrier and Nolan could focus on individual events. Carrier placed fifth in the 200-meter dash finals with a personal-best of 21.33 seconds. Nolan came in third in the 400-meter dash finals in of 46.79 seconds, also a personal-best.
“He hasn’t run that fast outdoors,” Burrell said. “He’s a good shot to qualify for nationals and make All-American.”
The Cougars will travel to College Station this weekend to compete in the Texas A&M Challenge on Friday and Saturday.