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Monday, September 25, 2023

Track & Field

Coogs see room for improvement before C-USA meet

The Cougars hope to get off to a fast start when they hit the track at this weekend’s Texas A&M Challenge in College Station.

The meet winner will not be an individual team but instead will be determined by conference affiliation. UH, UTEP and Rice will represent Conference USA; the three Big 12 schools will be Texas A&M, Texas and Texas Tech; and Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee will represent the SEC.

Head coach Leroy Burrell and his staff called for their team to get more “technically proficient” following a visit to New York. They hope this week of practice tied up any loose ends.

“We tried to isolate some of the problems our kids are having in the jumps and the hurdles,” Burrell said. “For sprinters we wanted to work on their start,”

Burrell went on to outline specific areas of improvement needed this weekend.

“I’m still a bit disappointed in our performance in the women’s 200. We probably have five of the top six 200-meter runners in the conference so we’re really hoping to make an impact there,” Burrell said.

“I’d like to see some improvement from our hurdlers, our female hurdlers in particular. I think they’re a bit better than what they’ve been showing.”

Burrell indicated he was looking for continued improvement from the male hurdlers as well.

“I’m really hoping that Cameron LaCour can break 8 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles,” he said. “He got a little off balanced and didn’t quite run the race he’s capable of. D’Korian (Ford) the same thing.

Burrell also wants to see both his 4×400-meter relay teams excel with solid performances. He used sophomore D’Korian Ford and junior Jason Perez in the 4×400-meter relay in place of Tyron Carrier and Errol Nolan. Burrell said it would be a meet-day decision as to who the lineup will be.

The Cougars are satisfied with their level of competition at this weekend’s meet, which includes the top-ranked Texas A&M Aggies, and regular C-USA rivals.

“We want the kids’ performance to reflect their level of fitness,” Burrell said. “Right now it’s a bit of competition on the team to make the conference championship team. We can only compete (with) 28 athletes at the conference meet, so we have a few spots that haven’t been selected.

“We need our athletes to fight for those spots.”

The Cougars will get a break next weekend as they prepare for the C-USA Championships Feb. 26-27. The conference meet will be held at UH in Yeoman Field House.

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