Cougars seek continued success
The UH men’s team returns to the track this weekend to defend its 2009 Conference USA Indoor Championship, while the women hope to improve on last year’s second-place finish.
Burrell expects a close finish for the women’s team and hopes the men’s depth in the sprinting events will set them up for back-to-back conference championships.
“We think it will be a three team race between us, Tulsa and Rice. UTEP is a bit of a wild card on the women’s side,” Burrell said. “The meet is going to swing on the 200(-meter dash) and the 400.”
Burrell is confident in the men’s team, but knows UTEP and Tulsa are capable of contending if UH delivers a below-average performance in front of the home crowd at Yeoman Fieldhouse.
“For the men’s team, we feel good about it,” Burrell said. “We are healthy. We have leaders in several events and some real depth in the jumps that I don’t think anyone can compete with. We just have to go out and perform at our capability; we’re the defending champions.”
Burrell’s coaching staff made practicing jumps a priority.
“It’s still a matter of trying to perfect a motion and become more efficient. That takes a lot of time,” Burrell said. “What you’re trying to do … is establish good habits, and it’s not easy to do that.”
Burrell and his teams have no tricks up their sleeves and plan to use the same formula that has made them so successful in the past.
“At this point in the season the hay is in the barn so to speak,” Burrell said.
Preliminary events, such as the 5000-meter final and distance medley relay final, will be held Friday. The hurdles and awards ceremony will be held Saturday.