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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Track & Field

Cougars’ sole NCAA selection hopes to shine at Indoor Championships

The Cougars found out Monday that junior Kalyn Floyd will be the lone athlete representing UH at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. this weekend.

Floyd will run the 200-meter dash and enters the race as the No. 11 seed.

Head coach Leroy Burrell said they rested Floyd in practice, and she is ready to run. Despite all the preparation and coaching she has received, Burrell said she will need to follow her own strategy to succeed.

“She’s got to run her own race. She’s at her best when she does her own thing,” Burrell said. “She’s ready to go. I think she has an opportunity to do some good things.”

After barely missing the cut for the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships, Floyd set her sights on competing on the national level this year. She set her qualifying mark at the Texas A&M Challenge Feb. 13, with a 23.4-second finish. Burrell said he is unsure how Floyd will respond to the fresh environment.

“You never know what an athlete is going to do their first time in a championship situation,” Burrell said. “Some athletes run a personal-best, some really struggle.”

Burrell had words of encouragement for the athletes who were on the cusp of qualifying but did not make the cut. He hopes those people turn their shortcomings into motivation to succeed in the outdoor season.

“It certainly should be motivation for (the outdoor season). Our women’s 4×4 should have and were talented enough to make it,” Burrell said.  “But we stumbled a few times during the season. We chalk it up as learning a lesson and hope the women get after it early.”

Many athletes provisionally qualified, but most of the provisional qualifiers failed to make the national cut. Some were short by only fractions of a second.

Cameron LaCour was 0.07 seconds away from a national qualification in the 60-meter hurdles. Triple-jumper Chris Carter was approximately five inches away from a qualifying jump.

Freshman Errol Nolan was 0.18 seconds short of qualifying in the 400-meter dash, but Burrell said he has no reason to hang his head.

“I told Errol that he had an outstanding freshman indoor campaign,” Burrell said. “He ran faster than he ever has outdoors, but he just fell a little short as well.”

The Cougars will kick off the outdoor track and field season March 19, when they compete in the 59th Annual TSU Relays at the Alexander Durley Sports Complex.

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