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Friday, January 21, 2022

Track & Field

Cougars show flashes of success at star-studded meet


Head track and field coach Leroy Burrell | Daily Cougar file photo

The Cougars enjoyed improvements in three of their relays as they competed against top national talent at the 83rd Annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays over the weekend in Austin.

The women’s 4×100-meter relay team finished second in 44.18 seconds. The team consisted of Christie Jones, Whitney Harris, Quin’shundolyn McPherson and Grecia Bolton as the anchor leg. Head coach Leroy Burrell said he was impressed with the performance and feels the women’s relay team can contend at the NCAA Championships.

“That’s the fastest we’ve run in April in a long time. We have a legitimate team that can be competitive at the NCAA championships, so that’s really exciting,” Burrell said. “We passed the baton really well, but we have areas to improve. Once we develop a little bit more continuity in the team we’re going to run, then I think they’ll be able to run really fast.”

The Cougars set their mark without sprinter Kalyn Floyd, who sat out with a hamstring injury. Burrell said Floyd’s presence was missed at the meet.

“In order for us to run really fast to exhibit the kind of team we are, we really need Kalyn Floyd,” Burrell said. “She’s too big a piece for us not to have her, especially at a meet of this caliber.”

The men’s 4×100-meter relay team earned third place finishing in 39.92 seconds. With the football team taking off from spring practice this weekend, dual-sport stars Tyron Carrier and Isaiah Sweeney made surprise appearances in the relay.

“We were fortunate the meet came on Easter and football took off so we had Tyron and Isaiah available to us,” Burrell said. “They came in and we kind of had to rush to put it together, but we got the job done.”

The men’s 4×400-meter relay team shaved off four seconds from last weekend’s performance, placing fifth in its heat in 3 minutes, 9 seconds.

Burrell said he might alternate other athletes in this event but wants to develop consistency first.

“They broke 3:10, which is pretty good for us considering the shape we’re in,” Burrell said. “We have a few more options we need to explore, but our objective is to run well enough to be competitive first and then start to plug some other people in and make ourselves deeper.”

On the individual front, Wesley Bray placed fourth in the decathlon by compiling 7,429 points, which should be enough to qualify for the NCAA Championship meet.

The Cougars will travel to Tempe, Ariz., for the Arizona Invitational on Friday and Saturday.

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