Men’s track set records en route to historic finish
After a season where they already earned a conference championship, track & field sent five athletes to Eugene, Oregon looking to add to the trophy case.
The Cougars 4×100 meter relay team were the highlight of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships as they took home second place in the championship race.
The team consisting of senior LeShon Collins, freshman Mario Burke, junior Cameron Burrell and freshman Jacarias Martin just missed out on the championship gold as the team from Lousiana State University edged them out by two hundredths of a second. After a qualifying time that sits at second fastest in school history, the team’s time of 38.44 in the final set the new school record in the event and is good for the sixth fastest time in NCAA history.
Burrell also competed in the 100 meter dash, senior Issac Williams and freshman Amere Lattin competed in the 110 meter hurdles, freshman Brian Bell in the 800 meter and Collins in the 200 meter dash.
Ultimately only Burrell, Lattin and the relay team were able to qualify for the finals of their respective events.
Burrell scored five points for the Cougars when he placed fifth in the 100m dash with a time of 10.26. The Junior sprinter reached the finals after running a 10.16 to finish second in his heat during qualifying. Burrell now sets his sights on the USA Olympic Trials later this summer where he will try to earn a trip to 2016 Olympic Games in the 100m dash and long jump.
Lattin earned four points for the Cougars when he finished fifth in the 110m hurdles with a time of 13.80. The freshman hurdler punched his ticket to the finals by winning his heat with a time of 13.64, which was good for third overall. Lattin also qualified for the 400m hurdles but managed to finish just sixth in his heat with a time of 52.57s.
Lattin will now ready to compete in the USATF Junior Outdoor Championships this summer in which he is slated to run in each of the hurdle events.
After breaking school records and personal bests in the 800m this season, freshman Brian Bell was unable to translate his success into the national championship. Bell missed out on the finals after his time of 1:50.64 only managed a seventh place finish in his heat.
Overall, the Cougar’s tenth place finish is good for the highest finish since the 1985 season. Their 17 points scored in the NCAA Championships mark the highest amount scored by men’s track & field since 1989.