Burrell becomes fastest man in the country again
In what was meant to be a fairly easy met, senior sprinter Cameron Burrell stole headlines at the Leonard Hilton Invitational on Friday when he became the fastest person in the nation for the second straight year.
Burrell ran a 6.66 to win the 60m, currently the fastest time in the nation and fifth in the world. Burrell only just missed out on an Indoor National Championship last year, but if he is able to continue this form, the March title is all but his.
Fellow sprinter, sophomore Mario Burke, ran a time of 6.73 to take third in the 60m. His time tied the record for seventh fastest in the nation.
The throwers excelled in their events as well. Dual shot put conference champions, senior Cameron Cornelius and junior Felipe Valencia, against each other. Cornelius took home first with a throw of 18.02m which ranks eighth in the nation.
This was Cornelius’ first event win since 2015.
Senior Damon Thompson placed second in the weight throw. His 18.59m throw is the second best in the conference.
Eight cougars made their collegiate debuts at this meet. Four of them medaled and three won their respective events.
Freshmen John Isom III won the men’s 400m, Birexus Hawkins won the women’s 200m and Debra Taylor-Simmons won the women’s 800m. They were three of only ten athletes overall who won their event.
The freshmen women have been highly touted all preseason. Incumbents like junior Tonye’cia Burks, who set a new personal record in her triple jump victory, are key contributors as they provide experience.
The coaching staff believes these freshmen have the necessary talents to become a championship squad.