Champion sprinters to lead squad in 2018
For years, the sprinters have been the prized racehorses of the track & field program. Last year’s conference meets were dominated by the men’s and women’s sprint groups, and the men capped the season by winning the 4x100m relay national championship.
With the majority of athletes returning from last year’s championship, teams expect the sprinters to once again carry the workload.
He’s man who broke the school indoor 200m record in his very first race. Senior Elijah Hall did it all his junior season. During the indoor season, he had nationally-rated times in the 60m and 200m, and during the outdoor season he was rated nationally in the 100m, 200m and the 4x100m relay, of which he ran the anchor leg.
Two separate injuries kept him from racing at the Indoor and Outdoor NCAA Championships. Hall received a ring, but he was unable to run on the championship relay team.
Now fit in his senior year, the two-time NJCAA national champion has another chance to win a title with the Cougars. With senior Cameron Burrell unable to run until the outdoor season, Hall is the clear leader in both sprinting events for the Cougars during the indoor season.
The sprinter from Barbados reached the heights of the Olympic Stadium in London during his sophomore campaign. Junior Mario Burke took an expected progression in his sophomore year. In addition to winning his first conference title, the indoor 60m, Burke also made his first trips to the NCAA finals as an individual.
During the indoor season, Burke qualified for the 60m finals alongside teammate Cameron Burrell. It was the first time since 1996 that the Cougars had two sprinters in the 60m final.
Burke ran the second leg of the victorious 4×1 relay team, but even after his collegiate season ended, he continued to run. Burke won the 100m at the Barbados National Championships, punching his ticket to the IAAF World Championships. And even though he did not reach the final, let alone medal, the experience will prove crucial as he continues to rise in the collegiate ranks and as a representative of UH on the international stage.
Junior Jacarias Martin was another member of the stacked 2015 recruiting class that improved his game in year two. While being overshadowed by his teammates during the indoor season, Martin impressed in the 200m and 4×1 during the outdoor season.
Martin was second only to Hall in the 200m race at conference and qualified for the NCAA championships in the event, his first trip as an individual runner. But the highlight of his season had to be running the third leg of the 4×100 relay race at nationals. His leg put Cameron Burrell in a position where he could close out the race with a victory for the Cougars.
Now in his junior year, Martin rounds out the group for the Cougars as they ensure they have numerous people capable of winning every race on any given day.