Individuals rise, team falls in latest track & field rankings update
Despite success from several members of the track & field team at the Tyson Invitational in this weekend in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the Cougars dropped to No. 16 from No. 13 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll.
As it stands, the Cougars have four athletes with times in five events that meet the qualifying mark for the NCAA Indoor Championships. Senior sprinter Elijah Hall leads the group with top 5 times in the men’s 60m, 200m and 4x400m relay.
Bringing home victories in each event, Hall ran a personal best of 6.58s to win the men’s 60m. This broke him out of a tie for No. 3 in the country. Hall’s time is second in program history to only Cameron Burrell’s 2016 time of 6.48s, which he ran at the NCAA Championships.
Hall was one one hundredth of a second away from matching his school record time of 20.51s in the men’s 200m. He won the final of the men’s 200m invitational in 20.52s. While not improving his seeding, Hall ensured he remained at No. 4 in the country by beating the No. 7 and No. 9 fastest runners at the Arkansas meet.
Junior sprinter Mario Burke did not reach the 60m final at the Charlie Thomas Invitational in College Station last week. However, he ran a season best of 6.67s at the Tyson Invitational, qualifying him for the final.
Although his time has dropped to No. 25 from No. 17 since the meet concluded, Burke still has a large opportunity to improve his mark. Burke is the defending American Athletic Conference champion in the indoor men’s 60m, so if he can run a strong time in Birmingham, he has every chance to move into the NCAA Top 16.
Junior hurdler Amere Lattin also ran a season best in Arkansas. He placed second in the men’s 60m hurdles with a time of 7.79s. This moved Lattin up to No. 15 from No. 17 in the country.
Junior sprinter Kahmari Montgomery, moved up to No. 9 in the men’s 400m running a season best time in his third consecutive race. Although he didn’t win his race at the Tyson Invitational, Montgomery’s 46.00s time is the second best ever for a Cougar. He now owns the second, third and fourth fastest 400m times in school history.
These four individuals all ran together in the men’s 4x400m relay at the Tyson Invitational, winning the race in three minutes, 4.18s. Their time, which broke the school record, is currently No. 4 in the NCAA.
The Cougars have the week off, but will resume competition on Friday, Feb. 23, when they travel to Birmingham for the American Athletic Conference Indoor Championships.