Twenty-one athletes posting regional qualifying times early
In the outdoor track & field season, an athlete has to place only in the Top 48 of their respective event to qualify for either the West or East regional, depending on the location of the university. At regionals, an athlete has to place in the Top 12 of their event to advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Oregon.
Three meets into the season, the Cougars are already putting up numbers that would send a majority of the squad to the NCAA West Regional. A combined 21 athletes and four relay teams have times inside the Top 48. Here are just a handful of the most notable times and marks.
This weekend, senior distance runner Brian Barraza made his return to the track after redshirting last year. He set the fastest time in the country in the 3000m steeplechase, finishing in 8:41.58. In addition to leading the nation, Barraza’s time is the sixth school record he has broken in the distance events.
The 4x100m relay team of juniors Mario Burke and John Lewis III and seniors Elijah Hall and Cameron Burrell ran a time of 38.95s at the Prairie View A&M Relays. That is currently the No. 2 time in the West and No. 3 in the NCAA.
Lewis III also ran the No. 2 100m time in the country at Prairie View, running a time of 10.13s.
The duo of junior Amere Lattin and freshman Quivell Jordan posted top times in the hurdles. Lattin has the No. 4 West time in the 110m hurdles at 13.93s, while Jordan has the No. 3 West time in the 400m hurdles at 51.11s. Jordan’s time is also No. 4 in the NCAA.
Other top marks include redshirt senior Antwan Dickerson, who owns the seventh best long jump mark in the West at 7.55m, plus senior Jack Thomas, who is No. 4 in the West and No. 5 in the NCAA in the javelin throw, with a mark of 71.58m.
Sophomore Samiyah Samuels owns the top mark for the women. In the long jump she has the second best mark in the region at 6.29m, also good for No. 5 in the country.
Freshman Naomi Taylor is the only other top 10 performer for the women. She owns the No. 7 best time in the 100m hurdles at 13.45s. Her time is also No. 16 in the nation.
More top marks and times are likely to come this week as the Cougars travel to Austin for the Texas Relays. The action will start Wednesday and go through Saturday.