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Friday, December 4, 2020

Sports

UH track and field team adds 26 signees to 2020-21 squad


Head track and field coach Leroy Burrell watching his team compete at a meet | Courtesy of UH Athletics

Head track and field coach Leroy Burrell watching his team compete at a meet. | Courtesy of UH athletics

The UH track and field team, which has dominated the American Athletic Conference the past two seasons, just got even better as the team announced the addition of 26 new student athletes, 14 men and 12 women, for the 2020-21 season.

The Cougars have consistently been able to recruit some of the best athletes in Texas and this signing class is no different as 13 of the new signees hail from the Lone Star State. But this year, Houston was also able to sign 13 more athletes that come from all over the world, including six different U.S. states and three different countries.

Head coach Leroy Burrell attributes the large number of signings from outside of Texas in this year’s class due to the track and field program’s recent success.

“The success that we have had has allowed us to expand our recruiting footprint to the point where we can attract the athletes from all over the world,” Burrell said.

As the track and field team heads into the upcoming season looking to sweep the American Indoor Track and Field titles for the third consecutive year, here is a look at some of the new signees for both the men and women’s teams that can make an immediate impact for the program:

Men’s squad

Here are a few of the new signees for the men’s squad:

Mustafa William Fall

The Suva, Fiji, native comes to Houston after spending time at Coffeyville Community College where he racked up a plethora of awards.

In 2020, Fall was the NJCAA National Champion and the NJCAA Region VI Indoor Champion in shot put. Fall was also named an NJCCA Indoor All-American.

Phatutshedzo Shaun Maswanganyi

Maswanganyi joins the Cougars as a sprinter all the way from South Africa. Maswanganyi currently holds the South African junior record in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.06 seconds.

Caleb Malbrough

Malbrough comes from Manvel High School where he was the 2019 UIL Class 5A State Champion in the triple jump. Malbrough also holds the Manvel all-time program record in the triple jump at 48 feet, 1.5 inches.

Women’s squad

Here are a few of the new signees for the women’s squad:

Sarah Belle

Belle, a sprinter and hurdler, hails from Barbados and has experience competing on the international stage. Belle earned a silver medal in the 100-meter hurdles at the 2019 CARTIFA Games.

Nu’uausala Tuilefano

Like some of the other signees, Tuilefano joins the Cougars from Coffeyville Community College as a thrower.

Tuilefano is a two-time NJCAA All-American, being the 2019 NCJAA Region VI Outdoor and 2020 NJCAA Region VI Indoor bronze medalist in shot put. Tuilefano also won a silver medal at the XVI Pacific Games.

Zarie Dumas

Dumas joins Houston from Hillcrest High School in Simpsonville, South Carolina, as one of the top female sprinters in the entire state.

Dumas racked up numerous awards and honors during her high school career including being a South Carolina State Champion, being named a New Balance Outdoor All-American and being selected as the most valuable track athlete in all of Greenville County.

Burrell is happy with the new signees and believes they can make an impact this season and set up the program to be successful in the years to come.

“I am really pleased with how the coaching staff did an excellent job of addressing the future needs of the program in assembling this group of outstanding young women and men from all over the world under some very challenging conditions,” Burrell said.

“Quiet as it is kept, this is one of the best group of athletes we have assembled in my time here and I really feel we are set up for continued success at the conference and national levels,” he added.

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