Cougars achieve personal bests at A&M
Head coach Leroy Burrell said the Cougars main objective at Saturday’s Texas A&M Invitation was not to maximize their potential, but for individuals to move up on national and conference lists.
Athletes like sprinter Errol Nolan met that. Nolan set the indoor school record as he claimed first place in the 400-meter dash with a time of 46.12, just short of reaching the 46.00 he needed to automatically qualify for nationals.
Burrell said that Nolan is the national leader in the 400-meter.
“I think that was a bit of a … lack of competition,” Burrell said. “He pretty much won the race handily and had to get more of a challenge to auto-qualify.”
As a whole, UH did well. The men’s team ranked fourth with 80 points, while the women’s team placed sixth with 50 points.
“It was a good competition,” Burrell said. “We had a few things going, broke a couple of school records and a couple athletes hit all-time top-five marks, a lot like last week.”
Rick Fenton placed first in the men’s weight throw as he set the indoor school record with a mark of 18.68 meters.
Teammates Michael Mahnke and Bryan Brown placed first and second, respectively, in the men’s pole vault. Mahnke reached a personal-best of 5.11 meters, while Brown had a mark of 5.01 meters.
Alicia Perkins also set a new personal-best as she finished seventh in the women’s 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.55.
Tai’Shea Reese took eighth place out of 30 runners in the women’s 200-meter dash with a time of 24.04.
The men’s 1600-meter relay finished fourth with a time of 3:14.22. The team consisted of Nolan, Xavier Boyd, Dominique Charles, and Anthony Coleman.
Despite the Cougars’ strong individual performances, Burrell still feels there is work to be done before the Conference USA Indoor Championship on Feb. 24 in Birmingham, Ala.
“But we still got some things that I would have liked to accomplish, but we have to close the book on that chapter and get ready for conference.”