Cougars strong in relays
The Cougars relay teams shined at the 54th annual Mt. Sac Relays at Hilmer Lodge Stadium in Walnut, Calif. as they set a new school record.
“I think we did well, we had some athletes perform at their season’s best and we had a really solid relays, especially at the 4×400,” head coach Leroy Burrell said.
The men’s 4×100 meter relay team grabbed first place with a time of 40.16, becoming the sixth fastest time in program history for that event. The team consisted of Isaiah Sweeney, Errol Nolan, James Lang, and Mark’Quiz Frazier.
“We had some struggles there with injuries and of course the absence of Isaiah Sweeney, who was with football. He is back and I think we will be really strong,” Burrell said.
The men’s 4×400 meter relay team took first place with a time of 7:36.92. Sophmore Drevan Anderson-Kappa, and freshmen Anthony Coleman, Mark Fernando and Yonas Tesfai made up the young team.
Burrell said that he and his staff always felt the 4x400m team is an NCAA-caliber team.
“We are finally healthy and improving week in and week out, so we feel that team is up and going real smooth now,” Burrell said.
The women’s 4×100 meter shuttle hurdle team also snatched first place with a time of 54.49, as they participated for the first time in that event. The athletes on the team were Sade-Mariah Greenidge, Amber Sellers, Alicia Perkins, and DeMeeka Jones.
Another first place finish was added by the women’s 4×400 meter relay team, setting a season’s best time of 3:38.70 in the invite elite division. The team consisted of Whitney Harris, Brittany Wallace, Ciera Johnson and Ngozi Onwumere.
Burrell said that the 4×400 team has a little way to go, but they are definitely moving in the right direction.
“We have some athletes who were injured and some who have not being able to perform at the levels we feel they should,” Burrell said. “Athletes like David Boyd, Doug Kelly, Grecia Bolton, we were able to get them out there healthy and they performed very well.”
Cougars make a splash with recruiting class
The Cougars signed nine student-athletes to National Letters of Intent on Thursday, including Pennsylvania’s top boys track athlete of the year.
“We are very excited about Eric Futch. Obviously he heads our class,” Burrell said. “We have some work to do on the women’s side, but besides that we have made this one of the best classes that we have had.”
The highlight of the 2012 signing class, Futch is the 2011 Gatorade Pennsylvania’s boys athlete of the year.
The men’s team added six student-athletes: Pennsylvania’s Futch; Houston’s Ahmed Ali, who ranks number one nationally in the 200m; Isaac Williams of Willingboro, N.J., currently ranked number one in the high jump during New Jersey’s 2012 outdoor season; Rio Grande’s Alejandro Garza; Royse City’s Joseph Beck, and Kingwood’s Josh Spiehler.
On the women’s side they added two distance runners in Meagan Shockley and Selena Sierra from Bridge City and Round Rock, respectively. Also sprinter Ashley Johnson from Silsbee.
Burrell said that the expectations are high for this class and expects the new athletes to make an immediate impact.
“We have a really good group and a lot of athletes returning as well, so we feel good where we are and the direction of the program,” Burrell said.