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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Sports

True freshman hurdler finds his stride with Cougars


1/15/16 Indoor track meet.

While still in his first season at UH, freshman hurdler Marcus McWilliams is already dazzling many with his skill. | Courtesy of UH Athletics

For freshman hurdler Marcus McWilliams, a highly touted recruit out of Pflugerville, there has been no doubt that he will be a force for the Cougars through the next three years.

In the semi-final rounds of the 60m hurdles at the Howie Ryan track meet, McWilliams shocked everyone by tying the school record for fastest time with a run of 7.72.

McWilliams ended up finishing second in the event with a time of 7.76, but equaled the feat of his senior mentor, Issac Williams, who broke the then 10-year-old record at the Houston Indoor Opener last season.

The Cougar: What did it feel like to be able to tie the school record in hurdles?

Marcus McWilliams: It felt great. It felt like a blessing, the fact that it just happened like that. All the hard work and everything that we’ve put in this year so far has actually helped, so I was very excited.

TC: How did it feel doing that as a freshman, equaling what your senior mentor in Issac Williams also has done?

MM: It was crazy. It was a crazy feeling pretty much. I knew eventually I was going to be able to run that time, but I didn’t know it was going to happen that soon. So it was very exciting.

TC: You jumped to No. 6 in the NCAA performance list this season. With the Indoor NCAA meet coming up, explain what you need to do to qualify or if you have qualified what you’re going to do?

MM: So far yes I have qualified. But right now I’m just trying to stay in it…and then once I get there, put out everything that I’ve learned, everything that we did in practice into the meet and then try to run my best and hopefully come out number one. That’s the plan.

TC: What’s it been like training with Issac Williams considering how valuable he’s been to the team over the years?

MM: Training with Issac helps me a lot because I come from a small town and pretty much was always the big dog of the team. So it was hard for me to actually get better, I was just staying at the same pace. But now, working with Issac and Amere Lattin, every day’s a competition. We’re constantly getting each other better every day.

TC: What’s it been like getting to keep training with your high school rival in Amere Lattin?

MM: Me and Amere have been racing since our sophomore year in high school. We just always competed and [it’s] always been a competition, so we take that into track practice and help each other get better.

TC: What’s it feel like to top those guys at the meets?

MM: It feels good to be honest, it feels great. To know that it actually works and it actually gets me better, and I feel confident in myself. I feel way confident in myself now.

TC: With the indoor season wrapping up, what are your goals for the outdoor season?

MM: Going into the outdoor season, my plan is to get a personal best in the 110m hurdles, and hopefully go to nationals in outdoor too.

With the regular season and conference tournaments wrapped up, McWilliams and the Cougars now turn their attention to the NCAA Indoor Championship meet in Birmingham, Ala., March 11-12.

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