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Friday, December 1, 2023


Cougars host Houston Invitational following Nebraska success

Following success for both teams at the Mark Colligan Memorial, the Cougars return to Yeoman Fieldhouse to host the Houston Invitational | Courtesy Stephen Pinchback

The No. 23 Cougars are coming home with a lot of momentum following their performances at the Mark Colligan Memorial in Nebraska last weekend.

After competing against the best that Nebraska and No. 18 Oklahoma had to offer, the Cougars have no time to rest, as they’re hosting the Houston Invitational this weekend. Despite welcoming smaller schools Texas Southern, Lamar and Houston Baptist, the Cougars face stiff competition in No. 8 Texas.

Coming out of Nebraska, the main story has been the debut of junior sprinter transfer Eli Hall-Thompson.

After not running competitively since July, Hall won the 200m and was the runner-up in the 60m. His 20.71 in the 200m broke a 13-year-old school record. He missed out on winning two events after sophomore Mario Burke ran .007s faster in the 60m.

Following the explosive performance, Hall was named American Athlete of the Week.

Senior sprinter Cameron Burrell continued his fast start this season, winning the long jump and running a personal-best 21.18 in the 200m, finishing second to Hall.

The Nebraska meet also showed that the men can compete against the best in the country.

Burrell, senior distance runner Brian Barraza, sophomore hurdler Amere Lattin and senior thrower Cameron Cornelius all won their respective events. Together they accounted for 48 of the men’s 135.5 points. The performance sends a clear message that the Cougar men can run, jump and throw with the best.

While the women are not yet at the level to compete for a national title, a conference championship is within their reach.

Despite being the only winner on the day for the women, sophomore thrower Taylor Scaife made her mark, throwing the second best distance in school history: 18.60m.

On top of the win, the Cougar women added four second place finishes: Senior Tori Williams in the 60m and 200m, senior Mandy Nolan in the 600m, freshman Samiyah Samuels in the long jump and junior Tonye’cia Burks in the triple jump.

The combination of youth and experience totals enough talent that the women have a shot at vastly improving on their ninth place conference finish last season. The key will be turning those second place finishes into wins.

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