Track and field strikes gold at conference championship
The men’s track and field team won its fifth consecutive American Athletic Conference indoor title while the women’s team took home its first ever AAC title over the weekend in Birmingham, Alabama.
The Cougars won comfortably on the men’s side, but the women’s competition came down to the final race of the night.
Senior Kahmari Montgomery won the 400m dash with a blazing 45.04s. It is the fastest time in the world this season and eighth-fastest in NCAA history. Junior Jermaine Holt took second place in the race, and freshman Frederick Lewis took fifth.
Senior Obi Igbokwe, senior Mario Burke and sophomore Nicholas Alexander took first, second and third in the 200m dash, respectively. Freshmen Edward Sumler IV and Jordan Booker finished in fifth and seventh, respectively.
Sophomore Naomi Taylor won the women’s 60m hurdles, while senior Amere Lattin won the men’s 60m hurdles for the third year in a row. Freshman Devion Wilson took third in the men’s event, and sophomore Quivell Jordan earned fourth.
Meanwhile, Burke won the 60m dash, marking the sixth win in a row for UH runners in the event. Houston has never lost the AAC 60m race. Junior Travis Collins, Alexander, senior John Lewis III and Sumler IV finished third, fourth, sixth and seventh, respectively, in the race.
Redshirt senior Felipe Valencia won the shot put for the second time in his career. He previously won it during his freshman season. Senior Taylor Scaife won the conference title in the weight throw to remain undefeated this season, and sophomore Priscilla Adejokun won bronze.
In the last race of the competition, the women won the 4x400m relay in the final stretch to win the race, the indoor championship and set a meet record of 3:37:82s. The men shattered the meet record of the 4x400m with a 3:09.00s time to win their race as well.
Junior Samiyah Samuels and redshirt senior Trumaine Jefferson won their second women’s and men’s long jump titles, respectively, and redshirt senior Phedenia George-Mosbey took fifth in the women’s event.
Junior Brianne Bethel won the 200m dash with a personal and meet record of 23.12s, and junior Birexus Hawkins took seventh in the race after finishing second in the 400m dash.
Bethel took home second and junior Tristan Evelyn finished fourth in the 60m dash.
Senior Jennifer Dunlap, junior Erin Derrow, redshirt junior Britani Gonzales and senior Meredith Sorensen finished fifth in the women’s distance medley and had the third-fastest time in UH history with 11:45.93s. Gonzales also earned a pair of points by finishing seventh in the mile run.
The Houston men picked up points with a fourth-place finish in the distance medley as Jordan, senior Aaron Hurd, junior Nicholas Hamilton and senior Cameron Laverty ran a 10:06.95s race.
Sophomore Hawa Wague finished fifth in the pentathlon and seventh in the high jump to secure points, and sophomore Ben Percefull finished seventh in the pole vault to win a pair of points.
Freshman Christian Gilmore finished fifth in the 800m run.
Junior Brendon Rivera took bronze in the high jump while senior Colin George took sixth place.
Houston still has the upcoming NCAA Indoor Championships March 8-9. The athletes with the top 16 scores in the country qualify for each competition, and the Cougars should be well represented.