Sports Track & Field

Looking Back: Houston track and field’s Top 5 performances of the season

Senior sprinter Travis Collins was one of three Houston athletes from the men's track and field team that qualified for the NCAA Indoor competition in 2020. | Photo Courtesy of UH Athletics

Senior sprinter Travis Collins was one of three Houston athletes from the men’s track and field team that qualified for the NCAA Indoor competition in 2020. | Photo Courtesy of UH Athletics

Though the NCAA’s 2020 track and field season did not have the opportunity to formally conclude with either the indoor or outdoor championships due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Houston’s men’s and women’s teams were each able to mark their shortened season with several high points.

As Houston’s athletic program continues to expand into one of the more well-rounded programs in the country, the University’s track and field teams have provided a level of consistency sought by many of the other sporting organizations on campus.

In March, the NCAA voted to allow spring sport athletes an extra year of eligibility due to the disruption caused by the national health crisis.

With several seniors as leading contributors to Houston’s track and field program, the decision by the NCAA may allow Houston’s streak of dominance in the American Athletic Conference to carry on for at least one more year.

If 2020 was indeed the last time many of these athletes will ever represent Houston on the track, there will be numerous lasting memories.

Here are the top five moments of Houston’s 2020 track and field season:

Naomi Taylor’s 8.03

Junior Naomi Taylor posted a time of 8.03 in the 60-meter hurdles, coming in first place at this year’s American Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Taylor, who’s time was the seventh fastest in the nation this season, would have made her second straight appearance at the NCAA Indoor Championships had the event not been canceled due to the coronavirus.

Taylor will have the opportunity to make up for missed time next season when she is favored to compete for an Indoor Championship medal once again.

NCAA Indoor Championships qualifiers

Taylor would not have been alone on her trip to Albuquerque to compete in the NCAA Championships as a total of six Cougars qualified for the competition.

Along with Taylor, senior sprinter Tristan Evelyn qualified for the championships in the 200-meter, while senior Taylor Scaife was set to make her second consecutive appearance at the Indoor Championships in the weight throw.

On the men’s side, seniors Travis Collins and Dayo Akindele would have competed in the 60-meter and the 60H respectively while pole vaulter Antonio Ruiz qualified for the championships as well.

American Indoor Championships sweep

Both the men’s and women’s teams were able to capture victories at the American Indoor Championships this season in Birmingham, Alabama.

The women were able to narrowly defeat Cincinnati in the point standings, while the men were able to capture their sixth consecutive American Indoor title, finishing just ahead of Connecticut and Cincinnati respectively.

Travis Collins’ 6.61

At this year’s AAC championships, senior sprinter Travis Collins was able to post a career-best 6.61 in the 60-meter competition.

The mark set by Collins was the 10th fastest in the NCAA this season and the fifth fastest in program history.

Taylor Scaife’s multiple first place finishes

To say that Scaife has been a dominant force for the Cougars during her tenure on campus would be an extreme understatement.

The senior weight thrower from Moss Point, Mississippi displayed that dominance throughout the 2020 season with her multiple first place finishes including a record breaking performance of 22.89m at the LSU Twilight, catapulting her to No. 2 in the NCAA.

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