Sports Track & Field

Cougars set records at Big 12 Track and Field Championship

UH track & field put together an impressive showing in its first-ever appearance at the Big 12 Conference Indoor Championship. | Oscar Herrera/The Cougar

The Houston track & field team went for gold this past weekend in its Big 12 Conference Indoor Championship debut at the Sports Performance Center in Lubbock.

Houston’s winning weekend began on Friday when senior Christyan Sampy cleared 5.53 meters in the men’s pole vault to earn second place on the podium, bringing UH its first Big 12 finals silver medal in school history.

Junior Grant Leveque was a force in the heptathlon, putting up four new personal bests to grab the lead with 3,313 points going into Saturday’s activities.

Leveque snatched first place finishes in the 60-meter running a 6.70, the long jump putting up a best of 7.03 meters and secured top honors in the shot put with a final attempt of 14.08 meters. Senior Ayomide Ogunbunmi was not far behind in the shot put, finishing second in the contest with his last attempt of 14.07 and fourth in the overall men’s heptathlon standings for the day.

Senior De’Vion Wilson sprinted to a indoor school record of 7.59 in the 60-meter hurdles qualifier, good for first place.

Senior Shaun Maswanganyi set new personal bests in the 60-meter and the 200-meter dash earning himself a spot in the finals. Maswanganyi’s 200-meter time of 20.62 moved him to No. 2 in school indoor history.

Freshman Cayden Broadnax claimed a spot in the 200-meter finals with a time of 20.78, breaking a personal record and moving to the fifth spot in school indoor history.

In all, Houston ended Friday having secured spots in the men’s 60-meter hurdles, men’s 60-meter dash, women’s 600-yards, women’s 400-meter, women’s 800-meter and men’s 200-meter final competitions.

Saturday began with the conclusion of the men’s heptathlon, where Leveque swept the competition taking the top spot in the remaining contests to secure UH’s first gold medal of the day.

Wilson broke his own school record set set the previous night, this time recording 7.55 to run away with the gold in the 60-meter hurdles.

Maswangnyi finished in second place in the 60-meter with a time of 6.62. He also took silver in the 200-meter dash running a 20.41, the fastest mark in South African 200-meter short track history.

Senior Kelly-Ann Beckford added another first place finish to Houston’s tally putting on a personal-best performance time of 2:00.99 in the 800-meter breaking her previous school record.

A women’s team composed of Beckford, seniors Sydni Townsend, Iman Babineaux and freshman Michaela Mouton won the 4×400 with a final time of 3:29.42.

Townsend and Mouton saw action in the 400-meter as well, respectively taking fourth and fifth place.

Next up for Houston is the NCAA Indoor Championships scheduled to take place on March 8 in Boston, Massachusetts.

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