Sports Track & Field

Cougar track and field heads to NCAA Outdoor Championships in Oregon

Graduate Sydni Townsend, senior Iman Babineaux, graduate Kelly-Ann Beckford and freshman Michaela Mouton set to compete in the women’s 4×400-meter. Beckford, Mouton and Townsend will compete in individual events. | Courtesy of UH Athletics/Gunnar Rathbun

Eight men and four women will represent the Cougars at the 2024 NCAA Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon, June 5-8. The athletes qualified following the NCAA West Preliminaries on May 22-25.

Men’s championships

The men’s high jump will showcase a freshman from Greece, Antrea Mita, who set a personal record with a jump of 2.17 meters, making him the first Cougar to punch a ticket to the NCAA Championships.

Senior Shaun Maswanganyi, sophomore Louie Hinchliffe, freshman Cayden Broadnax and senior Ireon Brown made the men’s 4×100-meter relay team.

Broadnax, from Ridge Point High School, was a member of the 2023 Texas High School Coaches Association 6A Boys Track and Field Super Elite Team and claimed the 2023 UIL Region 3 6A Championship in the 100-meter.

Brown ranked fourth at the American Championships 200-meter race and at the Tom Tellez Invitational, he ran a season-best of 20.88 in the 200-meter.

Hinchliffe achieved a career-best time of 10.19 in the 100-meter at the Senior England Athletics Championships in Bedford, England in 2022, where he ended up winning the title with a 10.32.

Hinchliffe and Maswanganyi took first and second in the men’s 100-meter at the NCAA West Preliminaries, and look to once again bring top finishes.

After qualifying for the 100-meter and 200-meter every year, the South African 12-time NCAA All-American Maswanganyi is no stranger to the high level of competition. He looks to pursue his first NCAA Championship as he rounds out a historic career at Houston.

Senior De’Vion Wilson ran the men’s 110-meter hurdles in 13.24 seconds and was the first individual qualifier in running events. Wilson holds the tie for the fastest qualifying time in the nation proceeding into the NCAA Championships. He shattered the University’s record in the 2023 NCAA Championships, setting a time of 13.26 seconds for the 110-meter hurdles.

After finishing eighth in the pole vault at the 2023 NCAA Championship and achieving Houston’s second highest ever finish, Senior Christyan Sampy looks to build upon his success.

Senior David Ajama, a transfer from South Florida, will join the action, competing in the men’s triple jump.

Women’s championships

On the women’s front, graduate Sydni Townsend, senior Iman Babineaux, graduate Kelly-Ann Beckford and freshman Michaela Mouton secured the final four qualifications for the 2024 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships where they will compete together in the women’s 4×400-meter.

With a time of 50.96 in the women’s 400-meter, Mouton set a school record and earned the first ticket for the ladies.

Beckford qualified in the women’s 800-meter with an effort of 2:03.99 and ensured her spot in her final NCAA Championships. In addition to winning the 800-meter in the 2023 American Athletic Conference Indoor Championships, she set the conference record in the 800-meter.

Townsend finished third in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 55.80 and earned a spot in her third NCAA Outdoor Championships. Additionally, she earned the first top-16 result in 32 years and became Houston’s fourth female All-American in the 400 hurdles.

ESPN 2 will broadcast the men’s championship on June 5 and 7, and the women’s championship on June 6 and 8.

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