Other College Sports

Cougars Win Big at Victor Lopez Classic


HOUSTON – The Houston Cougar men’s and women’s track and field teams wrapped the final day of the Victor Lopez Classic, hosted by Rice University, with three individual wins and two relay championships, on Saturday, in Houston.

Houston opened the day on top, with a win from junior Alex Garza in the shot put. The transfer from Coffeyville Community College. Garza launched the shot 17.06m to beat Ryan Kim of Northeastern by more than half a meter.

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Thumbnail Photo is Courtesy of Houston Athletics

With a win already under their belt, the running events opened for the Cougars with the 4×100-meter relay. The Houston men were impressive from start-to-finish as they clocked a 39.66 to easily win the event, and run the fourth fastest time in the NCAA this season. The women would run a 46.32 to finish third.

For the second consecutive week, a Cougar stood atop the podium in the 110-meter hurdles, as senior Issac Williams claimed the top spot with a time of 13.70. Freshman Amere Lattin picked up a top-5 finish in the event after clocking a personal best 14.12 to place fourth.

Just a short while later, Houston picked up another, this time taking first in the 100-meter dash, when senior LeShon Collins just missed a PR while running a 10.36. Freshman John Lewis earned the Cougars their second top-10 finish in the event when he posted 10.61 to place sixth.

The Houston women picked up four top-10 finishes in the 100-meter hurdles and 100-meter dash, with junior Bria Carter placing fourth in 11.82 in the dash, while Bailee Logsdon (14.73), Christina Tillett (14.82) and Kelsey Roy (14.89) finished sixth, eighth and 10th respectively in the hurdles.

The Cougars saw a pair of freshmen show out in the 200-meter dash as the meet began to wind down. Jacarias Martin ran 21.06 to finish second overall and first among collegiate competitors, while Gerald Mills finish right on his heels in 21.08 to finish third overall and second among collegiate athletes.

Houston wasn’t done there in the 200-meters, as Williams took eighth in 21.59, Curtis Brown finished ninth in 21.67, and freshman Marcus McWilliams ran 11th in 21.72.

A pair of middle distance runners racked up top-10 finishes for Houston in the 800-meter run. Freshman Britani Gonzales took home sixth on the women’s side in a personal best 2:14.27, while in the men’s edition, Chris Ibarra ran 1:51.64 for a ninth place finish.

Four Cougar men finished among the top-5 in the jumping events of the Victor Lopez Classic. The day started with a third place finish for sophomore Cameron Burrell in the long jump at 7.58m, while junior Morris Olumba and freshman Colin George finished tied for fifth in the high jump at 1.91m.

In the triple jump, Houston witnessed the return of senior John Horton, who returned to the Cougars after redshirting in 2015. Horton showed no signs of rust with a leap of 15.15m to take third in the event.

Three top-5 finishes highlighted the action for the women’s side of the jumping events. Tonyecia Burks was Houston’s top finisher in the triple jump with a mark of 12.32m, while Diayja Sheppard took fifth in the high jump at 1.66m, and Paige Lawrence jumped 5.71m in the long jump to finish fifth.

In the throws, sophomore discus thrower Zach Oliva made his return to the circle after being sidelined due to surgery. After just two days of practice since being cleared to compete, Oliva threw the disc 49.51m to finish sixth. In the women’s shot put, freshman Mikaila Martin took eighth with a personal best 13.92m, while A’Nease Linnear finished ninth at 13.89m.

With the meet winding down, another Cougar relay team would wow the audience, when the 4×400-meter relay team turned in the 11th fastest time in the nation this season. The Cougars “A” team won the event in 3:09.96 to edge out Texas Southern who ran 3:09.99.

Elsewhere for the Cougars, freshman Mario Burke enjoyed success in the 2016 CARIFTA Games, which were held in St. George’s, Grenada. The Bridgetown, Barbados native ran 10.29 to finish second overall in the event.


Houston will split up its squad for a pair of meets next weekend when some of the Cougars will head to Austin, Texas to compete in the Texas Relays, while the remainder of the team will compete in the Bobcat Invitational in San Marcos, Texas. The relays will be held March 30-April 2, with the invitational running just the length of the latter two days.

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