UH track shines at Houston Indoor Opener

January 12, 2008 8:07:00 PM PST
The University of Houston track and field team opened the 2008 indoor season Saturday hosting the Houston Indoor Opener. Houston was led by a solid group of long jumpers in the men's competition. They dominated the competition, earning the top five finishes. Leading the way was freshman Ed Turner. Turner cleared 7.36m (24-01.75). Junior Grant Hightower, freshman Chris Carter, sophomore Wesley Bray and freshman Thomas Lang rounded out the competition for the Cougars.

Houston also had eight wins during their opening meet and two athletes making NCAA provisional marks. Winners included sophomore Ashley Bryant (weight throw), sophomore Justin Davis (400 meters), senior Ivan Diggs (high jump), junior Seun Adigun (200 meters), junior Jeremy Kelley (triple jump), sophomore Dayo Ogunniyi (long jump) and Turner. The women's 4x400 relay team also earned a win.

Adigun earned the Cougars first or two NCAA provisional marks this season. In the preliminaries of the 60-meter hurdles, Adigun won her flight with a finish of 8.40 seconds. She went on to finish second in the finals with a finish of 8.45. Sophomore LeeA'ndrea Robinson was seventh. Adigun also won the 200 meters with a finish of 24.92.

Also adding a provisional mark was Diggs, who won the high jump after clearing 2.22m (7 feet, 3 1/4 inches). He was just short of the automatic qualifying mark of 2.24m (7 feet, 4 1/4 inches). Kelley set a new personal best with his single jump win in the triple jump. He cleared 15.13m (49 feet, 7 3/4 inches) for the win, erasing his previous best of 14.58m (47 feet, 10 inches).

Bryant started things off for the Cougars winning the weight throw with a toss of 15.94m (52-3.75) in the first event of the day. The throw set a personal best for the Pasadena, Texas, native who had a previous best of 15.20m (49 feet, 10 1/2 inches) set last season at the Conference USA Championships. Freshmen Kiara Pulliam and Charlissa Foster added second and seventh place finishes, respectively. Pulliam and Foster also finished second and third in the shot put with sophomore Brittani Williams adding a fifth place finish. Puliam's second place finish of 14.02m (46 feet) was the fifth best performance in UH history.

Sophomore Brandon Hubbard followed the ladies with a fourth place finish in the men's weight throw with a throw of 15.64m (51 feet, 3 3/4 inches). Freshmen William Krokey and Sidney Flores added eighth and 11th place finishes. Hubbard followed up his weight throw performance with a fifth place finish in the shot put and Flores' was sixth.

In the 400 meters, Davis paced the race with a 49.11 finish. For the women, junior LaNeeka Allen finished second. Freshman Christ Jones made her first appearance in a Cougar uniform finishing sixth in the 60-meter finals with a time of 7.66 seconds. Sophomore Dayo Agunniyi added a ninth place finish of 7.77. On the men's side, senior Tremaine Smith finished third with a time of 6.87 and freshman Ernest Imade was ninth (7.17).

In other running events, junior Jennifer Harper finished seventh in the 800 meters and freshman Lindsey Marshall was 23rd. On the men's side freshman Mahmoud Harb was 12th. Freshman Lazarus Crumedy finished second in the 200 meters with a finish of 22.32. Senior Oumama Hallal finished 10th in the 3,000 meters and sophomore Jessica Cook was 12th.

In the pole vault competition, senior Ashley Ligon finished second with freshmen Morgan Lancaster and Shannan Arnold coming in third and fourth. On the men's side sophomore Alex Bentley finished third clearing 4.60m (15 feet, 1 inch). Freshmen Derek Schutz (fifth), Bryan Brown (10th) and Levi Tatum (13th) also placed in the event. Ogunniyi and sophomore Quin'shundolyn McPherson recorded first and second place in the collegiate long jump. Senior Caresir Hamilton added a sixth place finish in her first competition since sitting out the 2007 season due to injury.

In the relay events, the Houston "A" team finished third in the distance medley relay while the "B" team finished fourth. Distance runners senior Adriane Guinn and freshman Jasmine Trier finished ninth and 12th in the mile run.

Houston's 4x400 meter relay team of freshman Candyce Cross, Allen, senior Jennifer Hunt and McPherson combined to win the relay with a time of 3:48.46. The men's team of freshman Lazarus Crumedy, Smith, senior Dominic Milton and Jones finished third.

Houston remains on their home track next weekend when they host the Leonard Hilton Memorial on Jan. 18. The meet is set to begin at 11am.

Saturday, the Cougars will host the Carl Lewis High School Invitational with the morning session beginning at 9 and the afternoon session starting at 12:30.

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