The SHSU track team competed this weekend at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, one of the largest invitational meets on Sam’s schedule this season. The team ran well, and once again, came back with some new school records.
“Any time you can come to a national-class meet like this and earn a place, you are doing a good job,” said head track coach Greg Hinze of the team’s performance.
The javelin seemed to be a strong event for the Bearkats this week, having placed on both the men’s and women’s side. James Thomas finished third overall, and Robin Pullen finished seventh.
In the running events, the team kept with its trend of breaking records.
The women, who seemed to have an exceptional meet overall, placed sixth in the 4 x 200-meter relay, and set a new school record with their time of 1:38.18. The relay is made up of Joyce Oyakhire, Rachel Stevenson, Kym Norsworthy and Quantinette Fields. Also, the sprint medley relay placed 19th, but managed to set a new school record as well.
On the men’s side, the distance medley relay, consisting of Raul Villarreal, Aaron Russell, Keith Jensen and Joe Amburn, also broke the school record, placing 10th with a time of 1.15.
“We were exceptionally good on Friday where the women’s 4 x 200-meter made the finals and broke a school record, both of our javelin throwers made the finals. Chris Stewart had the third fastest time going into the finals of the 100-meter dash and Adrian Ray had the fastest time going into the finals of the 100-meter hurdles,” Hinze said.
However, the meet was not without its misfortune. The men of the 4 x 400-meter relay would bear the bad luck.
“To put it bluntly, we were rolling in the prelims,” Hinze said. “Everyone loves an underdog and for three legs, little Sam Houston State was leading Alabama, Stanford and Notre Dame.
“We were running extremely fast with only Adrian Ray to go on the anchor and I felt confident that he was about to put the hammer down on those guys, but instead, we put the baton on the ground,” he said.
Hinze said was not happy about the mishap, and he let the runners know it. However, he was able to turn that negative into a positive.
“At least we know the ability is there and we can run faster than what we have so far,” he said.
SHSU did not participate in the men’s sprint medley relay due to a slight injury to Courtney Boston. Boston is a valuable part of the team, and worsening the injury now, with the conference meet still to come was not a risk Hinze was willing to take.
Overall, Hinze said he was happy with the performance.
“I was pleased with our efforts and we just have to keep working hard and getting better.
Our most important meets are still ahead of us.”
Up next for the track team will be the Texas Invitational this Saturday in Austin.