Track team continues early season success at LSU

The SHSU track team made a very good showing at the LSU Purple Tiger Invitational Saturday. The women’s squad placed 10 athletes in seven events, while the men posted scorers in 11 events.

The meet was highlighted with impressive showings of several athletes.

Raul Villarreal placed first in the 3,000-meter championship. Joe Amburn boasted a second place finish in the one-mile championship, and third place showings by Adrian Ray in the 60-meters hurdles, Kelli Alexander in the women’s 800-meter and Gaby Mendoza in the 3,000-meter also contributed.

“Adrian Ray continues to perform at a very high level for us. Raul getting the win in the 3,000 was nice and Joe Amburn narrowly missed his own school record in the mile. He didn’t run this fast for us until a month later last year so that is a very positive sign,” said track coach Greg Hinze.

The men’s 4×400-meter relay finished fourth with a time of 3:22.79, as did Keith Jensen in the 800-meter posting a 1:57.5.

The field events were also a success due to contributions of a third place finish by Randy Flach in the men’s pole vault, a fifth place finish by Jennie Sewell in the women’s pole vault and Chenequa Parham in the triple jump.

Also contributing were Tenika Powell, finishing eighth in women’s shot put, Clint Gillespie posting a fifth place finish in the men’s shot put, and

Clint Gallagher doubling up with a fourth place finish in the shot and a fifth place finish in the weight throw.

“Randy Flach jumped a little higher this week in the vault and he is showing great consistency, which, in that event, is very crucial,” Hinze.said.

Hinze said he was particularly impressed with the showings on the women’s side this weekend.

“For the women, our distance crew turned in a very solid performance led by Gaby Mendoza,” Hinze said. “Chenequa Parham also performed well for us in the triple jump. However, a lot of our women and particularly our sprinters and jumpers just aren’t getting it done right now. That is starting to be a cause for concern.

“The good news is that the indoor conference meet is still a month away, but some of our event groups have got to get it together,” he said. “Using the ‘We’re young and inexperienced’ excuse will only get us beat.”

Hinze said that overall this meet was a definite improvement over the last meet, which was rather impressive itself.

The Kats will continue their efforts towards attaining a victory at the Indoor Championships by competing Feb. 1, at the University of Houston Southwest Invitational.

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