Villarreals steeplechase title

Freshman Raul Villarreals first-place steeplechase performance and 13 season best performances highlighted Bearkat action this past weekend at the Michael Johnson Open at Baylor University.Villarreal won the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9 minutes, 20.08 seconds, which is only about two seconds away from the school record set by Derek Koonts in 1999. This was Villarreals first time to run the event. His time puts him near the top of the list of Southland Conference runners in that event. Another top performance came from Terry Coleman in the shot put. He placed second by throwing 54 feet, 7.5 inches, which is a season best mark for him.Head coach Greg Hinze said these two individuals topped the performances for the mens team.Highlights for the men had to be Raul Villarreal winning the steeplechase the first time he runs the event and Terry Coleman hitting a big throw in the shot put for the second week in a row, Hinze said. For the womens team, Kelli Alexander ran a season best in the 800 with her time of 2:18.39, which placed her fifth. Jennifer Engelbrink also ran a season best in the 1,500 invitational at 4:45.55.The women had some breakthrough performances by Kelli Alexander and Jennifer Engelbrink, along with our mainstays Carol Dyer, Precious Madison and Susie Jones, Hinze said. Lisa Helm recorded a season best in the 400 hurdles preliminary with 63:86, and placed fifth in the finals with 64:61. Robin Pullen threw 118-02 in the javelin to place sixth and have a season best.The womens 4×100 team of Carol Dyer, Precious Madison, Susie Jones and Chenequa Parham ran a 46.90 to record a season best.Chris Foster jumped a season best mark in the long jump with 23-4.75 to place fourth. Freshman Adrian Ray was eighth in the 400 hurdles with his season best of 53:86. Ray was also eighth in the 110 hurdles with 14.38, which was also a season best.Three distance runners came within one second of each other in the 1,500 to record season best times. Villarreal ran 4:00.04, Vance Brides was 4:00.93 and Tony Vining was 4:01.23.Hinze said the athletes had just come off a hard week of training prior to the meet. Only about three weeks remain until the conference championship beginning May 13.Well start backing off again this week and continue to do so until conference to get their legs back under them, Hinze said. Despite the intense training, Hinze said the teams still performed well. He said this was the last big push to get some work in.We didnt fall off that much. It just required more effort on their part to get the same kind of performances, he said. Other top performances without season bests were Dyer, third in the 400 hurdles at 59:42; Chris Stewart, fourth in the triple jump at 46-4; Madison, fifth in the long jump at 19-11; and Clint Gallagher, fifth in the shot put at 50-7.25. Next up for the Bearkats will be the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.

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