Coming off a hard week of training, several Bearkats stepped up to the challenge at the Rice University Bayou Classic, led by mid-distance runner Joe Amburn and long jumper Precious Madison.A 1:53.20 finish in the 800-meter dash launched Amburn into first place at the classic and into the lead over the rest of his Southland Conference competitors.”Joe Amburn ran very well in the 800m dash, in a time that is leading our conference right now,” said coach Greg Hinze. “At some point, we’re going to have to think about doubling him at the conference meet, even though the 800-1500 double is a difficult one to do.”Madison hit the 19-5 1/4 mark in the women’s long jump for first place, leading two other Kats into the top eight of the event.Roshunda Betts placed third and Kym Norswirthy placed eighth in the long jump.Madison followed up her performance at the sand pit by running the backstretch of a winning 100-meter relay with Robin Hogan, Kym Norsworthy and Chenqua Parham.”Precious had a good day. Winning the long jump, which is becoming routine, was a nice start, then she ran a great backstretch on our 4×100,” Hinze said.”If our anchor leg had not left way early, I think we might have scared 45 seconds today,” he said.Madison also placed second in the 100-meter dash.Shot putter Clint Gallagher claimed second place with a 51-10 1/2 throw.”(He) had a ‘breakout’ performance in the shot put today which should give him some confidence that he can throw a little farther,” Hinze said. The women shot putters continued to perform consistently, Hinze said as Sharonda Hayes threw over 45-0 for second place and Tenika Powell was less than a foot behind her for third place.Recovering from a slight injury and illness, Ardian Ray placed second in the 110 dash. Ray had a time of 1:53.20.Overall, the men’s team finished third and the women finished fourth at the meet.Hinze said he was pleased with the teams’ performances after a hard week of training. However, the teams’ training will continue to be hard as they prepare for the Texas Relays next week and the upcoming SLC Outdoor Meet.”I’m looking for some big improvements in the next two to three weeks as we come down from our high training volumes,” he said.