Running strong

The Bearkat track team made an impressive showing this weekend at its first scored meet of the indoor season, the Southwest Invitational in Houston.

The Kats placed fourth overall in both the men and women’s competitions, topping the University of Texas-Arlington, who finished in fifth place on both sides, and the University of Texas-San Antonio.

“It’s always nice to beat teams from the Southland Conference, but the [meet] in three weeks is the one that matters,” track coach Greg Hinze said. “No one is going to remember that we beat UTA today if we lose to them at the conference championship.”

Joe Amburn, Adrian Ray, Jenny Sewell and Renitta Woods all broke school records at Saturday’s meet.

Amburn shattered the old record of 4-minutes, 15.63 seconds in the mile by running a 4:13.97. Ray, posted an NCAA provisional qualifying mark as well as a new record in the 60-meter hurdles, earning the second place finish in 7.92 seconds.

Renitta Woods posted an 8.78 in the women’s 60-meter hurdles, topping the school record of 8.93.

Four athletes walked away with top honors in their respective events. Raul Villarreal won the 5k and Joe Amburn came away with a win in the mile. On the women’s side, Tenika Powell took first place in the shot put, and Gaby Mendoza won the 5k.

The Bearkats finished up the meet with another 20 finishes in the top six.

Hinze said he was pleased with the results and his teams’ performance.

“Overall, this was by far our most impressive showing of the year,” Hinze said. “We’re starting to come around and get contributions from everyone, which is what it is going to take.”

On the men’s side especially, Hinze said the Kats put on quite a show.

“If [Adrian Ray] can ever get a decent start, he might run really fast, not that 7.92 is slow. It is a provisional qualifying mark, and it does give him a chance to go to the NCAA meet,” Hinze said. “Courtney Boston is also starting to round into form at just the right time of the year.”

According to Hinze, Amburn broke his own school record, and is continuing to progress and develop. Villarreal also came close to breaking a school record in the 5k, however there was a miscount by the officials that caused confusion.

Hinze said he was pleasantly surprised by the performance on the women’s side, since the team has 18 freshmen that are still learning the ropes.

“I was a little worried about our women’s team since we have so many freshmen,” he said. “We still have a long way to go, but I feel a lot better about where our women are than I did two weeks ago.”

Two true freshmen, Jennie Sewell and Renitta Woods, broke school records at the meet.

“We wanted to see how the kids would react to a little bit of pressure because conference will be a whole lot of pressure,” Hinze said.

Up next for the Bearkat track team is the Houston Invitational this Saturday.

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