Stars of Texas

The Sam Houston State University track team made what is possibly one of the best showings the university has ever had at the Texas Relays this past weekend.

The Texas Relays is one of the largest meets of the year, and it is an honor to be able to compete in it, especially to compete well, according to head track coach Greg Hinze.

“This was perhaps the finest performance by a group of athletes I have ever been associated with, and I’m not one for hyperbole,” Hinze said. “We didn’t just break school records, but obliterated them, and got more people qualified for the NCAA Regional.”

After this weekend, Adrian Ray, junior hurdler, is ranked No. 5 in the nation in the 110-meter hurdles.

” If we were still using automatic qualifying marks to get to the NCAA meet instead of having to go through the Regional, this would have been an automatic qualifying mark for the NCAA Championships. That’s how fast he ran,” Hinze said of Ray’s performance.

Randy Flach received an NCAA Regional automatic qualifying mark in the pole vault, clearing 16 feet 4.75 inches, and finishing third overall, and James Thomas finished fourth in Section B of the javelin.

The men’s 4 x 400-meter relay, Brad Buegeler, Aaron Russell, Chris Stewart and Adrian Ray ran incredibly well, breaking the SHSU record of 3:10.3 set in 2000. The four posted a time of 3:09.68 to earn a NCAA Regional automatic qualifying mark.

The men’s 4 x 100-meter relay, consisting of Adrian Ray, Chris Stewart, Courtney Boston and Brad Buegeler did not advance to the final, but they did post a time of 40.84 – a Southland Conference leading time.

The men also performed well in both the sprint and distance medley relays, setting new school records in both. In the sprint medley, Courtney Boston, Chris Stewart, Aaron Russell and Joe Amburn won Section 1.

The distance medley relay, made up of Raul Villareal, Brad Buegeler, Keith Jensen and Joe Amburn, broke the old school record of 10:16.3 by more than 10 seconds, finishing with a time of 10:03.81.

Hinze said he was pleased with the men’s performance this weekend.

“I have to mention the meet that Aaron Russell had for us. He is a walk-on from Snook. All he did over the weekend was run three low 47-second legs on relays for us, including two school record setting relays,” he said. “I don’t know where we’d be without him right now, but I can promise you he won’t be a walk-on next year.”

SHSU also ran well on the women’s side. Karina Mancias earned a second place finish in the 10,000-meter run, breaking the old school record of 38:01, in place since 1988, with a 37:35.88.

“Karina got the weekend started off right for us,” Hinze said. “She smashed a 15-year-old school record and finished second in an event that the conditions were not great for.”

Jennie Sewell continued to work her magic this weekend in the pole vault. She finished fifth, earning a NCAA Regional qualifying mark of 12-1.5, and breaking the new school record she set herself earlier this season. Summer Sizemore finished 13th with a mark of 11-1.75, a personal best.

Tenika Powell threw a 46-8.75 in the shot put, giving her a bid to the NCAA Regional Qualifying Meet as well.

Overall, Hinze said he was very pleased with his athletes’ performance this weekend.

“We were very impressive and I received a lot of compliments on our performance,” he said. “I could not be more pleased than I was with this weekend to be the head track coach at Sam Houston State.”

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