Track team survives windy conditions

Winning performances by Roshunda Betts in the javelin and Randy Flach in the pole vault highlighted a trip to the 55th annual Texas Southern Relays for the Sam Houston State University track and field team.

Betts won the javelin with an NCAA regional qualifying mark of 172 feet, eight inches, which stands as the number two mark in NCAA Division I women’s track and field.

Kendall Bass won the hammer throw with a mark of 152 feet, four inches.

On a windy day with 10 of the 18 competitors in the men’s pole vault failed to post a mark, Flach won the event with a vault of 16 feet, three quarters inches.

“Our objectives this weekend were to get some competition for our field event athletes and to test some variations in our 4×100 relay order,” SHSU head coach Curtis Collier said. “We still have some work to do on our baton passes on both team but the women’s time was particularly impressive considering that one pass was not clean. The athletes in the men’s 4×100 ran extremely well, but the first baton pass was almost at a dead stop; so, more work on taking off at the right time and we see big potential for this group.”

The women’s 4×100 meter relay team of Benita Jones, Quantinette Fields, Tara Tyler, and Regina Offord finished third with a time of 46.11 seconds.

The men’s 4×100 relay team of Kevin Houston, John Thomas, Michael Courtney and Tyrone Lee placed sixth with a 41.92 clocking.

Collier was pleased with Betts’ and Flach’s winning performances.

“Roshunda had been struggling a little with her javelin technique; but, after a stint at the Olympic Training Center over spring break and some focus on her technical shortcomings, she cut loose with the big throw,” Collier said.

“Randy sustained a severe ankle sprain two months ago and is just now able to practice and compete without difficulty. He handled the terrible wind conditions extremely well today. It was tough to do anything out there with crosswinds that gusted as high as 25 miles per hour.”

Other Bearkat top performances included Natalia Clark runner-up in the hammer (145′ 8″), Christian Ehrenborg runner-up in the discus (163′ 3″) and Jon Tipton third in the javelin (191′ 3″)

On March 18, at the UTSA relays heptathlon, Sam Houston State’s Benita Jones posted an NCAA regional qualifying standard in the 100 hurdles with a 13.86 second time.

The mark ranks second all-time at SHSU behind Chaterra Blake’s school record 13.73 at York Relays.

Tiara Young finished fifth in the UTSA heptathlon. Benita Jones was sixth and Jamie Spivey ninth.

The next match will be April 1 at the Arlington Invitational in Arlington.

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