Sam Houston State University’s track and field team finished second overall in both the men and women’s division Friday at the Texas A&M 12-team Invitational in College Station.
The men tallied 103 points, two-points shy of winner Stephen F. Austin State, while the women scored 108 points.
The SHSU women had a strong outing with two top-three finishers in the field events and on the track.
Lauren Nwegbo took home the gold in the triple jump and Katelyn Wynn finished second in pole vault.
Nwegbo also gave SHSU points by taking second in the 100-meter. Elizabeth Ene came in third in the 200-meter while Lygia Foreman finished first in the 400-meter. Briana McCall added in a second place effort in the 800-meter. Sabrina Starr and Danielle Demas came in first and second in the 60-meter hurdles, respectively. The women’s 4×400 team finished second.
SHSU’s men’s team tacked on a strong performance with three athletes claiming third place or better in the field. The men’s track runners finished shy of first place overall.
Brek Christensen and Trevor Sealy placed second and third in the men’s weight throw and Garrett Larson vaulted his way into third in the men’s pole vault.
Christenson’s second place finish felt like first because he set a new personal record, he said.
“It feels good to [set a personal record] this early in the year, and it gives me and the team momentum moving forward into the season,” he said.
Kristen Mitchell finished second in the 60-meter and took third in the 200-meter. Matthew Viverette finished second in the 60-meter hurdles while De’quad Binder finished second in the 800-meter. Jarrick Wright finished right behind Kristen Mitchell in the 60-meter and Southland Conference Track and Field Athlete of the Week Rodney Jones had a photo finish in the 400 meter final but came across the finishing line in second.
“The team is progressing well and [we are] going to learn from the positive and negatives of today,” distance runner Patrick Pitts said. “We are going to hit [our] stride at the right time when it is time to.”
Although SHSU finished in second, the Bearkats had a chance to scope out the SLC competition that they will face later down the road. The invitational was also a good meet to get ready for the SLC championship which is ran on a similar course, assistant coach Jesse Parker said.
“The familiarity is going to help us out,” Parker said. “[Also,] getting our freshmen and sophomores experience is going to do us a lot of good.”
SHSU will be idle for this weekend before traveling to Houston Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 to compete at the Howie Ryan Invitational.