Bearkats break records, win gold, sweep the Victor Lopez Classic

It was another record-breaking weekend for Sam Houston State’s track and field team as the Bearkats swept the 33rd annual Victor Lopez Classic hosted by Rice University in Houston.

The women’s weekend was topped off with seven first place finishes in individual and team events.

Junior Paula Smith earned gold medals in both the 100-meter dash and the long jump. Junior Danielle Demas won the 100-meter hurdles, clocking in with a time of 13.38. The women’s 4×400 meter relay also took home the gold medal with a winning time of 3:45.83.

In the women’s field events, junior Elizabeth Lyssy continued her success, winning gold for the second consecutive weekend in the javelin throw. Sophomore Kristine Hanks also placed first in the women’s shot put with a mark of 48’ 11.5”. Junior Ashley Jenkins broke the school record in hammer throw with a throw of 208’ 10”.

“For me it’s mostly mentally seeing myself win every meet and pushing myself every day,” Jenkins said. “I have been challenging myself in the weight room to work on power and adding speed to every aspect of my throwing.”

Jenkins launched the hammer 10 feet farther than the previous school record, which was ironically set by herself.

“My mindset was to relax and push the ball,” she said. “I knew I could throw over 200 feet because I have done it many times during practice, and once I released the hammer I knew I had broken the previous record, but it was awesome to hear how much I broke it by.”

Jenkins is now ranked third in the region and fifth in the nation for the women’s hammer throw.

The men’s team did not disappoint either with four Bearkat men winning individual events.

In the men’s 3000 meter steeplechase, sophomore Evan Arambula took first with a winning time of 9:14.77. Senior Rodney Jones also took first in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.08.

Senior Matthew Viverette outran Prairie View A&M to win the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 51.62 with sophomore teammate William Stark placing third in the event. Viverette also took third in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.09.

Freshman Michael Nichols out threw the competition in the men’s shot put with a winning throw of 52’ 6.5” to lead the Kats’ field events. Other top performances included senior Trevor Sealy who took second in the hammer throw and junior James Endsley who placed second in the discus.

The Kats will now travel to Austin for the Texas Longhorn Invitational.

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