Jan. 31, 2014
HOUSTON - Nicole Alozie claimed the long jump crown and Chance Williams posted the top collegiate finish in the 400 meter dash as the Lamar men's and women's track and field teams wrapped up the first day of the Howie Ryan Invitational at Yeoman Field House on the campus of the University of Houston.
Alozie, a freshman out of Dallas, improved on each jump, ultimately recording a distance of 18 feet, three inches, beating her previous personal-best by nearly a foot.
"Nicole has trained very well the past two weeks," head coach Trey Clark said. "She's starting to put some things together technically, and today really showed how hard she's worked. We knew she was going to have a good day soon, and we're glad that it happened today."
Williams, also a freshman, finished fourth in the 400 meter dash with a personal-best time of 51.05 seconds. The only runners ahead of the Richmond, Texas, native were competing unattached.
"Chance has been battling through a little bit of an injury," Clark revealed. "This was really his first chance to run a race healthy and show what he can do. He just needed that opportunity. I'm very excited for the young man. I think he's still got a lot left in the tank, and he'll continue to get better."
After putting together a strong display in Houston three weeks ago, Dominique Taylor picked up right where she left off, advancing to Saturday's races after impressive performances in the preliminaries for both the 60 meter dash and 60 meter hurdles. The Houston native was 14th in the hurdles with a time of 8.88 seconds, which moves her to second on the school's all-time performance list. Her sprint time of 7.79 was the 30th best on the day, but ranked her third in LU history.
"We definitely expected to see Dominique continue to improve," said Clark. "We've started to clean up some things technically in the hurdles, and her speed is continuing to develop. That's one of the good things about her because she's made almost every adjustment that has been asked of her, and she's getting better."
Trevon Davis also advanced to Saturday with a time of 7.07 seconds in the men's 60 meter dash.
Elzbieta Gawron also had a strong showing, ending third in the women's 400 meter dash with a time of 58.75 seconds.
In the 200, Saschelle Slaughter recorded a personal-best time of 25.73 seconds to place eighth. Jared Benford placed fourth in the event for the men with a time of 22.97, and Davis wasn't far behind, clocking in at 23.02 to come in sixth.
"This was a speed week for Saschelle, and she's getting ready for the 400 in a couple weeks," Clark said. "I think big things are ready to happen for her. Jared and Trevon both had some issues during their race and lost it a bit technically, but the things that we've been working on in practice are starting to translate into competition."
The Cards will close out the Howie Ryan Invitational on Saturday. Events for LU are slated to begin at noon.