Track sets out for Howie Ryan Invitational

GO CARDINALS <b>Johnathon Reece</b>
Johnathon Reece

Jan. 30, 2014

BEAUMONT – After a weekend off, the Lamar men’s and women’s track and field teams will be looking to build off a number of strong individual performances last time out as the Cardinals hit the road for the Howie Ryan Indoor Invitational at Yeoman Field House on the campus of the University of Houston.

Four LU athletes took home individual titles a fortnight ago at the Texas A&M 12-Team Invitational, led by Sam Stabler’s then-nation-leading 3,000-meter time of 8:01.29. The Queniborough, England, native’s time leads the Southland Conference by more than 20 seconds and currently ranks sixth in the country. The junior be looking to put up a good time in a different event this time around as he’s slated to compete in mile run.

He’ll be joined in the race by Sean Chalmers, Sean Guiney and Michael Kershaw, all members of LU’s Southland Championship-winning cross country team. Laurie Probert, who joined the track team out of Maidstone, England, earlier this month, will also run in the event.

Aaron Bennett, winner of the 800-meter crown at Texas A&M, will be in the hunt for a second straight title in the event, and he’ll run alongside teammates Chalmers, Tamar Hicks and Chris Jones. Bennett’s time of 1:52.73 trails Southland-leading Daniel Block of Abilene Christian by just .06 seconds.

A pair of individual champs will compete in both the 800 and the mile on the women’s side. Louise Webb, who took home the 800 crown at the UH Indoor Opener earlier this month, and Kayla de Bondt, winner of the mile at Texas A&M, will be looking to build on an already strong first season for the Red and White. The duo will be joined by Claire Arnold and Leigh Lattimore in the mile and Rachael Davee and Justine Franklin in the 800.



Webb currently has the best 800 time in the conference at 2:15.62, and de Bondt’s mile mark of 5:05.27 ranks fourth. Lattimore, Webb and Arnold currently sit in the top three spots in the league in the 3,000 meter run.

Ryan Creech and Ash Harrell round out the men’s distance competitors, and both will be making their 2014 debut appearances in the 3,000 meter run. Belinda Aguilar, Megan Flanagan, Angela LaBorde, Nora-Beth Saunders and Kaitlynn Warren will make up the rest of the women’s distance group.

Johnathon Reece, the only other Card to have won an individual title this season, will lead the jumpers. The New Waverly, Texas, product won the high jump at Texas A&M with a mark of six feet, 8.25 inches, which currently sits third in the conference.

Beatrice Douglas will compete in the high jump on the women’s side, marking her 2014 debut in the event.

On Friday, Nicole Alozie and Xavier Broussard will compete in the long jump, while the quartet of Robert Badillo, Broussard, Erin Brown and Brianna Foley is lined up for Saturday’s triple jump.

Leslie Beard, holder of both the indoor and outdoor school records in the pole vault, is the final LU field performer.

Seven LU sprinters are scheduled for the 400 meter dash, including Bianca Allen, Nia Davis, Elzbieta Gawron and Chasity Peters for the women and Brandon Franz, Kevyn Smith and Chance Williams for the men.

Alozie, Sarah Shim and Sydney Wandix will go to work in the 200 meter dash for the Lady Cards, and they’ll be followed up by Jared Benford and Trevon Davis of the men’s team.

Davis and Benford will also run in the 60 meter dash alongside Trey Burton and Thomas Lightfoot. For the women, Carissa Hill, Brielle Johnson, Saschelle Slaughter, Shim and Dominique Taylor will perform.

Burton, Johnson and Taylor will also compete in the 60 meter hurdles. Earlier this season, Taylor etched herself onto the school’s all-time performance list in the event with a time of 8.95 at the UH Indoor Opener.

Sprint prelims as well as the 5,000 meter run, long jump and pole vault finals are scheduled for Friday, and the rest of the team will compete on Saturday.


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