March 24, 2013
HOUSTON – The Lamar track and field teams opened their season this weekend at the Victor Lopez Classic and after the dust settled on Saturday evening, a number of Cardinals walked out of Holloway Field and Ley Track with new personal records.
On the men’s side, distance runners Sam Stabler and Ryan Creech led the pack, with the former finishing third in the 1,500 meter run and the latter ending fourth in the 5,000. Stabler was less than a second off the pace of winner Ryan McNiff of Team Adidas, ending the race in 3:46.59, a new collegiate record for the sophomore. Creech finished the 5K in a personal-best time of 14:53.47.
Saschelle Slaughter also had a strong showing, ending ninth in the 400 meter dash in a career-best 56.55. She also leaped a distance of 35 feet, 11.25 inches in the triple jump to finish 12th.
“Sam did his work in the middle part of the race, and it really set up well for him,” head coach Trey Clark said. “That’s a great start to the season for him. Creech is a guy that’s put in a really solid month of work, and his health has been a big part of his progression, so it’s nice to see his hard work pay off. And for Saschelle, she’s someone that we depend on to race well, and I’m proud of the work she’s put in.”
Wesley Williams was the only other LU returner to put up a personal record, finishing the 110-meter hurdles in 15.83 to end 14th.
Ashley Idunoba and Beatrice Douglas were the only Lady Cards to score. Idunoba ran the 100 meter dash in 11.99 to finish sixth, and Douglas put up a mark of 18 feet, six inches to place fourth in the long jump.
“This was a scored meet, but we were more focused on getting some work done,” Clark said. “That being said, it’s always good to see your consistent performers put up some nice scores, but that’s what we’ve come to expect out of Ashley and Beatrice.”
The LU women came in 18th in the event with eight points. Notre Dame took home the team title with 121.
Other Lady Card standouts included Becky Gough, who finished ninth in the 1,500 meter run at 4:40.31, and the duo of Erin Brown and Carissa Hill, who each put up a distance of 17 feet, two inches to place 18th in the long jump. Brown also came in 11th in the triple jump at 36 feet, three inches.
Denisha Nichols competed in both the discus and javelin, placing 29th and 11th, respectively, with distances of 96 feet, four inches and 93 feet, 10 inches.
Newcomers were the story for the men’s team as three joined Creech and Stabler in the scoring column. Zach Hicks ran the 200 meter dash in 21.69 to finish fifth, Bronson Buell put up a mark of 179 feet, three inches to place third in the javelin, and Nick Fyffe wasn’t far behind him with a distance of 174 feet, one inch to end fourth.
Fyffe also placed 10th in the long jump at 22 feet, one inch.
“I was very impressed with Bronson, who was competing in his first track meet ever,” Clark said. “He’s very coachable, and he’s really taken to the javelin. It’s fun to see a kid have a great experience like that when he’s working on perfecting a craft. Nick is a guy that can do a lot of things for us, and he’s a true multi-event athlete. Zach did a good job for us too, but after his performance in indoor season, he’s someone that we’re starting to count on to race well at these meets.”
Ryan Kelly was the only other scorer, finishing the 10,000 meter run in 35:09.00 on Friday night to place seventh, and overall the team came in 11th with 31 points. Harvard took home the team crown with 92.
Other standout newcomers included Trey Finnex, who ended 12th in the 200 at 22.10, Treyvon Davis, who finished 16th in the 400 at 49.33, and Le’Trey Burton, who placed 12th in both the 110 and 400 meter hurdles with times of 15.62 and 1:00.46, respectively.
Robert Badillo also made an impact in his first outdoor meet with a mark of 44 feet, two inches in the triple jump, and Austin Powell joined the group with a ninth place finish in the high jump, topping six feet.
“We’re getting contributions from a lot of different areas that we haven’t in the past,” Clark said. “I felt like we opened the outdoor season in good position, and certainly better than last year. We’re working towards a more balanced program, and I think that things are going well for us.”
Lamar will return to action later this week as select athletes will compete in either the Texas Relays or the Stanford Invitational.