By Chandler Harris, Assistant Sports Editor
The men and women’s track and field teams sent a small group of athletes to the Houston Indoor Invitational and Multis last weekend.
“We intended to send our multi-athletes, but most of them were injured, so we only sent one,” said head track and field coach Don Hood.
The team sent its only freshman multi-athlete, Amber Brooks, in order to give her some experience at the collegiate level.
“Amber competed really well,” Hood said. “You have a different mindset when you are a multi-athlete because you have to change from one event to the other. This meet showed her where her strengths and weaknesses are and where she needs to get better.”
Hood said the team also sent its pole vaulters, who jumped well but kept knocking off the bar.
“The pole vaulters went to gain some good experience for future meets,” Hood said. “It was one of those performances where you are pleased but you don’t have the results to show for it. I believe we took some steps in the right direction though.”
The lone Wildcat runner at the meet was junior Cleophas Tunai, who competed in the mile.
“This was Cleophas’ first race of the year and his first time ever to compete in the mile,” Hood said. “It gave him a chance to knock some of the cobwebs off. I believe he finished fourth or fifth, which for someone who isn’t a short-distance guy is pretty good.”
Freshman Amanda Clemons was the only long jumper to compete for the team in Houston. Hood said the long-jump competition was run differently than normal by only allowing each jumper two jumps instead of three, and this affected how Clemons jumped.
“She had some good jumps, but they were fouls,” Hood said. “This time last year she was playing high school basketball, so it’s early for her; she just needs to gain more experience, so this meet was good for her.”
The teams head back to Lubbock for the third time in four weeks for the Texas Tech Invitational Thursday through Saturday. Hood said the team plans to bring between 40 and 45 athletes to this meet, including multiple athletes who are coming off of recent injuries.
“Jessica Withrow is coming off an ankle sprain, and Destinee Nixon is also coming back from an injury to compete in the triple jump and hurdles,” Hood said. “We are also hoping to get Camille Vandendriessche and James Hardin qualified for the national meet. Surely, someone will step up and surprise us as well.”