The Wildcats added 28 personal records and 15 top-10 placements to their pre-conference rÃ©sumÃ© this weekend in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The New Mexico Classic brought tough competition, including Arkansas, BYU, LSU, Texas, UCLA and Texas Tech – all nationally ranked in the top 25 of Div. I. The ‘Cats proved they can compete just as well as these NCAA powerhouses.
Freshman Ryan Cleary, ran in the 800- and 600-meter races this weekend and finished in the top 20 and was the second Wildcat finisher in both competitions.
“We had a really solid meet,” Cleary said. “There are people stepping up in every event, and we are really becoming a complete team.”
Newcomer Rosen Daniel drafted a new personal record and a second-place finish in the 200-meter race with a time of 21.20 seconds.
The record-breaking time also moved Daniel to a second-place ranking in the ACU record books, right behind Desmond Jackson, a Wildcat all-American with a first-place time of 21.03 seconds in 2011.
Daniel is also ranked third among ACU’s all-time top performers because of his 400-meter time of 46.78 seconds.
Jelani Rainey, junior weight thrower, improved his throwing record this weekend with a sixth-place finish and a personal best of 17.53 meters.
“I want to continue to grow as a leader on this team so I can show others how to grow as athletes and how to mature into strong men and women,” Rainey said.
He remains ranked seventh in the ACU record books, only a quarter of a meter away from the sixth place distance, which currently belongs to alumnus Nick Jones.
On the women’s side, sophomore Alexandria Hackett was the top ACU finisher in the mile and 3,000-meter race.
She placed second in the 3,000-meter and was the first collegiate player to cross the finish line with a time of 10:05.22.
“This weekend definitely demonstrated how far we have come as a team and how much closer we are to our goals,” Hackett said. “I’m confident that next week we will all be ready to show up and do our best.”
Hackett placed fifth in the mile run with a time of 5:04.94, just seconds before teammate Diana Garcia MuÃ±oz crossed the finish line with a personal best of 5:09.20.
Sophomore Landa Dowdy and freshman Marina Guerrero also earned personal bests in the mile for ACU.
Guerrero said she believes the ‘Cats are capable of success at the next meet because of the accomplishments they’ve earned at previous meets, including the top finishes and broken personal records in almost every event this weekend.
The ‘Cats will compete again Feb. 16 at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Alabama for the Southland Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Hackett is expecting great finishes from herself and her teammates in Alabama as they compete against their conference competitors.
“There is so much more in store for all the members and conference is going to be a great opportunity for everyone to give it their all,” she said. “We are ready for whatever comes our way.”