Saturday, May 18, 2024

College track and field: Five Louisiana Tech athletes win CUSA titles

by Russell Hedges
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By Kevin Albarez, Louisiana Tech Associate Director Strategic Communications

EL PASO, Texas — The Louisiana Tech track and field teams claimed four more Conference USA Champions and added seven podium finishes on Sunday at the CUSA Outdoor Championship at Kidd Field.

The men finished fifth with three conference champions and 85 points. It marked the Bulldogs’ first outdoor champion since 2019, their first year with multiple champions since 2014, and the first sweep of the 4×100 and 4×400 since 2013. It was also the most points scored at a CUSA meet for LA Tech.

Not to be outdone, the women finished with two CUSA Champions and 86 points for sixth place. It also marked the most points at a CUSA meet and the first time with multiple champions since 2015.

Julian FordeRodney Heath Jr., Quoi Ellis, and Karo Oghomi claimed the first title of the day in the 4×100. The Bulldogs edged out Sam Houston to take home gold with a time of 40.42 seconds.

Tonie-Ann Forbes, Shatayla Dorsett, Saran Kouyate, and Praise Ofoku won the silver medal on the women’s side with a 45.52. Forbes returned to the track only a short time after to pick up a bronze medal in the 100m hurdles with a time of 13.06.

The second title of the day belonged to freshman Osaretin Usenbor in the women’s 400m. Usenbor ran 53.92 seconds to beat out Chidinma Margaret Agu of Jacksonville State by five-hundredths a second.

Heath Jr. picked up his second medal, this time a silver in the 100m, finishing at 10.07 seconds. Laden Tucker claimed silver in the 400m hurdles, finishing at 51.72 seconds, while Quoi Ellis took home bronze in the 200m, finishing at 20.69 seconds.

The third gold medal belongs to another freshman, A’reil Williams, in the high jump. Already making a case for one of the best jumpers in LA Tech history, Williams became the second high jumper to win a conference title. The Lake Charles native cleared 1.76m (5’9.25″) on her first attempt to leave no doubt. It was her third height of 1.76m this season, tied for third on the LA Tech performance list.

Jiana Stewartburgess claimed a bronze with a height of 1.73m (5’8″).

The final gold gave the Bulldogs a sweep in the men’s relays, with Tucker, Tim RummelhagenCullen Hronek, and Valentino Rudolph running a 3:10.30 to win gold in the 4×400.

Jamara Patterson, Usenbor, Saran Kouyate, and Jenaia Williams closed out the meet with a silver medal with a time of 3:37.99.

QUOTEABLES
Head Coach Brian Johnson
“I am so proud of this team. We fought to the end. We won 13 medals and five gold medals. We are coming, and it’s only going to get better.”

UP NEXT
The Bulldogs will wait for the final marks to see who qualifies for the NCAA East Regional held at the Kentucky Outdoor Track & Field Facility in Lexington, Ky., on May 22-25.

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