SAGU indoor track sets 5 new school records

Grad assistant breaks Lions’ mark in mile; Molina shines in middle distance events

SAGU Athletics
Samuel Molina hands off to Dylan Alford in the men's 4x400 relay in the Fastrak Collegiate Challenge last weekend in Houston.

HOUSTON — The SAGU men's and women's track team competed in the Fastrak Collegiate Challenge held at the University of Houston. The field was loaded with 17 universities from Texas and Louisiana, and they were predominately NCAA Division I institutions.  SAGU and Our Lady of the Lake were the only NAIA schools, and the Lions and Lady Lions held their own by breaking five school records and setting 17 personal bests.

The men's squad set five new school records in nearly every aspect of the sport: distance, mid-distance, relays, jumps, and throws. Graduate assistant coach, Robert Herrera, competed in his second-ever indoor meet and set the school record in the mile with the time of 4:50.33. 

Herrera, who coaches the mid-distance runners, also saw success in the 800m as sophomore Samuel Molina reset his indoor school record with the time of 2:00.44. Molina placed 11th overall out of 30 competitors and is just .17 of a second short of qualifying for the NCCAA National Championships. 

The SAGU men debuted their 4x400m relay with two entries, the most in program history.  The team of Avery Alfred (Fr.), Molina, Dylan Alford (So.), and William Timothy (Fr.) placed their name into the record books with their 3:31.93 showing.  The time placed them 5th overall and is currently ranked 4th in the NCCAA. 

In the field, two school records fell in Houston. Freshmen triple jump duo, Montrell Blacknall (Ennis, TX) and Josh Pullins (Desoto, TX), continued their swap of school records and this time Blacknall reclaimed the title with a leap of 12.48m (40' 11.5") just edging out Pullins 12.32m (40' 5"). Shawntay Owens (So.), the Lions' throws specialist, added to his workload at the NCCAA National Championships with a throw of 12.96m (42' 6.25") ranking him #11 in the nation.   

On the women's side, there were five new personal bests achieved and two school records matched.  Freshmen hurdlers Shaylee Cox, Maddie Kneip, and Alexandria Hensley were placed into the 200m dash to stretch them in completion. They all set personal bests marks. Kneip made her debute in the 60m hurdles.  Sophomore thrower Alyssa Robinson improved her personal best mark by nearly one meter in her 2021-2022 indoor debut.

Although no school records fell for the Lady Lions, there were two records matched in competition. Brooklyn Taylor, winner of the Friends University First Chance Qualifier high jump competition, ended up in a 4-way-tie for 17th with the jump of 1.52m (4' 11.75"). Of the four women, Taylor was one of two who had zero misses prior to bowing out at 1.57m. In the throwers cage, Haley Lindsey (Fr.) matched her career best and the school record in the weight throw.  Her launch of 10.61m (34' 9.75") ranks 28th in the NCCAA and is just shy of the national qualifying standard.  

Jason Covarrubias, Head Track and Field Coach, said, "This meet was loaded with stiff competition, but our athletes, both women and men, stepped up and put together probably our most complete performance. We were competitive both on the track and in the field, and if you are aiming to make some noise at the NCCAA indoor championships, it is imperative to get points in every area from relays, to jumps, to sprints, to throws, to the distance events, and today we saw that.”