Track & Field/Cross Country

Simonelli’s bronze highlights opening day of Robert Platt Invitational

HOUSTON — Isabella Simonelli collected the bronze medal with a personal-best effort in the women’s weight throw to highlight Friday action for the UTSA track & field teams at the Robert Platt Invitational.

Simonelli’s third-place finish was one of five top-seven showings by the Roadrunners on the opening day of the two-day meet at Yeoman Fieldhouse.

Sitting in fifth place entering her sixth and final throw, Simonelli tossed the implement to a distance of 18.34 meters (60-2) to jump into third place and beat her previous PB of 17.52m (57-5.75) posted a week ago at the Lumberjack Team Challenge, also making her the program’s No. 5 all-time performer in the event.

In the men’s weight throw, Michael Campbell picked up a sixth-place finish with a season-best mark of 18.80m (61-8.25). The 2023 C-USA silver medalist bettered his previous top mark of the year of 18.65m (61-2.25) registered last week at the Lumberjack Team Challenge.

In other field-event action, Dylan James finished fifth overall and fourth among collegiate competitors in the men’s triple jump. The junior from Australia, who claimed the 2023 Conference USA Outdoor triple jump crown, skipped to a distance of 15.26m (50-0.75) on his second trip down the runway to earn a spot in the top five in his first action in the event this year.

On the oval, a pair of UTSA women’s distance medley relay teams finished in the top seven in the first running event of the afternoon.

The quartet of Savannah Lopez, Alayshia Paul, Jadelyn Malesich and Melody Espinoza passed the baton to a time of 12:34.12 to cross in fifth place, while the crew of Marissa Espinoza, Sarah Bell, Maddy Blair and Brooke Veltman were close behind in seventh with a 12:40.36 clocking.

In preliminary action on the track, Ayumi Kobayashi advanced to the semifinals of the women’s 60-meter hurdles after clocking a season-best time of 8.69, while Lauren Roy stayed alive in the women’s 60m after posting a 7.63.

The Robert Platt Invitational will continue on Saturday. UTSA will get started with the shot put at 12 p.m., followed by the long jump. Running events will resume at 1:30 p.m. with the 60m and 60m hurdles semifinals, followed by the mile, 800m, 200m and closing up the meet in the evening on the 4x400m relay. UH Athletics will provide live results via Flash Results Texas and live video coverage of events through Cougar All-Access.