SAN ANTONIO – The UTSA track & field teams opened a weekend of competition at sites across the nation with a strong step forward, particularly in the field events, as the Roadrunners opened and closed the day with records. Freshman Ida Breigan’s new Norwegian Indoor National Record led an impressive group of performers on Friday that put their name in the history book – including Isabella Simonelli, Brice Chabot and Gabriel Binion.
Running away with the spotlight even among so many strong performances, the rookie Breigan was competing in the long jump for only the second time in her collegiate career at Friday’s Don Kirby Elite Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M. Hitting 6.52m (21-4.75) on her fourth jump, Breigan not only downed her own UTSA and American Athletic Conference records, the Fredrikstad, Norway product also knocked down the Norwegian Indoor National Record, last set by two-time Olympian Berit Berthelsen on March 12, 1967. At the completion of the meet, her mark was the fifth-longest jump in the nation this season.
Leading off the Howie Ryan Invitational in Houston, Australian senior Simonelli launched a school-record 19.16m (62-10.5) weight throw on her fifth attempt to win the event at Yeoman Fieldhouse, surpassing Shalise Borden’s 2017 mark by .09m. Bumping up her distance via the record, Simonelli remains at third among AAC weight throwers this season. Capturing the overall bronze medal, senior Zoe Shanklin was the No. 2 collegiate performer on a career-best 17.18m (56-4.5).
Senior Amaya King followed for the women with a third-place shot put heave of 14.05m (46-1.25), ahead of Shanklin in fifth at 13.47m (44-2.50). In Houston for the men, junior Michael Campbell finished fourth in the weight throw at 18.40m (60-4.5) and senior Paul Bouey earned fourth in the shot put at 15.76m (51-8.5).
The evening program in Albuquerque heated up quickly for the Roadrunners, as junior Brice Chabot shaved .17 seconds off the UTSA school record with a meet-winning 20.87 seconds in the Invitational 200-meter, recording the second-fastest time in The American this season. Cutting just .02 seconds shy of the previous record, junior Dennis Phillips set a new personal best with a fourth-place clocking at 21.06 seconds. Mike Roth also finished eighth in the event with a 21.24. Freshman Oliver Swinney notched a personal best 21.65 in finishing sixth during the unseeded 200-meter, while AJ Breault went 48.52 for sixth in the unseeded 400-meter.
Closing out the evening at Don Kirby, Australian junior Binion locked the top two AAC men’s long jump spots for UTSA, earning second place on a UTSA-record 7.77m (25-6) leap to move on top of the conference’s marks this season – surpassing teammate Dylan James’ previous No. 1 (7.47m / 24-6.25) from last week’s Charlie Thomas Invitational in College Station. Binion moved the record .10m beyond Gary Haasbroek’s 2019 mark. James also upped his long jump personal best to 7.54m (24-9) to finish sixth in the field.
Also at Don Kirby, freshman Edlin Laur tied for sixth in the high jump with a height of 1.66m (5-5.25).
Leading the distance effort at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational in Boston, freshman Melody Espinosa trimmed over two seconds off her personal-best 3,000-meter for a time of 9:59.18.
The Roadrunners return to action in Boston with mostly men’s distance events, while the short sprints and hurdles will highlight day 2 of the Don Kirby. This weekend represents the final meets on the UTSA indoor schedule ahead of the American Athletic Conference Indoor Championships, Feb. 23-24, in Birmingham, Ala.
- UTSA -