Russell James
Track & Field/Cross Country

Phillips and Campbell pace 13 medalists at Charlie Thomas Invite

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The UTSA track & field teams wrapped up a weekend of solid performances, concluding the Charlie Thomas Invitational on Saturday at Texas A&M’s newly-constructed R.A. “Murray” Fasken '38 Indoor Track, collecting 35 top-10 finishes across the two-day meet, including 13 medalist performances.

Sophomore distance runner Brooke Veltman got the Roadrunners started on Friday, finishing sixth in the 5,000-meter with a time of 18:56.37. Wrapping the night for UTSA, the distance medley relay of OJ Ruiz, AJ Tyler, Victor Charo and Idol Ramon earned the first medal of the meet with a third-place time of 10:26.78.

Opening up on a high note Saturday morning, Bloomfield, Conn. junior Michael Campbell not only earned the gold in the men’s weight throw, but secured the school record with a 20.29m (66-7) launch, extending .66m beyond Victor Perez’ 2017 record. His mark is also the second-best weight throw in the American Athletic Conference this year.

Delivering a top-performing highlight in the afternoon, Little, Elm, Texas junior Dennis Phillips advanced to the 60-meter final and rose to the challenge, defeating Texas A&M’s DeVante Mount on his home turf for a facility-record at 6.65 seconds, topping his own mark for a new second-best mark in UTSA history. It’s also the second-fastest time in The American this season. Classmate Brice Chabot also finished third in the event with a 6.79 clocking.

Topping the women’s 60-meter finalists, St. Catherine, Jamaica junior Thennelle Williams was just 1/100th of a second shy of her school record, earning second place on a 7.42 clocking, just steps ahead of junior Kiah Dubarry-Gay’s fourth-place personal best of 7.49. Williams moves up to third in the AAC standings, while Dubarry-Gay ties for fifth.

In the final field event, Gabriel Binion secured the top collegiate mark in the men’s triple jump. The junior out of Sydney, Australia hit a personal best of 15.89m (52-1.75) to finish second overall on the third-longest mark in the UTSA top-5. Jacob Jenkins also finished sixth in the event at 14.22m (46-8). Likewise, Perth, Australia junior Dylan James earned the bronze overall in the men’s long jump, but was the collegiate event winner on a personal-best distance of 7.47m (24-6.25), surpassing Binion for the longest current mark in the AAC this season. In the women’s long jump, senior Dahlia Barnes was seventh with a 5.53m (18-1.75), while Zoe Cusick was 10th at 5.42m (17-9.5).

After Campbell got the throws off to a hot start, senior Isabella Simonelli kept things moving on the women’s side, earning silver in the weight throw on a measurement of 17.99m (59-0.25), while classmate Zoe Shanklin was third at 15.30m (50-2.5). Campbell returned to action with a fifth-place shot put mark of 16.19m (53-1.5), ahead of senior Paul Bouey in sixth at 15.94m (52-3.5). Amaya king threw 13.43m (44-0.75) to finish eighth in the women’s shot put.

Tying for fourth on the UTSA top-5, Talinn, Estonia freshman Edlin Laur garnered silver in the women’s high jump with a height of 1.73m (5-8), tying for the sixth-best performance in the AAC – the best in the league for a rookie. Fellow freshman Madelen Sveinungsen and senior Maren Wilms both hit 1.58m (5-2.25) for sixth and eighth, respectively.

Kicking off Saturday’s distance events, Richmond, Texas junior Caden Cunningham registered a career-best 4:17.79 for silver in the mile, while OJ Ruiz (4:23.36) was fifth, Idol Ramon (4:27.11) was sixth and Dominick Landin (4:43.04) was eighth. On the women’s side, Jadelyn Maleisich came in 10th at 5:12.79. In the women’s 800-meter, San Antonio O’Connor sophomore Sarah Bell was second on a personal-best 2:14.71, ahead of Maddy Blair (2:23.48) in fifth and Luzaan De Wit (2:28.44) in sixth. Victor Charo was ninth in the men’s half-mile at 1:54.75. San Antonio Brackenridge freshman Melody Espinoza locked in a second-place 3,000-meter finish in 10:01.52, while her twin sister, Marissa, was fourth in 10:09.47.

In the 60-meter hurdles, senior Ayumi Kobayashi earned sixth at 8.51, registering the fourth best time on the UTSA top-5. In the long sprints, Lauren Roy earned eighth place in the 200-meter with a 24.44. Ibiso David-West set a new personal-best 400m mark of 56.83 for 10th place.

Closing out the meet, the men’s 4x400m relay team of Phillips, Noah Rhodes, AJ Breault, and Martín Kouyoumdjian cut within .21 seconds of the UTSA record, finishing sixth in a time of 3:11.43.

The Roadrunners will send separate squads to three different meets next weekend: the Howie Ryan Invitational in Houston (Feb. 9), David Hemery Valentine Invitational in Boston (Feb. 9) and Don Kirby Elite Invitational (Feb. 10), the final meets ahead of the American Athletic Conference Indoor Championships, Feb. 23-24, in Birmingham, Ala.


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