Jacob Hernandez
Track & Field/Cross Country

UTSA notches a pair of medals on outdoor opening day

SAN ANTONIO – Zoe Shanklin and Isabella Simonelli highlighted Roadrunner field performances on Friday at the Park West Athletics Complex, as UTSA track & field opened outdoor season competition at home in the first day of the UTSA Invitational. Competing in seven events on the day, UTSA generated two medals and 14 top-10 finishes.

Shanklin picked up the silver in the women’s shot put, with the Katy, Texas senior coming through for the medal on her final toss of the day, measuring 14.93m (48-11.75) for the leading mark for Roadrunner shot putters on the opening day of the annual home meet. Also drawing a top-10 finish in the event, Mason, Ohio senior Amaya King registered a sixth-place toss of 13.80m (45-3.25)

A senior from Goldie, Australia, Simonello notched the first big performance of the day in the very first event, climbing one spot higher to No. 2 in the UTSA hammer throw all-time list with a personal-best 58.06m (190-6) measurement on her third attempt. For her efforts, Simonelli garnered the bronze and UTSA’s first medal of the outdoor season. Registering a career best, Shanklin also finished eighth with a fifth-attempt mark of 48.50m (159-1).

On the men’s side, Bloomfield, Conn. junior Michael Campbell hit 55.86m (183-3) on his first throw of the hammer throw, turning in a fourth-place performance to open his outdoor campaign. Making his collegiate debut, freshman Aiden Mercado was 10th in the event at 41.84m (137-3) on his second throw. Santiago, Chile senior Paul Bouey followed with a sixth-place 15.51m (50-10.75) in the men’s shot put, ahead of Cambell’s ninth-place 15.06m (49-5).

In the evening field session, Talinn Estonia freshman Edlin Laur garnered fourth place on a collegiate debut javelin launch of 38.51m (126-4).

San Antonio MacArthur alum Brooke Veltman topped three UTSA top-10 runners in the women’s 5,000-meter, crossing the line in fifth with a personal-best clocking of 18:34.71, ahead of senior Sabrina Goains (seventh, 19:12.45) and freshman Itzel Rojo (eighth, 21:04.20). Closing out the first day of competition, Eagle Pass, Texas sophomore OJ Ruiz (15:26.60) and Harlingen, Texas junior Idol Ramon (15:27.01) went back-to-back at sixth and seventh in the men’s 5,000-meter – personal bests for both runners.

Saturday's action is slated to begin with field events at 11 a.m. while the track events will start at 2 p.m. The Roadrunners will hold a Senior Day celebration at 12 p.m., recognizing the careers of 13 Roadrunners: Abby Balli, Jabari Bennett, Luzaan De Wit, Elijah Frizell, Sabrina Goains, Gabriel Green, Amaya King, Ayumi Kobayashi, Dennis Phillips, Idol Ramon, Isabella Simonelli, Zoe Shanklin and Maren Wilms.