Track & Field/Cross Country

UTSA wraps competition at Texas A&M Invite

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Roadrunners registered 27 top-10 finishes, including 10 medal-worthy performances on Saturday during the Texas A&M Invitational at E.B. Cushing Stadium. Leading the way, Isabella Simonelli and Gabriel Binion each registered first-place field event finishes.

Simonelli, a senior from Goldie, Australia, earned gold in the first UTSA competition of the meet, topping the field in the women’s hammer throw with a 55.06m (180-8) measurement. From her mark at last weekend’s UTSA Invitational, Simonelli leads the American Athletic Conference standings and has now launched the top two marks in the conference this season. Classmate Zoe Shanklin also recorded a fourth-place measurement of 47.16m (154-9) in the event.

Carrying over from his indoor AAC Championships victory, Binion won the long jump with an outdoor career-best 7.54m (24-9), bringing the Sydney, Australia junior into a tie with teammate and countryman Dylan James for the top spot in the outdoor conference standings this season. Dropping into the AAC’s third slot with a second-place finish, Christiaan Le Roux registered a 7.51m (24-7.75). James came in fourth in the event at 7.37m (24-2.25), while Jacob Jenkins was fifth at 7.37m (24-2.25).

In the men’s shot put, Bloomfield, Conn. junior Michael Campbell recorded a season-best 16.37m (53-8.5) toss for second place and the AAC’s fourth-best mark, while senior Paul Bouey finished third with a 15.48m (50-9.5) measurement.

Making his first appearance this outdoor season in the 100-meter, Smithville, Texas junior Brice Chabot earned second place with an AAC seventh-best 10.51-second clocking.

Closing out the night for UTSA, freshman Melody Espinoza out of San Antonio Brackenridge made her 5,000-meter debut and shot to the top of the AAC standings with a second-place time of 17:02.12. Her sister, Marissa Espinoza followed in eighth with an event-debut time of 17:49.65.

Froland, Norway newcomer Madelen Sveinungsen captured her first career outdoor medal with a third-place height at 1.65m (5-5) in the women’s high jumps, while Funabashi, Japan native Ayumi Kobayashi notched a new career best in the 100-meter hurdles, adding another top-4 AAC time to go with her lead slot in the standings, crossing the line at 13.92 in third place. Rookie Edlin Laur came in at 15.03 for seventh place. Mason, Ohio senior Amaya King chipped in another throws medal via a third-place season-long of 14.86m (48-9) in the shot put for the fifth-best AAC mark this year.  Shanklin followed in the shot with a fifth-place measurement of 14.59m (47-10.5).

For men’s distance, Abilene, Texas junior Victory Charo recorded a career best for the second consecutive meet in the 800-meter, earning fourth with a 1:50.94 that just barely missed reaching the UTSA all-time top-5 – while moving to the top of the conference standings for the 2024 campaign by nearly two seconds. AJ Tyler also came in ninth for the Roadrunners at 1:53.52.

Also finishing in the top-10 for the Roadrunners, junior Sarah Bell was sixth in the women’s 800-meter at 2:15.11, senior Maren Wilms was sixth in the women’s 400-meter hurdles at 1:05.30 and Mike Roth was seventh in the men’s 200-meter at 21.47 – logging the sixth-best time in the conference. Junior Dahlia Barnes was seventh in the women’s long jump at 5.70m (18-8.5), ahead of eighth-place Edlin Laur at 5.69m (18-8). Freshman Aiden Mercado registered an eighth-place personal best in the men’s discus at 43.03m (141-2) and eighth in the hammer at 42.56m (139-7), junior Lauren Roy was eighth in the 100-meter at 11.93 and Jadelyn Malesich was ninth in the 1,500-meter on a personal-best 4:46.47.

Next week, the Roadrunners will split up the squad, as a select group will compete at the 96th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, which run Wednesday through Saturday, March 27-30, in Austin. The bulk of the team will head up I-35 to a closer destination, the Bobcat Invitational in San Marcos, a two-day event running March 29-30.