Jacob Hernandez/UTSA Athletics
Track & Field/Cross Country

UTSA sprinters advance on AAC Outdoor opening day

by Michael Stambaugh

SAN ANTONIO – The UTSA track & field sprinters wrapped up the evening with a bang on the opening day of action at the American Athletic Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Friday at the Park West Athletics Complex.

Sunday’s men’s 200-meter final will be loaded with Roadrunners, paced by St. Thomas, Ontario Mike Roth, who turned in a career performance to edge South Florida’s Jaleel Croal in a photo finish – registering a 20.52-second clocking to win the second heat and finish third among preliminary finishers. One lane to his left, Little Elm, Texas senior Dennis Phillips advanced to the final on a 20.56 finish. Matching Phillips’ time, Smithville, Texas junior Brice Chabot finished second in the fourth heat to make it three for UTSA to appear in Sunday’s 6:35 p.m. final.

For his effort, Roth bumped up to the No. 2 spot in the UTSA all-time records for the event and registered the 29th-best time in the nation and the 11th-best time in the West region.

The men’s trio followed up a qualification finish on the women’s side from St. Catherine, Jamaica junior Thennelle Williams, who clocked a career-best 23.21 to finish second in the third heat and head into the next round with the seventh-best clocking. Junior Kiah Dubarry-Gay just missed moving on with a 10th-place 23.47 behind Williams in heat three.

Friday kicked off the heptathlon for Roadrunners Edlin Laur (freshman, Talinn, Estonia) and Madelen Sveinungsen (sophomore, Froland, Norway). Laur ended the four-event day in ninth place with 2,928 points, highlighted by a fourth-place 1.67m (5-5.75) high jump performance. With 2,869 points, Sveinungsen starts Saturday’s events in 12th place, matching Laur’s 1.67m in the high jump. Long jump, javelin and the 800-meter run remain on tomorrow’s slate for the pair.

The Championships will resume Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at Park West. The Roadrunners will open up with the heptathlon long jump at 11 a.m. and projects to be a big day for UTSA with horizontal jumps in the afternoon and more sprint prelims in the evening.