EUGENE, Ore. – A busy day at the NCAA Track and Field Championships for the Sam Houston State Track and Field team was highlighted by the men’s 4x100-meter relay team finishing 15th to earn second-team All-America honors.
The Bearkats ran a season-best time of 39.54 to finish 6th in their heat of eight, in front of 9,767 fans at Historic Heyward Field in the campus of University of Oregon. They missed advancing to the finals by nearly a half second.
“It’s a little bitter sweet,” said junior Chris Jefferson. “A little sweet that we did run a season best, but we were hoping to make the finals, so something to look forward to next year.”
Not only was the time a season-best, but it was also a school record for this group of Jefferson, Fabian McCall, AJ Tisdel and Lawrence Coleman, which was also the first 4x100 relay to make the NCAA Championships.
“It’s a huge accomplishment to be the first to make it,” Coleman said. “We didn’t only just make it, but we also broke the school record. We came out and competed, and we will be back.”
Also on Wednesday, Jefferson ran in the semifinals of the 100-meter dash, finishing 17th with a time of 10.17. He missed advancing to the finals by .07 seconds and missed All-America honors by .01 seconds.
“For me it was a bad race,” Jefferson said. “I panicked early which caused me to stand up earlier than I wanted to, and I don’t think I finished very well either. It was blazing fast out here. The cutoff was 10.10 to make it. Just crazy times.”
Joshua Hernandez got the day started in the hammer throw, finishing in 19th overall. It was the second time at the National Championships for Hernandez who was 14th last season.
“I was feeling pretty good, but it just wasn’t there for me today,” Hernandez said. “I knew it was going to take nearly 70 meters to make the final, and it just was there today.”
Finally on Wednesday, Clayton Fritsch took 19th in the pole vault. The freshman cleared the bar on his second attempt at the opening height of 15.15 meters. But he missed on all three attempts at 15.30.
The Bearkats will have one more competitor go this week, when Zachary Johnson will participate in the triple jump on Friday.