HUNTSVILLE - The season is over, but the accolades keep rolling in for the Sam Houston State men’s track and field team.
Sophomore Clayton Fritsch has been named a first-team All-American for his historic showing at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Austin on May 5, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced Tuesday. Fritsch became the first Bearkat student-athlete to medal at the outdoor championships when he placed third in the pole vault.
Sam Houston State’s 4x100-meter relay team of Bryan Henderson, Eric Callaway, Jo’Vaughn Martin and A.J. Tisdel earned honorable-mention All-American honors after placing 21st at the outdoor championships with a time of 40.28 seconds. Senior Chris Jefferson qualified to compete at the outdoor championships in the relay and the 100-meter dash, but he was a late scratch due to injury.
The Bearkats men’s track and field team also finished the outdoor season tied for 37th in the nation in the final U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association rankings, which is the highest final ranking in school history. The men’s team placed first at the Southland Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships in May.
Fritsch recorded the fifth-highest jump in the history of the NCAA outdoor championships when he topped 18 feet, 10 ¼ inches which was good enough to place third behind Chris Nilsen of South Dakota (19-6 ¼) and Mondo Duplantis from LSU (19-1/4). The height was good enough to move Fritsch into seventh place in the world rankings behind Duplantis, who is No. 1, and Nilsen, who is No. 2.
Fritsch had an outstanding outdoor season highlighted by a first-place finish at the Victor Lopez Classic, the ACU Last Chance meet and the NCAA West Region Preliminary. He also placed second at the SLC outdoor championships, third at the Beach Invitational and fourth at the Bryan Clay Invitational.
The 4x100 relay team placed first at the Southland Conference outdoor championships, the Texas Southern Relays and the Victor Lopez Classic this season. They qualified for the NCAA championships after placing ninth at the West Region Preliminary.