HUNTSVILLE – The Sam Houston State track and field program has signed four student-athletes to its 2018 class, head coach David Self announced on Monday.


The Bearkats welcome Brendan Gilbert (Magnolia, Texas) and Myriq Freeman (Richmond, Texas) to the men’s program as well as Haley Thomas (Franklin, Texas) and Arianna West (Humble, Texas) to the women’s squad. Freeman, Gilbert and Thomas will also run for the Sam Houston cross country squad.


Sam Houston is coming off a decorated campaign, capturing three of four Southland Conference championships between the outdoor and indoor season. For a second-consecutive season, the men and women brought home the league’s indoor titles. The men also took home the outdoor championship for the first time since 2006 while the women finished runner-up.


“With the early signing period, we kind of changed things just a bit,” Self said. “For the lack of a better term, we’re swinging for the fences. We’re out after some kids that in the past we may not have gone after. We’ve been able to bring in a couple high-caliber kids. The class, for (Jesse) Parker, he has some holes to fill on the distance side. We didn’t do a whole lot in any other events. We are really pleased with the class.”


Below is a closer look at each 2018 signee.



Brendan Gilbert | Magnolia HS | Magnolia, Texas

4:39.61 - 1600m | 10:04.48 - 3200m | 6:38.76 - 2k Steeplechase

2x All-District Cross Country Runner


"We are excited to add Brendan to our group of distance runners. He's been a consistent performer at the high school level and has displayed a high level of maturity, which is something we value highly. We expect he'll be able to develop into an athlete that can contribute to our program in all three seasons."


Haley Thomas | Franklin HS | Franklin, Texas

5:15.53 - 1600m | 11:43.57 - 3200m

3x State Qualifer in Cross Country

3x State Qualifier in Track & Field



"What has impressed us about Haley the most is her ability to run well when it matters the most. She has great awareness of a situation and when it comes to competing in championship qualifying races she always seems to run her best. That competitiveness is something that translates well to the collegiate level."


Myriq Freeman | Cy-Ridge HS / George Ranch HS | Richmond, Texas

47.84 - 400m | 1:54.38 - 800m


"Myriq is an elite talent in the middle distances and we are excited about adding him to what has been traditionally been a very strong event area for us. His unique blend of speed and endurance is a rare occurrence in athletes, but something that all great middle distance runners possess. We expect that he'll be able to have an immediate impact in our conference and we are excited about what he can potential accomplish at the national level in a few years."

Arianna West | Humble HS | Humble, Texas
11.52 – 100 meters
State Qualifier in 100 meters, 200 meters

“She’s a coaches kid. Her dad is the head football coach at Humble High School. Obviously, there is some experience to the recruiting world. She’s a really great kid. She wanted to be at Sam and wanted to be a Bearkat. From the start, I think this was really her top choice. To have a young lady that wants to be here and is as good of an athlete as she is as a junior … she has run very fast. It’s a pretty good kid to bring into your program.”