Three winning performances, a trio of NCAA provisional qualifying marks and a trifecta of school records highlighted the UTSA men’s track & field team’s season opener at Friday’s Leonard Hilton Memorial.
Leading the way for the four-time defending Southland Conference Indoor Champion Roadrunners were three newcomers.
Freshman Richard Garrett Jr. was victorious in his first collegiate meet. The Garland native launched the shot put an NCAA provisional 58-3 ¼ (17.76m) to break Jason Reynosa’s six-year-old UTSA standard of 56-7 ¼ (17.25m).
Meanwhile, junior Devon Bond grabbed a silver medal in the triple jump but finished as the top collegian. The transfer from Texas skipped to a school-record and provisional 50-10 ¾ (15.51m). The Trenton, N.J., native shattered the previous school mark of 48-4 ¾ (14.75m) set by Alton St. Rose two years ago.
Freshman Keith Benford also collected a silver medal with his placement in the high jump. The Pflugerville native set a new program mark with his NCAA provisional clearance of 7-2 ¼ (2.19m) and was the top collegian in the event. Former All-American Justin Youngblood (2001) and PJ. McGowen held the previous record of 7-1 (2.16m).
Freshman Peyton Vickers and the distance medley relay team of junior Brandon Chiuminetta, freshman Spenser Eggleston, senior Corey Vargas and sophomore Daniel Balbontin both collected gold meals.
Vickers led three Roadrunners in the top five in the long jump (B flight) with his leap of 23-2 ½ (7.07m), a measurement that ranks fifth on UTSA’s all-time performer chart. Sophomore Geulien Briscoe was second (pr 22-0 ¾/6.72m) and freshman Tyler Williamson finished fifth (21-1 ½/6.44m).
The DMR, meanwhile, clocked a 10:37.08 and cruised to a 23-second triumph over runner-up Abilene Christian.
Other Roadrunners finishing in the top three included sophomore Cole Reveal (second/5,000m/15:33.44), freshman Nate Brunette (second/200m/22.32) and seniors Bryan Ugochukwu (third/800m/1:55.66) and Johnathan Whittaker (third/high jump/6-8 ¼/2.08m).
Two-time All-American Teddy Williams kicked off his final season with the top preliminary time in the 60 meters. The defending Southland Indoor Athlete of the Year and league record-holder in the event peeled off a 6.78 but did not race in the final.
UTSA finished second in the team standings with 106 points, which was 32.5 behind meet host Houston.
The Roadrunners are back in action next weekend at the Texas Tech Invitational. The two-day meet begins on Friday, Feb. 22.