Friday, January 13, 2017
HOUSTON – Whitney Simmons and Gabriel Perez started the UT Tyler Indoor Track & Field season with impressive performances in the Weight Throw and Zach Richardson won his event at the University of Houston’s Leonard Hilton Invitational at the Yeomen Fieldhouse.
Simmons qualified for the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships during the first meet of the season with a throw of 18.19 meters to win the event. A senior from White Oak, Simmons was the 2014 NCAA DIII National Runner-up in the Weight Throw and finished fifth last season to earn back-to-back all-America honors during the Indoor season. She would go on to win the Hammer in the Outdoor season. Her throw on Friday is currently the best throw in the nation and topped throwers from Rice, Houston and UTSA.
Richardson won the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.95, while Conner Benson finished second in the 3000 meter run with a time of 9:18. Richardson’s time is the second fastest 200 in program history behind only Kevonte Shaw’s record of 21.68.
Perez established a new UT Tyler record on the men’s side with a throw of 17.08 meters in Houston. A junior from Killeen, Perez had previously had a career-best throw of 15.09 meters. His throw at the UH meet broke the previous record of 16.11 by Ali Yazdanshenas last season. Perez place third in the event behind Damon Thompson of Houston who threw 18.59 meters and UT Tyler coach Chris Stonestreet who won the Weight Throw with a throw of 18.94 meters as an unattached athlete.
Mari Rodriguez and Logan Houston also finished third at the Houston meet. Rodriguez claimed by running a 2:31 in the 800 meter, finishing behind only Brandi Ransom of Rice (2:28) and Debra Taylor (2:27) from Houston. Houser ran a 52.88 for third in the 400 meter behind Houston’s Josh Isom who ran a 50.60.
The Patriots will compete next week at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Missouri.
Whitney Simmons has qualified for Nationals and now leads all of NCAA D3 with a 18.19 meter Weight Throw at the University of Houston. pic.twitter.com/i4FlODlAvE— UT Tyler Patriots (@uttylerpatriots) January 13, 2017