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The Hilltop


Bison Blaze the Track at 96th Texas Relays 

The Bison collected personal bests and nationally ranked marks as they performed throughout the four-day Texas Relays track meet.

Samuel Bennett running the 110-meter hurdles. (Photo courtesy of Tobisvizion).

Although the outdoor season has just begun for the Howard University track and field team, approached it with the same determination as they did in the indoor season. The Bison showcased their technique and tenacity as they dominated across the different events. 

This year marked the 96th year of the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays held from March 27-30. The competition is held at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas, hosted by the University of Texas, where track athletes from different divisions, high school, college, university, invitational and pros, compete against one another. 

“It’s nice to be in a great big stadium full of fans, full of atmosphere and hear cheering,” said Samuel Bennett, a graduate student in the economics program from Langdon Hills, United Kingdom.

“I think that track is a massive mental game, that when it comes to the competition — it’s about who has the strongest mental,” Bennett said.

The long but captivating meet concluded with several Bison athletes achieving personal and team achievements.

The weekend was headlined by Samuel Bennett and his time of 13.39 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles, which ranks second in Howard University history. 

The men’s short hurdle team featuring Zachary Hawkins, Otto Laing, Samuel Bennett and Darian Clyburn, was ranked number one in the nation as a result of their outdoor performances.

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Other standout performances included Kailei Collins with a time of 11.23 seconds which ranked 12th in the nation, breaking a school record and allowing her to finish sixth overall in the 100-meter race. Followed by Adam Musgrove with a time of 10.29 seconds, tying the school record, breaking the HU freshman record and finishing 19th overall in the 100-meter race. 

In the 100-meter hurdle, Lauren Thompson finished with a new personal record of 13.61 seconds and placed first in the timed final. In the triple jump, Kyle Fisher jumped 50 feet, 6.25 inches, earning him a new personal best and securing third place. His performance also ranks him 20th in the nation. 

“Running a fast time and being ranked high is definitely reassuring to myself that I do have it within me to perform when I’m on a big stage,” Bennett said about his recent accomplishments.

Kailei Collins, a graduate student in the international certificate studies program from Houston, Texas, also opened up about her recent accomplishments saying, “It has been an amazing journey and I’m glad that even after all this time I can still be doing things to make myself proud, and I’m glad I can do it with a Howard uniform on my chest.”

When asked if he was proud to be responsible for the successes of these athletes at the Texas Relays, David Oliver, the director of the teach and field program, diverted credit to the student-athletes. He detailed the role of coaches and explained that it is up to the athletes to take their advice and put it into practice. 

“It’s full credit to those student-athletes for the dedication and the strong will that they have in order to stay disciplined enough to get these results that they’re seeing,” Oliver said. 

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“As coaches, one of our biggest jobs is to make sure that the athletes eventually see themselves the way that we see them. They may not see it early on but eventually with the success and things like that, they do start to believe that they can be some of the best in the country,” Oliver finished. 

Texas Relays has shown the Bison that the hard work they’ve put in the past several months can translate into big-time results. Their performance at this meet showcased their strength and determination as athletes. 

“From academic geniuses to track prodigies, I think this team has it all and to see and be surrounded by Black excellence that comes in so many different forms is an inspirational and motivating feeling like no other,” Bennett said. 

Copy edited by D’ara Campbell


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