Cougar Men capture 3rd at NCAA Championships

The University of Houston recently competed at the NCAA Division I Track & Field Championships in Austin and recorded its best finish in team history. 

The Cougars notched the second most team points in program history on its way to a third-place finish. 

SeniorKahmari Montgomerydelivered anNCAA title-clinching performance by winning the 400 meters. With a podium finish from senior Amere Lattinand a third-place performance from the 4×400-meter relay squad, the Cougars notched 40 team points.

Montgomery, a native of Plainfield, Ill., posted the eighth fastest collegiate time ever, the fastest time in program history, an American Athletic Conference (AAC) record and lifetime best in the 400-meter dash to clinch the program’s first title in the event. 

He crossed the finish line at 44.23 to notch 10 team points for the Cougars. Obi Igbokweclosed out the race in eighth place to take home First Team All-American honors. 

“It’s just a blessing to be able to come out and end my senior year of my collegiate career with a bang.” Montgomery said. “It’s something I’ve planned for my whole entire life. It was a great overall run. I didn’t panic. I knew [North Carolina A&T’s] Trevor Stewart had a lot of speed. I stayed composed, I stayed relaxed, I ran my race. 

“I was able to compete in something I was in for four years,” he continued. “It was always a dream to win an NCAA title, so to come out and do it like I did it is an amazing feeling.”

Lattin had a stellar performance for the Cougars with a podium finish in the 400-meter hurdles after posting the sixth best time in the world at 48.72, one of four competitors to run sub-48 times in the event. The time marks a lifetime best, program record and conference record. In the 110-meter hurdles, Lattin closed out the race in seventh-place at 13.77 to earn First Team All-American honors. 

Mario Burketurned in a pair of All-American performances on the final day of action, beginning with a sixth-place finish in the 100-meter dash at 10.06. In the 200-meter dash, Burke clocked a time of 20.11 to take fourth-place in the event to earn his second All-American accolade of the evening. 

Rounding out the contributions, n the final event of the evening, Lattin, Montgomery, Jermaine Holtand Igbokwe combined for a time of 3:00.07 in the 4×400-meter relay to shatter the program record in the event. The time is the American Athletic Conference record and one of the fastest in the collegiate ranks. 

Overall, the Cougars racked up eight First Team All-American honors over the course of 

the meet, including the second-place finish from Trumaine Jeffersonin the long jump on the opening day of action. Jefferson’s marks of 26-10 (8.18) was one of five jumpers to post legal marks of eight meters or better for the first time at the NCAA Championships since 2011.