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The UTSA Roadrunner track and field team turned in impressive performances at the UTSA Challenge Invitational, opening their outdoor season at home on a great note.

UTSA senior Christopher Hall and teammate senior All-American Keyunta Hayes each took gold in their respective events. Hall ran a 46.86 in the 400-meter dash, launching himself into fifth place on the NCAA’s Division I outdoor performance list.

Hayes ran a blistering 50.47 in the 400-meter hurdles, posting 2015’s fastest time in the nation for the 400-meter hurdles. UTSA junior Jurmarcus Shelvin finished second in the same event with a time of 51.23 and fellow Roadrunner freshman Dionte Robinson took third in the 200-meters with a time of 21.36.

Both Hall and Hayes were pleased with such fast times so early in the season. Hayes remarked, “I don’t think I’ve ever opened (a season) so fast before, my race was just really smooth and I’m proud and excited for Jurmarcus (Shelvin) and my teammates as well.”

In the distances, UTSA senior Michael Medrano placed second in both the 1500 and 3000-meter runs, running 3:51.51 and 8:38.55 respectively. UTSA senior Stephanie Wangui took third in an 800-meter run that featured three professional athletes: Laura Roesler, 2014’s Bowerman award winner, former UTSA athlete Dana Mecke and UT 4×400 national champion Briana Nelson. While Roesler and Mecke took first and second respectively, Wangui bested Nelson with a blazing 2:10.84 performance to take third.

In the field events, UTSA senior Andrew Akens finished third in the shot put with a throw of 55-2 1/4 to lead a team of throwers that scored 23 points in the shot at the Conference USA Indoor Championships. UTSA senior Whitney Flannel tied for second in the women’s high jump, leaping 5’7” while fellow Roadrunner junior Barrett Brock tied for third in the pole vault with a 15’7” clearance.

UTSA senior Zoe Meade took second place in the heptathlon with 4,618 points and recorded a personal best of 15.35 in the 100-meter hurdles. The Roadrunner women’s team concluded the meet with a second place performance in the 4×400 meter relay, as Evelyn Clark, Shantel Swift, Paige Patterson and Jennifer Arinze finished with a time of 3:45.89.

The Roadrunners’ stellar performance at their home meet showed that the team is prepared to take on national-level competition this season. Hall remarked how quickly the team was ready to compete outdoor, less than a month after the Conference USA Indoor Championships, saying, “This meet is a testament to how hard we’ve practiced—everyone’s really good and where they need to be right now.”

UTSA’s next event will be in Austin when the Roadrunners take place in the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays between March 25 and March 28. The next home event will be on April 4 at the Park West Athletics Complex.

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