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Tuesday, March 23, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 64, Issue 114

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Cougar track team heads to Aggieland for Texas A&M Invitational

By Erik Williams
Daily Cougar Staff

The UH men's and women's Track and Field teams return to action Saturday at the eight-team Texas A&M Invitational. Competition will take place at the Frank G. Anderson Track & Field Complex.

Field events get underway at 1 p.m. with the men's hammer throw, women's pole vault and the men's javelin events, while the first running event will be the women's 3,000-meter run at 5 p.m. Competition will conclude at approximately 8:15 p.m. with the men's 1,600-meter relay. There will not be team scoring at the meet.

The UH women's team will have its hands full with the Aggie women, currently ranked No. 14 by Trackwire. In last week's Texas Relays, A&M posted six provisional qualifying marks for the NCAA tournament.

Other teams competing in the invitational are Texas Christian, Southern Methodist, Prairie View A&M, Rice, Sam Houston State and the Illinois women's team.

"This will be a quality meet with some quality teams competing," says A&M head coach Ted Nelson. "If the weather cooperates, we could see some more people qualify for nationals."

Cougars sign four Track and Field athletes

On Wednesday, UH head coach Leroy Burrell announced the signings of four sprinters for the 1999-2000 season. Burrell signed Jason Hodge of Giddings High School in Giddings, Texas and Robert Foster of Highlands High School in Brackenridge, Pa. for the men's team. He also added Magenta Taylor of Willingboro High School in Willingboro, N.J. and Lataska Reed of Crowley High School in Crowley, Texas to the Lady Cougar roster.

Hodge comes to Houston after winning the 100 meters in the 1999 Texas State Relays. He also was the anchor leg for Giddings' 4x100-meter team that won the High School Division I relay.

"Jason is an outstanding athlete with great potential," says Burrell.

Foster is a sprinter who Burrell feels has a great deal of potential.

"Robert is a diamond in the rough," says Burrell. "I expect him to improve a great deal during his collegiate career."

Taylor, who is coached by former UH standout Michele Glover, is from the same school that produced former Cougar Olympians Carl and Carol Lewis.

"Magenta is a tremendous athlete whom we decided to sign after she enjoyed an outstanding outdoor season," says Burrell. She was named a 1999 All-South Jersey Girls' Track selection on March 20 after establishing herself as one of New Jersey's premier performers in the 55-meter dash and hurdles.

Reed is a sprinter who will compete in the 100 and 200 meters for the Lady Cougars.

"Lataska is a very good sprinter who will give us some much needed help," says Burrell.

Former track star named Hall of Fame finalist

Jolanda Jones, a former UH track and field standout, has been selected as one of 26 finalists for introduction into the 1999 GTE Academic All-America Hall of Fame.

As an undergraduate, Jones excelled as a scholar and an athlete. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor's degree in political science and was nominated for a Rhodes Scholarship. Jones was the 1989 U.S. Track and Field Heptathlon champion and was named Southwest Conference Female Athlete of the Decade runner-up by the Houston Chronicle in the 1980s. In addition, she was a three-time NCAA Heptathlon Champion and recipient of the NCAA Top Six award in 1990. These achievements also earned Jones a spot in the Cougar Hall of Fame. Jones went on to earn her juris doctorate from the UH Law Center in 1995.

The five finalists who will make up this year's induction class will be announced at a press conference in Dallas on April 20.


 
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