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Thursday, April 6, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 127

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Belgrave happy after leaving Lamar

By Tom Carpenter
Daily Cougar Staff

Malik Belgrave is an integral member of the Cougar track squad and will be making the trip to Austin this weekend to race in the Texas Relays, a meet for which runners have to qualify in order to participate.

The senior sprinter from Mayde Creek will run on the Cougars' 1,600-meter relay team.


Some of the UH track and field team will be in Austin beginning today for the Texas Relays, one of the most prestigous meets in collegieate track and field.

Pin Lim/The Daily Cougar

With a personal best of 47 seconds in the 400-meter, Belgrave is one reason the Cougar relay team usually dominates the field.

"My goal at Austin is to make the finals in the mile relay. Once we make the finals, we'll just have to see what happens," he said.

Belgrave, who transferred from Lamar University, said his first experience with the UH track team sticks out in his mind. It exemplified the difference between the Cougar track program and the track program at Lamar.

"The thing I liked most about Houston was the first day of informal practice. We just sat and talked. I learned more the first day here about running than in the seven years I've been running track," Belgrave said.

The senior sprinter credits head coach Leroy Burrell and assistant coach Mike Takaha with helping him to reach his goal of being the best sprinter he can possibly be at UH.

"I had to really buckle down the last year just to be eligible. I was disappointed I couldn't run last year, but it made me advance toward my degree," Belgrave said.

The sprinter said it gave him a year of learning how to run under the watchful eye of head coach Burrell.

Malik Belgrave

Belgrave said he likes being a part of the Cougar track and field family, and he really enjoys racing on the new track the Cougars broke in last week.

"We all get along. We joke with each other, and it lightens up the practice. Track practice is hard every day. It makes it a lot easier," Belgrave said.

He said one of his most memorable experiences as a Cougar runner was the first time he competed on the track for UH.

"I didn't really leave Lamar on good terms. My first meet back I got to race two guys I used to run with, and I beat them real bad. That felt good," Belgrave said. "It wasn't beating the guys, but the old coach -- just rubbing his nose in it a little bit."

The quarter-miler appreciates the coaching staff's attitude at UH.

"It's not just about running here. They really push you on the academic side. They want you to graduate. They care about your future," Belgrave said.

Belgrave will graduate this spring with a degree in sports administration. He hopes to pursue a career as a track and field coach.
 

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