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Volume 68, Issue 105, Thursday, February 27, 2003


Ladies want to keep title

Cougars attempt to regain elite status in C-USA

Cougar Sports Services

The campus will welcome 13 teams to the Yeoman Field House for the Conference USA Indoor Track and Field Championships beginning at 9 a.m. Friday. The two-day event concludes with an awards ceremony at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Led by seniors Aisha Morgan and Lauren Smith, sophomore Krystal Ward, and freshmen Ebonie Floyd and Ashley George, the womenis team will attempt to defend its Indoor Championship. 

Senior sprinter Courtnie Ratliff will attempt to defend her title in the 400-meter dash Friday at the Conference USA Indoor Championships at the Yeoman Field House.

Brian Viney/The Daily Cougar

Morgan finished in third place in the 60-meter dash last season and was the 100-meter C-USA Outdoor Champion. Ward was coming off an All-American selection after finishing the heptathlon in sixth place at the NCAA Championships last year. Smith will look to defend her 60-meter hurdle championship from 2002.

George is coming off a third-place finish in the long jump (5.83 meters) at the UH All-Comers Meet on Feb. 15. The championships mark the second time she has competed in the long jump this season.

Also, senior Courtnie Ratliff will attempt to hold on to her title in the 400-meter dash and help the 4-by-400 relay team that won the C-USA championship last season. Ratliff qualified for the NCAA championships after placing second in the 400-meter at the UH Invitational on Feb. 8.

Another Lady Cougar looking to defend a title is sophomore Nichole Brundage. Brundage won the C-USA Indoor Championship in the high jump last season -- but she may face stiff competition from Ward. Ward is seeded fourth this year, six places ahead of Brundage.

The menis team will try to keep the women from stealing all the thunder at the championships. The Cougars are coming off a two-year long absence from the trophy case after winning four consecutive C-USA championships. Their 2003 third-place showing was their worst since beginning competition in C-USA with the 1997 season.

UH is led by seniors Robert Foster and Mike Olague and sophomore Milton Manson.

Foster qualified for the NCAAs with a first-place finish in the 200-meter dash at the UH Invitational. He finished in 21.49 seconds, but it was his second win of the meet. He also placed first in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.78 seconds.

Olague is coming off a second-place showing in the 5,000-meter run at the Armory Collegiate Invitational. He also competed in the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Manson qualified for the NCAAs with a second-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles at the UH Invitational.

Also, sophomore Daniel Patton will attempt to defend his C-USA Indoor Championship in the pole vault. He is seeded No. 1 this year.

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