The first school since Florida State in ’07 to qualify three men for the 100 final, Houston came in with a trio hoping to upend the formchart, which after conference weekend had the Cougars within 2 points of a team title but downgraded their rating after Regionals to 22-point hailing distance from a win.
They also came in hot off a Collegiate Record 4×1 win in the Oregon rain in the first running event of the meet’s climactic day. The dash, too, went off on a wet track, with an 0.9 headwind but no raindrops falling.
The Cougars came out having made some history, as senior Cameron Burrell won, controlling the sprint for the full straight, to match father (and Houston head coach) Leroy’s victory in ’90, thus becoming the dash’s first father/son titlist combo.
Teammate Elijah Hall, also a senior, at last found the outdoor form that took him to the Indoor 60 and 200 crowns in March, moving into 2nd over the final 35m.
Thus was minted the 100’s first same-school 1–2 since Alabama’s Emmit King and Calvin Smith fronted the field in ’83. Before that only Cal, in ’70, had taken the two top spots—a pairing that later acquired an asterisk when 2nd-placer Isaac Curtis was declared academically ineligible.
Here Cougar soph Mario Burke dashed from outside of the top 10 on our premeet formchart to a 10.10 PR to win his semi and an 8th-place final finish that wrapped up Houston’s 19-point haul.
Burrell, 2nd last year, came in as the favorite even though his 10.02 yearly best trailed Jaylen Bacon’s 9.97, Andre Ewers’ 9.98 and Kendal Williams’ 9.99. But races trump list positions. Always have, always will. Bacon went out a casualty in semi II, with a 10.10 time that read the same as winner Burke’s and Southern Miss junior McKinely West’s in 2nd, but sent the list leader to the spectators’ section when the photo was read to the tie-breaking 1000th, which revealed times of 10.093, 10.094 & 10.095.
Burrell (10.07) and Hall (10.10 PR) had easily taken the qualifying spots in semi II (against an 0.9 wind). Fickle were the breezes, as semi III was pushed by an illegal 2.3, Florida State junior Ewers winning in 10.00w from Oregon’s Cravon Gillespie (10.02w) and the two time qualifiers at 10.05w, Georgia’s Cejhae Greene and Auburn soph Raheem Chambers.
The negative wind plus wet track and mid-60s temperature tamped down times in the final, but not Burrell’s start. In lane 4, he sprang briskly into immediate contention, with junior Gillespie in lane 4 and Chambers in 1 also out with alacrity that wouldn’t last for the latter pair. Over the sprint’s final third, Hall (lane 2) and Ewers (5) raced up closest to Burrell, who crossed about a foot in front in 10.13 to his teammate’s 10.17 and ACC champ Ewers’ 10.19.
“The absolute world.” That’s how Burrell, Houston’s sixth 100 winner and first in 24 years, rated the Cougar 1–2. “This is what we’ve been working for, you know, all year,” he explained. “We kind of spoke this one into existence, you know. I didn’t actually have an indoor season, so [Hall] had to hold it down for indoor, so I could come back for outdoor and come hard, you know. And it feels good to go out knowing the University of Houston won both the indoor and outdoor titles.”
NCAA MEN’S 100 RESULTS
FINAL (June 08; wind -0.9)
1. Cameron Burrell (Hous) 10.13;
2. Elijah Hall (Hous) 10.17;
3. *Andre Ewers’ (FlSt) 10.19;
4. *Cravon Gillespie (Or) 10.27;
5. **Raheem Chambers’ (Aub) 10.33;
6. *McKinely West (SnMs) 10.36;
7. Cejhae Greene’ (Ga) 10.37;
8. *Mario Burke’ (Hous) 10.41.
SEMIS (June 06)
I(-0.9)–1. Burrell 10.07; 2. Hall 10.10 PR;
3. Kenzo Cotton (Ar) 10.14; 4. *Kendal Williams (Ga) 10.16; 5. *Mustaqeem Williams (Tn) 10.28; 6. *Ryan Clark (Fl) 10.32; 7. *Devin Quinn (Il) 10.33; 8. **Karson Kowalchuk’ (MsSt) 10.46.
II(1.2)–1. Burke’ 10.10 PR (10.093); 2. West 10.10 (10.094);
3. Jaylen Bacon (ArSt) 10.10 (10.095); 4. **Divine Oduduru’ (TxT) 10.12; 5. *Darryl Haraway (FlSt) 10.15; 6. *Chris Jefferson (SHous) 10.17; 7. *Micah Larkins (NWnLa) 10.18; 8. Elijah Ross (ArSt) 10.34 PR.
III(2.3)–1. Ewers’ 10.00w; 2. Gillespie 10.02w; 3. Greene’ 10.05w; 4. Chambers’ 10.05w;
5. **Waseem Williams’ (Pur) 10.06w; 6. **TJ Brock (USC) 10.13w; 7. Riak Reese (Kent) 10.14w; 8. **Jace Comick (TxAM) 10.24w.