Darling, Delaware turn back winless UTSA, 91-79

Guard Nate Darling poured in 38 points Sunday as the Delaware Blue Hens posted a 91-79 victory over the winless UTSA Roadrunners.

Competing in the finale of the Sunshine Slam at Kissimmee, Fla., the Roadrunners (0-4) played better on the offensive end than they had in three previous losses.

But they couldn’t stop Darling or Kevin Anderson, a pair of 6-foot-5 juniors, and lost for the third time in three days.

Anderson scored 31 for the Blue Hens (4-0).

As a team, Delaware shot 59.2 percent from the field and 56.5 percent from three (on 13 of 23) in winning for the third time in three days in Kissimmee.

Jhivvan Jackson scored 31 and Keaton Wallace had 19 for UTSA. Knox Hellums added 10 off the bench.

The Roadrunners shot 50.9 percent afield and 44.4 percent from beyond the arc (12 of 27).

UTSA entered the game averaging 63 points and shooting 32.8 percent.

Records

Delaware 4-0
UTSA 0-4

Coming up

UTSA will play at Utah State on Nov. 18.

First half highlights

The Roadrunners had trouble stopping Delaware from scoring in the first half and fell behind 47-37 at intermission.

Darling led the Blue Hens with 18 points

UTSA made a game of it in the final few minutes, rallying on an 11-2 run against the Blue Hens to cut the deficit to 10.

Freshman center Jacob Germany sparked the scoring spree with a dunk off a feed from Jhivvan Jackson.

Jackson hit a three for the final points of the half with 25 seconds left.

Oakland defense takes charge in 75-62 victory over UTSA

Kevin Kangu scored 20 points, and the Oakland (Mich.) Golden Grizzlies’ defense took over in the second half, sparking a 75-62 victory Saturday over the winless UTSA Roadrunners on Day Two of the Sunshine Slam at Kissimmee, Fla.

The Grizzlies’ defense clamped down on the Roadrunners early in the second half in an 18-1 run highlighted on the offensive end by Xavier Hill-Mais, who scored 11 of his 19 points in an eight-minute stretch.

Jhivvan Jackson led UTSA with 21 points. The Roadrunners led 36-33 at halftime. UTSA closes the tournament on Sunday against Delaware.

Records

Oakland 2-1
UTSA 0-3

Southern Illinois holds off UTSA, 72-60

Starting fast to build an early 20-point lead, the Southern Illinois Salukis held off the UTSA Roadrunners 72-60 Friday night at the Sunshine Slam in Kissimmee, Fla.

With the victory, Southern Illinois improved to 2-0 on the season. UTSA fell to 0-2.

The Salukis surged to leads of 11-0 and 33-13 in the first half against the Roadrunners.

Southern Illinois continued to convert in the second half when Marcus Domask sank a layup to make it 45-27.

From there, the Roadrunners started to click. Lucas Barisic hit a three, igniting UTSA on a 15-0 run.

A steal and a layup by Byron Frohnen pulled the Roadrunners within 45-42 with 12:15 remaining.

UTSA also had it down to three seven minutes later when Barisic hit another three to make it 52-49.

But the Roadrunners’ offense sputtered again, and Domask, a 6-6 freshman, scored eight points in the final five minutes to put the game away.

Records

Southern Illinois 2-0
UTSA 0-2

Leaders

Domask, in his first game against a Division I opponent, finished with 24 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals for the Salukis. Aaron Cook had 19 points and Barret Benson 17.

For UTSA, Jhivvan Jackson led with 32 points, while Keaton Wallace scored 11. Barisic finished with nine.

First half summary

Southern Illinois moved out a 39-25 lead on the Roadrunners at halftime.

Freshman guard Marcus Domask has done most of the damage, leading the Salukis with 12 points.

Guard Jhivvan Jackson has scored 18 for the Roadrunners, who were down by as many as 20 in the opening period.

The Roadrunners will take on Oakland, Mich., on Saturday before closing out the event against Delaware on Sunday.

UTSA opened the season on the road at Oklahoma on Tuesday night. After playing the Sooners to a halftime tie, they got blown out 85-67.

Croatian forward brings multiple skills to UTSA basketball

UTSA forward Luka Barisic had nine points and five rebounds in 19 minutes last week in an exhibition victory against Texas A&M International. - photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA forward Luka Barisic had nine points and five rebounds in 19 minutes in an exhibition game last week against Texas A&M International. – photo by Joe Alexander

If you execute a Google search for the city of Osijek, Croatia, you may come across a video showing aerial views of a picturesque community built on the river Drava, which cuts a wide swath through the town and meanders out across a marshy terrain in the distance.

Within Osijek itself, a paved promenade runs adjacent to the river. Bells ring out from a few quaint, spire-topped churches, which stand tall above clusters of four- and five-story buildings. This is the hometown of promising UTSA basketball newcomer Luka Barisic.

In Texas terms, Osijek is about the size of New Braunfels. Its population is pegged at anywhere from 84,000 to 88,000, according to various websites. But if you think Barisic is homesick or awestruck about living in a metropolitan area in South Texas, so far away from his European roots, think again.

The 21-year-old junior forward is a young man who has been on his own, away from home, for the past six years. In high school, Barisic attended a private academy in Zagreb, Croatia. For the past two years, he has lived and played junior college basketball in Freeport, Ill., about a two-hour drive to Chicago.

“My home town (of Osijek) is probably less than 100,000 (population),” Barisic said. “When you see Chicago, it’s probably like all of Croatia, because it’s like, four million people. It’s a big city. (It) gives you a good view of where you are, that you are in the U.S.”

UTSA forward Luka Barisic charges through traffic on the dribble in an exhibition against Texas A&M International. - photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA forward Luka Barisic charges through traffic on the dribble in an exhibition against Texas A&M International. – photo by Joe Alexander

In July, he moved to San Antonio and started classes at UTSA. On Tuesday night, he likely will get a starting nod at forward in the Roadrunners’ season opener at Oklahoma. For Barisic, a former small-town kid from central Europe, it will be a major moment in his life.

“I’m very excited,” he said. “My team, we are like, ready and waiting for Tuesday.”

Also ready is Danko Barisic, 34, the ball player’s proud older brother. Some 15 years ago, Danko left Croatia to play in the United States. He spent two years at Weber State and two more at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. Danko likes his brother’s chances to succeed.

“He’s really a good player,” said Danko Barisic, a 2008 St. Mary’s graduate and a Boerne resident. “He’s very humble, but he’s also a confident kid. Anyone who comes in contact with him know he is wise beyond his years.

Self-sufficient and motivated

“He’s been living away from home since he was 15 years old, when he started playing for a basketball academy back home. He’s self-sufficient and motivated. I think he’s going to do well.”

In the past year, UTSA coach Steve Henson reeled in a top-notch recruiting class featuring four-star center Jacob Germany, Barisic and others. If Barisic gets the starting nod against OU, as expected, he will be the only one of the incoming class to do so.

“Luka is certainly a three-point threat,” Henson said. “He’s also a very good passer.”

Henson said UTSA will miss forward Nick Allen, a four-year player for the Roadrunners who has played out his eligibility. But the coach hopes that newcomers such as Barisic, Germany and Phoenix Ford can step in to fill the void.

Barisic, who carries 240 pounds on a 6-foot-10 frame, has a unique skill-set that attracted interest from several NCAA Division I programs.

“We knew he was a good passer in the post,” Henson said. “(But) he passes it better from the perimeter than we anticipated. (He’s) a highly-skilled guy. He’s not the most athletic guy. If we’re going to compare him to Nick (Allen), he’s not as quick. He’s not as defensive minded.

“But, certainly, we hope we can offset that with just his high skill level. Pretty high IQ as well. So, he’s going to have a huge role for us.”

Honing advanced skills

Barisic developed an all-around game years ago in competition against older players, his brother said.

“He had always played with guys a little older, handling the ball on the outside,” Danko Barisic said. “His coaches had the foresight to develop that part of his game. They let him develop his skills on the outside early on. Handling the ball. Shooting the three.”

After Henson saw Luka Barisic play in the national junior college tournament in 2018, a scholarship offer was tendered.

But the family waited, and other phone calls started to come in. They came from Drake, the University of San Diego, Stephen F. Austin and Southern Illinois, the player’s older brother said. Barisic also took an unofficial visit to Minnesota, a power program in the Big Ten.

He eventually signed with UTSA in the spring this year.

“I was talking to a lot of coaches, to a lot of schools, some Big Ten schools,” Luka Barisic said. “But I was not impressed with some schools. What coach Henson presented was very good for me. So, I decided to come here.

“I think it’s a great program that (can) develop me, to play and enjoy the game of basketball.”

A family feel matters

Henson said he figured that with the ball player’s older brother living in the area, UTSA would have a good chance to sign him. Barisic didn’t discount the idea that having family within 30 miles of campus was a positive.

“Of course, that was some plus,” the ball player said. “But that wasn’t something that was the most important for my decision.”

Barisic has played at a high level for the past two years. In the summer of 2018, he made the under-18 Croatia National Team. In 2018-19, he averaged 17.9 points and 6.8 rebounds at Highland (Ill.) Community College and made third-team NJCAA All-American.

He said he liked the feel of the UTSA program when he came to visit. He said it felt sort of like home.

“One of the most important things about sport in general is chemistry,” Barisic said. “And, right now, I can tell you that we got great chemistry in the locker room. We’re like a big family. I think that is very important to us, and that it will bring good results.”

To the point: UTSA’s Wallace shines in exhibition victory

Keaton Wallace had 14 points and 7 assists as UTSA beat Texas A&M International 89-60 in an exhibition game on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019 at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Keaton Wallace had 14 points and 7 assists as UTSA beat Texas A&M International 89-60 in an exhibition game on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019 at the UTSA Convocation Center. – photo by Joe Alexander


As the UTSA Roadrunners trampled Division II Texas A&M International 89-60 Wednesday night in an exhibition at the Convocation Center, junior Keaton Wallace emerged as the team’s heir apparent at point guard.

Wallace, who has played off the ball for most of his first two seasons with the Roadrunners, handled the point with both precision and flair in a night’s work that spanned 27 minutes.

He did a little of everything well.

As a distributor, he passed for seven assists and didn’t make a turnover. As a defender, he disrupted the Laredo-based Dustdevils with four steals.

Most encouraging, Wallace did all of that while remaining a threat to shoot the ball, scoring 14 points on 4 of 10 from the field, including 2 of 8 from three.

Coming into the season, UTSA had a void to fill with three-year starting point guard Giovanni De Nicolao electing to finish school early so that he could play professionally in Italy.

In the wake of De Nicolao’s departure, UTSA coach Steve Henson has been looking to Wallace and Jhivvan Jackson, plus freshmen Erik Czumbel and Makani Whiteside, as options to play the position.

But it’s clear that Wallace, who brought the ball up court for most of the night in the exhibition, will take the reins when the Roadrunners open the regular season next Tuesday at Oklahoma.

“We’re going to have the ball in Keaton’s hands a lot,” Henson said. “He’s been playing the majority of the minutes at point guard for us. Jhivvan (Jackson), we want to get the ball in his hands. Erik (Czumbel) has been pretty steady there.

“If we need to get Keaton and Jhivvan off the ball, Erik can assume those (playmaking) duties. He’s very comfortable. He’s been a point guard his whole career.”

Wallace, who averaged 20.5 points per game last season, is embracing the opportunity to expand his role.

“Since we lost Gio last year, I decided to take my game to the next level, try to move to the one (guard), try to take on more of a leadership role this year,” he said.

The 6-3 guard from Dallas admitted that the move has been an adjustment.

“At first I was a little uncomfortable because I had to step outside of my shell and, you know, talk more, be more vocal, trying to get the guys more involved,” he said. “But now I’m feeling pretty good, being more comfortable.

“You know, I believe in the guys and the guys believe in me, so we had that trust. So, everything’s going good.”

Starting five

Henson started Atem Bior and Luka Barisic in the post positions, with Byron Frohnen on the wing, plus Jackson and Wallace in the back court. Barisic is a transfer from Highland Community College in Illinois. He is a native of Croatia.

The coach played all 13 players, including walk-on Austin Timperman.

Jackson, Conference USA’s leading scorer last year at 22.9 points per game, played predominantly off the ball and led the Roadrunners with 15 points in 16 minutes. He hit 3 of 11 from the field, 2 of 8 from three and 7 of 8 at the line.

Dance party

Freshman center Jacob Germany touched off a dance party by students behind press row when he soared for an alley-oop dunk in the second half. Germany, 6-10, from Kingston, Okla., finished with eight points and five rebounds.

As a team, the Roadrunners hit only 43.3 percent of their shots and were out-rebounded 45-39 by the out-sized Dustdevils. But UTSA made up for it by forcing 28 turnovers and holding the visitors to 36.2 percent afield.

Breaking out to a 49-30 lead at intermission, UTSA continued to pour it on and juiced the advantage by as many as 30 three times in the last five minutes.

Jhivvan Jackson had 15 points and 3 assists as UTSA beat Texas A&M International 89-60 in an exhibition game on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019 at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Jhivvan Jackson had 15 points and 3 assists as UTSA beat Texas A&M International 89-60 in an exhibition game on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019 at the UTSA Convocation Center. – photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA basketball to show off ‘depth across the board’

Steve Henson will lead his team into an exhibition game tonight at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA coach Steve Henson – File photo by Joe Alexander

Tonight, the popcorn will pop and the soft drinks will flow, and the UTSA Roadrunners will offer their fans the usual fare of concession food and drink in the foyer of the Convocation Center.

But unlike so many other exhibition openers in the nearly 40-year history of men’s basketball at the school, they’ll have more to offer than free admission, plus chips and sticky nachos.

This year, the Roadrunners also will unveil a team that might actually have the talent to be considered as an NCAA tournament contender.

As UTSA prepares for a 7 p.m. tipoff against Texas A&M International, fourth-year coach Steve Henson says it’s the best team he’s had on the Loop 1604 campus.

“It’s the most talented team since I’ve been here,” he said. “Biggest front line since I’ve been here, (with the) most three-point shooters.”

When Henson arrived at UTSA a little more than three years ago, the talent was not good.

The Roadrunners were coming off four straight losing records, including an abysmal 5-27 in 2015-16.

Since then, UTSA has completely revamped the program, posting a combined 37 wins in the past two years.

The back-to-back winning records of 20-15 two years ago, and 17-15 last year, are a first since 2010-11 and ’11-12, the program’s last two teams in the Southland Conference.

Last year, the Roadrunners challenged for the Conference USA regular-season title until the last few weeks behind the dynamic tandem of guards Jhivvan Jackson and Keaton Wallace.

Ultimately, they finished tied for second at 11-7 and earned a bye to the C-USA tournament quarterfinals in Frisco, where their road came to an end with a loss to the UAB Blazers.

In the season finale, the Roadrunners fell hard, giving up 50 points to the Blazers in the second half.

Leading by seven at intermission with senior power forward Nick Allen playing on a broken toe, they lost 85-76.

“People don’t give (senior) Giovanni (De Nicolao) and Nick enough credit for what they did defensively,” Henson said. “Those were the guys who, when things got tough, they would rally the troops … They were the talk the talk guys, and then walk the talk, and all that.

“I mean, they backed it up, and they were all about team, team, team.”

Henson will lean on Jackson and Wallace to assume the leadership responsibilities this year, in the program’s 39th season.

“We’ve got a pretty introverted team, a quiet team,” the coach said. “But those guys have provided the type of leadership that we need right now. (I’m) very pleased with that.”

UTSA at a glance

Program debut: UTSA started playing men’s basketball in 1981-82. NCAA tournament appearances: 1988, 1999, 2004, 2011. Last season: 17-15, 11-7 in Conference USA; lost in C-USA tournament quarterfinals.

Coach Steve Henson

Taking over a team that won only five games in 2015-16, Henson has coached UTSA to records of 14-19, 20-15 and 17-15. He’s finished 11-7 in conference each of the past two seasons.

Returning starters

G Jhivvan Jackson (22.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg), G Keaton Wallace (20.2, 5.0), F Byron Frohnen (6.4, 6.8)

Newcomers to watch

C Jacob Germany, F Luka Barisic, G Knox Hellums, F Phoenix Ford, G Erik Czumbel, G Makani Whiteside

Notable

After the loss of three-year starter Giovanni De Nicolao, point guard duties are expected to be shared by Wallace, Jackson, Czumbel and Whiteside.

Quotable

“I think what really jumps out is just the competitiveness in practice,” Henson said. “It’s just a deeper (team), certainly bigger and stronger. Way more depth than we’ve ever had along the front line. It’s just very noticeable. You walk in and you see bigger and stronger guys … It creates a little more physicality in the paint. We’ve got good depth across the board. So when we go head to head, the games are pretty competitive.”

Jhivvan Jackson. Old Dominion beat UTSA 65-64 on Thursday night in a Conference USA game at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Jhivvan Jackson

Former Goliad standout Zamzow rallies to win NCAA heptathlon

Native South Texan Ashtin Zamzow rallied from a 254-point deficit Saturday to win the title in the heptathlon at the NCAA Track and Field Championships.

Zamzow, a University of Texas senior from Goliad, took the lead in the javelin and finished with a school-record 6,222 points.

Texas A&M’s Tyra Gittens, who held the big lead on Zamzow after five events, finished second with 6,049.

Michelle Atherley of Miami placed third with 6,014.

Zamzow told ESPN that “it’s a dream come true” to claim the championship.

“Words can’t describe it,” said Zamzow, who ran as a freshman at Texas A&M before transferring.

A large contingent of fans cheered in the stands at UT’s Myers Stadium during her television interview.

Who were they?

“It’s family, friends, everybody who supported me in my dream to come to Texas and be a successful athlete,” she said. “They mean the world to me. I’m so glad they’re here with me.”

Temperatures in the mid-90s in Austin made it tough on all the athletes on the fourth and final day of the meet.

Gittens held a 4,818-4,564 lead on Zamzow entering the second event of the day and the sixth of seven events in the heptathlon.

Zamzow promptly erased the deficit with a heave of 162-7 to win the javelin, an effort that vaulted her into a 5,416-5,356 points lead going into the 800 meters, the final event.

At that point, Zamzow needed only to avoid finishing more than four seconds behind Gittens in the 800 to claim her first outdoor heptathlon title.

She covered the distance in 2 minutes and 21.31 seconds to clinch the overall championship, with Gittens crossing in 2:29.99 to finish as the runnerup.

Zamzow’s title puts quite a twist on the Texas vs. Texas A&M rivalry. Her father, Stacy, and her mother, Kalleen, both competed in track at A&M.

After Ashtin Zamzow left Goliad, she competed at A&M in the 2014-15 season and then elected to transfer.

In her first year at Texas, in 2016, she made it to the NCAA meet in the heptathlon but finished 17th. In 2017, Zamzow redshirted. Last year, she was 11th.

This year, she turned it on, winning the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays title with 6,148 points.

Competing at home in the national meet, Zamzow set personal-bests in the 100 hurdles (13.33), in the 200 (24.23) and in the long jump (19-8 ¾).

She tied her all-time best in the high jump (5-10) on the way to the ninth-best point total in collegiate history.

It was also the seventh-best heptathlon score ever recorded at the NCAA championship.

Gittens, from Trinidad & Tobago, won the Southeastern Conference title earlier this season with a score of 5,793. In high school, she won 17 state titles in Tennessee.

Clark celebrates Arkansas team title

Former Smithson Valley distance running star Devin Clark celebrated a women’s team title with the Arkansas Razorbacks. Clark is an Arkansas senior who placed seventh in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Women’s team standings

Top 10

Arkansas 64, USC 57, LSU 43, Texas A&M 38, Oregon 34, Florida 32, Alabama 29, New Mexico 27, Colorado 24, (T10) Texas, South Carolina, Stanford, Florida State, all 20.

Horton runs on Baylor relay

Former Judson standout Kiana Horton and the Baylor women finished seventh in the 4×400 relay on the last event of the day. Horton is a Baylor senior.

Devin Clark takes seventh in NCAA 3,000 steeplechase

Devin Clark, an Arkansas senior from Smithson Valley, finished seventh on Saturday in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA Track and Field Championships.

Clark was timed in 9 minutes and 55.22 seconds.

Allie Ostrander of Boise State won the race and set a facility record with a time of 9:37.23 on a hot afternoon.

The meet is in its last day and its final session. It’s being held in Austin, at Myers Stadium, on the University of Texas campus.

Clark is also on the start list for the 5,000 meters.

In 2014-15, her senior year of high school, Clark capped a record-setting career at Smithson Valley by winning state championship in cross country and by taking silver medals for second place in both the 1,600- and 3,200-meters in track.

Earlier Saturday, Ashtin Zamzow, a UT senior from Goliad, took the lead in the heptathlon with 5,416 points with one event remaining.

Tyra Gittens, a Texas A&M sophomore, has totaled 5,356 points.

Zamzow erased a 254-point deficit with a heave of 162 feet and 7 inches to win the javelin.

Gilbert, Rogers earn All-American designations at NCAA meet

Former San Antonio area standouts Tre’Bien Gilbert and Alex Rogers brought home All-American designations Friday on Day 3 of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Gilbert, an Arkansas freshman from Judson, ran the third leg of the Razorbacks’ 4×100-meter relay.

Rogers, a University of Texas senior from New Braunfels Canyon, finished sixth in a grueling 3,000-meter steeplechase that was run in 90-degree weather in Austin.

Ashtin Zamzow, a UT senior from Goliad, held second place in the women’s heptathlon after four events.

Ranked No. 1 in the nation coming into the meet, Zamzow will need to come from behind and catch Texas A&M sophomore Tyra Gittens to win the title Saturday on the last day of the meet at Myers Stadium.

In the first event of the evening session Friday, Arkansas finished fourth in one of the fastest 4×100 relays in championship history.

Florida won in a collegiate best 37.97 seconds, followed by Florida State (38.08), Texas Tech (38.45) and Arkansas (38.58).

Both Florida and Floria State bested the previous record of 38.17, set last year by the University of Houston.

The Arkansas sprint relay consisted of freshman Josh Oglesby, sophomore Kris Hari, Gilbert and redshirt senior Roy Ejiakuekwu.

Last year, Gilbert emerged as one of the top high school hurdlers in the nation as a Judson senior.

He won state titles in Class 6A in both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles.

In his first outdoor season as a collegian, he moved into the rotation of runners on the Arkansas sprint relay two weeks ago during the West Regional preliminaries.

Gilbert held tight to the position at the national meet, running third on the Arkansas relay in Wednesday’s semifinals and in Friday’s finals.

In the 3000 steeplechase, Rogers started fast, holding second or third place through the first five minutes.

From there, he faded to back in the pack but finished strong, passing a few runners at the end for sixth in 8 minutes and 43.29 seconds.

Two runners tripped on barriers and fell on the last lap.

One of them, Stanford’s Steven Fahy, got up and won the race in 8:38.46.

Sam Worley, a UT sophomore from New Braunfels Canyon, finished a disappointing ninth in the 1,500 meters.

Notre Dame’s Yared Nuguse won in 3:41.381, coming from behind and leaning at the end to beat second-place Justine Kiprotich of Michigan State, who was timed at 3:41.384.

Worley entered the meet ranked fifth.

But he finished a hard-luck ninth in 3:42.81, less than a half second behind both seventh-place Jack Antsey of Illinois State and eighth-place Casey Comber of Villanova.

In the heptathlon, Gittens and Zamzow were 1-2 in the standings through four events.

Gittens, from Nashville, Tenn., scored a victory in the high jump and placed second in the shot put.

Zamzow placed third in both the 100-hurdles and third in the shot put.

Going into the last day, which consists of competitions in the long jump, javelin and 800 meters, Gittens holds a 161-point edge (3,872-3,711) on Zamzow.

Zamzow started her career at Texas A&M before transferring to Texas.

She scored a career-high and nation-leading 6,148 points at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in March.

Gittens’ best this year was 5,793 at the Southeastern Conference championships on May 9.

Final men’s team standings

Top 10

Texas Tech 60, Florida 50, Houston 40, Georgia 32.5, Stanford 32, Texas A&M 29, LSU 28, BYU 27, Texas 26, Alabama 25.

Incarnate Word’s Alexander places sixth in NCAA long jump

Sarea Alexander had one last try to make her mark in the women’s long jump at the NCAA Track and Field Championships late Thursday night.

The University of the Incarnate Word senior made it count with her best effort of the evening, leaping 21 feet, 1 and 1/2 inch to finish sixth in the event.

Florida’s Yanis David placed first with a jump of 22-5 1/4, followed by Jasmyn Steels of Northwestern State (22-0 1/4) and Texas A&M’s Deborah Acquah (21-9).

TCU’s Destiny Longmire finished fourth (21-6), Rougui Sow of Florida State placed fifth (21-3) and Alexander, from San Antonio’s MacArthur High School, was sixth.

Alexander, the first athlete from UIW to compete in the national outdoor meet, took six attempts on the evening, and she produced efforts of 20-0 1/2, 18-4 1/2, 20-8, 19-11 1/2, 20-10 3/4 and 21-1 1/2.

Razorbacks’ Clark in two finals

Arkansas senior Devin Clark qualified for the finals of the 3,000-meter steeplechase Thursday on Day 2 of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Clark, from Smithson Valley High School, ran 9:54.93 for fifth in her heat to move on as an autotmatic qualifier.

She is now qualified to run in two event finals on Saturday, the 3,000 steeplechase and the 5,000 meters.

The meet is being held in Austin at Myers Stadium.

Local athletes

Baylor’s Kiana Horton, a senior from Judson, qualified for the finals as part of the 4×400 relay. The Bears ran 3:32.88 to place second in their heat in the semifinals.

UTSA freshman Gary Haasbroek retired with an injury after eight events in the decathlon.