USM’s Richards among world’s best

USM’s Richards among world’s best
University of Southern Mississippi senior Eric Richards is among the world's best high jumpers.

HOUSTON, Texas (WDAM) – University of Southern Mississippi senior Eric Richards soared past his own Golden Eagle record in the high jump this weekend at the University of Houston G5 & Super 22 Invitational.

When he landed, Richards found himself in the company of not only the best collegiate performers, but the world’s elite.

Richards cleared 7 feet, 4 ½ inches, outjumping second place by a whopping 7 ¾ inches. The clearance tied for third-best in the NCAA ranks this season and put Richards into 11th place in the current world standings.

Richards was named Conference USA “Male Field Athlete of the Week” Tuesday, earning the honor for a second consecutive week. He has won the high jump event in all three meets USM has participated during the 2020 indoor season.

USM distance runner Sandra Szpott set a school record in the mile run, finishing second at the meet in a time of 4 minutes, 45.37 seconds. She and the race winner both eclipsed the previous meet record.

USM competed against teams from Houston, Stephen F. Austin State University, Lamar University, University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley, University of Louisiana-Monroe, Grand Canyon University, Texas Southern University, Sam Houston State University and Florida International University.

Other top USM women’s team finishers included: Savannah McMillon-Aireanna Taylor-Sandra Szpott-Regen McGee, second, distance medley relay; Theresa Harto, fourth, 3,000 meters.

Ashlee Osaji, fifth, long jump; Zaria Jones, fifth, high jump; Lina May, fifth, 3,000 meters; Savannah McMillon, seventh, 800 meters; and Marquasha Myers, eighth, triple jump.

Other top USM men’s team finishers included: Trey Johnson, third, 400 meters; Landon Chalden-Trey Johnson-Kacey Spinks-D.J. Butler, third, 4X400-meter relay; Dylan Allen, fourth, 3,000 meters; Keirston Paige, seventh, 60-meter hurdles; and Elijah Miller, eighth, 60 meters.

USM will return to competition on Feb. 14-15 at the Music City Invitational hosted by Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

Houston Invitational

USM women’s results

  • 200 meters – Ashlee Osaji, 54th, 26.28 seconds
  • 400 meters – Savi’a Varnell, 33rd, 58.81 seconds; Maresha Chandler, 40th, 59.43 seconds; Taylor Harris, 52nd, 1 minute, 00.07 seconds
  • 800 meters – Savannah McMillon, 7th, 2 minutes, 16.50 seconds; Sarah McMillon, 15th, 2:19.00
  • 1 mile – Sandra Szpott, 2nd, 4 minutes, 45.37 seconds; Katelyn Cartwright, 16th, 5:15.63
  • 3,000 meters – Theresa Harto, 4th, 9 minutes, 53.12 seconds; Lina May, 5th, 9:53.91
  • 60-meter hurdles – Marquasha Myers, 8th, 8.72 seconds; Jasmine Griffin, 13th, 8.82 seconds; Callie Jones, 21st, 8.96 seconds
  • 4x400-meter relay – Savi’a Varnell, Maresha Chandler, Aireanna Taylor, Taylor Harris, 14th, 3 minutes, 54.78 seconds
  • Distance medley relay – Savannah McMillon, Aireanna Taylor, Sandra Szpott, Regen McGee, 2nd, 11 minutes, 56.46 seconds
  • High Jump – Zaria Jones, 5th, 5 feet, 5 inches
  • Long Jump –Ashlee Osaji, 5th, 18 feet, 6 inches; Grace Parker, 38th, 15-9
  • Triple Jump – Marquasha Myers, 8th, 38 feet, 9 ¾ inches; Ashlee Osaji, 11th, 36-7 ¾
  • Shot Put – Logan Lewis, 10th, 42 feet, 5 ¼
  • Weight Throw – Kameliah Style, 17th, 52 feet, 8 ¾ inches; Isabella Simonelli, 49-7 ¼; Logan Lewis, 38th, 43-11 3/4

USM men’s results

  • 60 meters – Elijah Miller, 8th, 6.91 seconds
  • 200 meters – Keirston Paige, 25th, 22.28 seconds; Elijah Miller, 32nd, 22.47 seconds
  • 400 meters – Trey Johnson, 3rd, 47.80 seconds; D.J. Butler finished in third place with a time of 47.80. DJ Butler, 18th, 49.68 seconds; Landon Chalden, 30th,50.54 seconds
  • 800 meters – Dylan Evans, 26th, 2 minutes, 00.07 seconds
  • 1 mile – Patton Little came across the finish line in 4:13.94, putting him in 10th place.
  • 3,000 meters – Dylan Allen, 4th, 8 minutes, 29.06 seconds
  • 60-meter hurdles – Keirston Paige, 7th, 7.93 seconds
  • 4x400-meter relay – Landon Chalden, Trey Johnson, Kacey Spinks, D.J. Butler, 3rd, 3 minutes, 15.21 seconds
  • High Jump – Eric Richards, 1st, 7 feet, 4 ½
  • Long Jump – D.J. Hurd, 10th, 22 feet, 5 ¼ inches; Lance Williams, 15th, 22-1 ½

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