Track & Field Signs Five For 2017
Nov. 15, 2016
FORT WORTH, Texas -- The TCU track and field program announced the signing of Yasmin Brooks, Lebogang Maloka, Evelyn Mandel, Derrick Mokaleng and Emily Wright to National Letters of Intent during the NCAA’s early signing period.
"On the women’s side, I think we have three really outstanding young ladies that are good students and come from good families. They are good kids, and I think that’s always a starting point in the recruiting process. All three are very determined and interested in being high-level student-athletes. And that’s something we want - people who are selfless and willing to do whatever it takes. All three fit that bill. On the men’s side, we took a little different twist this year. We had a scholarship available, and we decided instead of signing four athletes for August, we would like to make our team better now. We are bringing in two athletes from South Africa that will join us in January."
Yasmin Brooks (Hurdles — Harrisburg, Pa. — Susquehanna Township HS)
Brooks will come to TCU from Susquehanna Township High School where she has excelled in the hurdles. In May of this year, the Harrisburg, Pa., native earned gold in the 300-meter hurdles at the Pennsylvania State Championships with a time of 41.71. Brooks also logged a personal-best time of 13.49 in the 100-meter hurdles en route to a second-place finish at state.
Throughout her junior outdoor season, Brooks topped the podium seven times, while placing second on five occasions. She never placed lower than second.
During the indoor season, Brooks ran a personal-best time of 8.34 in the 60 hurdles at the State College HS Invitational to place first before going on to compete at the New Balance National meet.
Coach Anderson on Brooks: "Yasmin is one of the top hurdlers in the country. We’ve had a lot of success in the hurdles throughout the last couple of years with Brianna McGhee being Big 12 Champion and running a 12.88. We really feel strongly that Yasmin will fortify that area for us. Adding her is a big improvement for us, and we expect big things from her immediately when she gets on campus. We also anticipate for her to have a huge senior year this year. She has talked about running under 13 seconds (in the 100 hurdles) and under 41 seconds in the 300 hurdles, and she also has the desire to be a heptathlete. Overall, we’re excited about having her join our program."
Evelyn Mandel (Distance — Temecula, Calif. — Great Oak HS)
Mandel will come to TCU from Great Oak High School where she currently heads the No. 1 ranked cross country team in California and the No. 3 ranked team in the nation. Mandel recently placed second in the 5K at the Mt. SAC Invitational with a time of 17:30.7.
During her junior indoor season, Mandel placed second at the Winter Track & Field Championships in the 3000-meter race and fourth in the 1500 meters at 4:40.54.
Mandel also holds personal-best times of 4:55.79 (1600 meters), 5:02.91 (1 mile), and 10:47.85 (3200 meters).
Coach Anderson on Mandel: "Evelyn Mandel is from one of the great distance programs in the country at Greak Oak High School in California, and she is one of the top athletes on her team. She would already have a big impact on our team right now, and she has yet to finish her senior year this year. She not only brings a lot for cross country, but she also brings a lot to the track with the 1 mile and 5K."
Emily Wright (Jumps — Great Britain — Bristol & West)
Wright will come to TCU from Bristol where she competed in the long jump. In February 2016, the Hambrook native recorded a winning-jump of 6.18 meters in the Welsh Championships to set a Welsh record and retain her England Athletics under-20 women’s title. She also won it in 2015 with a mark of 6.19 meters.
In 2015, Wright was selected to compete for Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Columbia. There, she set a personal-best mark of 6.21 meters (20-4.25) to place fourth.
Coach Anderson on Wright: "Emily Wright is another in a long line of British athletes that we have had on our team. The last distinguished one we had in the jumps was obviously Lorraine Ugen, who was a two-time NCAA Champion, Big 12 Champion and Olympian. We’re hoping that Emily can do the same things that our other British athletes have been able to do in our program. They’ve had a lot of success here, and we think she can do the same thing. She has a really good temperament and is a very competitive young lady. She’s a great young jumper, and we’re excited about adding her to our program as well."
Lebogang Maloka (Sprints — Pretoria, South Africa — University of Johannesburg)
Maloka will transfer to TCU from the University of Johannesburg. Maloka has represented South Africa well in sprints. He holds personal-best times of 10.36 in the 100-meter dash and 20.99 in the 200 meters. He also holds a best long jump mark of 24 feet 6 inches (7.46 meters).
Coach Anderson on Maloka: "Maloka is a very talented long jumper and a very accomplished sprinter with times of under 21 seconds in the 200 meters and under 10.40 in the 100, so we’re excited about him joining our program and him making an immediate impact to the team in all the things we do."
Derrick Mokaleng (Sprints — South Africa — University of Johannesburg)
Mokaleng will join fellow Johannesburg sprinter Maloka as a transfer to TCU. Mokaleng has produced personal-best times of 46.56 in the 400 meters and 1:48.76 in the 800 meters while at UJ. In August, Mokaleng won the 400m gold medal at the Confederation of University and College Sports Associations 2016 games in Zimbabwe.
Mokaleng took home two gold medals at the 2016 CAA South Region U20 Championships in the 400 meters, while also anchoring the 4x400-meter relay that recorded a winning-time of 3:10.07. Mokaleng was also selected to Team South Africa at the IAAF World U20 Championships in Bydgosczcz, Poland in July.
Coach Anderson on Mokaleng: "Derrick is a young sprinter and 400-meter runner who participated for South Africa at the World Juniors this past summer. We look forward to him contributing and being a big part to our 4x4 team. Our relays are always pretty good. Last year we were strong in the 4x4 before we were hit by injuries, and I think adding Mokaleng will add to the sprinting depth. We’re going to be really strong in the 4x4 this year."
"The one thing with our staff that we talked about was adding athletes now instead of waiting and adding later. That was our focus with recruiting. If we can get two really good guys mid-year, why wait? That’s what we did, and we feel really good about it. There’s still a lot of recruiting to be done, but we got off to a really good start."
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