SFA Men in First Place at SLC Championships
Feb. 22, 2013
NORMAN, Okla. - The Stephen F. Austin men's and women's track and field teams combined for eight all-conference performances, capturing two individual titles, on the first day of competition Friday evening in the Southland Conference Track and Field Indoor Championships at the Mosier Indoor Track in Norman, Okla.
The Ladyjacks recorded five all-conference honors and a title in the 5,000-meter run, while the Lumberjacks claimed three league slots and the individual mark in the weight throw.
The men currently sit atop team standings with a 4.5 point lead over Southeastern Louisiana, while the women sit in second, trailing league opponent Sam Houston by 2.5 points going into the final day of competition.
The men got a strong showing from senior Jon Arthur, who out tossed the competition to pick up the individual title and all-conference recognition in the weight throw. The Lake Jackson, Texas, native picked up 10 points for the men with a mark of 63-01.25. Teammate Adam Amaya also placed in the event, picking up one point with his eighth-place finish of 55-05.75.
The women dominated the distance events, totaling 27 of their 50 team points across the 5,000-meter run and the distance medley. SFA took home the title in the women's 5,000-meter run on a strong showing from senior Randi Plentl. The Arp, Texas, native paced all runners with a time of 12:13.54 to claim first place. Fellow senior, Lauren Smith, finished on the heels of Plentl to capture second with a time of 17:46.22. Smith claimed her second consecutive second place finish in the conference championships, just missing the title by one-tenth of a second. Plentl and Smith both took home all-SLC marks, while sophomore Rebecca Blubaugh placed eighth in the event, finishing with a time of 18:39.20. The trio totaled 21 points in the event.
In the distance medley, the team of Laurie Byrd, DeJernel Jordan, Shelby Pesek and Smith, posted a time of 12:13.54 to take third and pick up all-conference honors. The group picked up six points for their effort in the event. The men's team of Cameron Courtney, Josh Taylor, Simba Walker-Williams and Hunter Russell, just missed league honors with a fourth place finish of 10:17.81.
The `Jacks also saw a strong performance in the men's 5,000-meter run. Seniors Adam Saloom and Xavier Rodriguez finished within two seconds of each to pick up 11 points for their team. Saloom picked up an all-conference mark with a time of 14:57.21 to take third, while Rodriguez finished fourth (14:59.99).
In the pole vault, Colton Ross out cleared all `Jacks with a height of 17-07.00 to take second place and all-conference honors. Fellow vaulters Cameron Meyer and Christian Bean finished fourth (16-07.50) and eighth (15:01.75) to add six points. The trio totaled 14 points overall, while Jessica Cunningham picked up four points with a fifth place finish of 12-05.50
La'Tricia Griffin picked up eight points for the women in the weight throw. The sophomore recorded a distance of 59-05.00 to take second place and all-conference honors.
In the long jump, Kirsten Knox recorded the best finish for either team. The Connally, Texas, native took all-SLC honors, with a third place jump of 19-04.25. Jamal Peden took eighth (23-01.75), while Josh Cravens (22-07.25), DeAndre Burns (22-06.50) and Kendall Wheatley (22-03.50) finished outside the point placings for the men.
Both teams will retake the track Saturday, Feb. 23, for the second and final day of the conference championships.