Track & Field Inks 21 Athletes
July 11, 2003
NACOGDOCHES - The Stephen F. Austin men and women's track and field team announced the addition of 18 student-athletes to their roster, announced SFA head coach Phil Olson Friday afternoon. The 2003 class is highlighted by 13 individual state champions.
"I'm extremely excited about this year's signing class," said Olson. "That is especially evident when you look at the athletes that recorded state titles, state runner-up or top-three finishes in their classification in Austin. Our philosophy is that we want to have a balanced program and I think the coaching staff did a wonderful job of combining our recruiting class into a very balanced group of student-athletes. Anytime you sign 21 athletes in one year it's a very deep class but it's just amazing to see the number of state champions that we had in this class."
SFA signed three distance runners to the men's squad, Eric Brill (Ft. Worth, Texas), Justin Kutch (Pearland, Texas) and Robert Smith (Cameron, Texas). Brill is a two-time state champion in track, as well as recording a top-five finish at the TAPPS cross country meet. Smith recorded a state runner-up finish in the 1,600m and has a personal record of 4:21.74 in the event. Smith recorded an 11th-place finish at the 3A state cross country meet. Kutch is a raw talent that has recorded a personal best of 4:28 in the 1,600-meter run and 9:26.00 in the 3,200 meters.
The Ladyjacks improved upon an already strong distance team with the addition of Megan Hardesty (Denton, Texas), Kimbri Lettkeman (Watonga, Okla.), Savannah Matzinger (Decatur, Texas), Ashley Monteau (Anahuac, Texas) and Katrina Storrs (Natchitoches, La.). Hardesty is a two-time state qualifier in the 800 meters and the 4X400-meter relay. Lettkeman was a 2002 Oklahoma state champion in cross country and 2003 state champion in the 3,200m. She also placed at the state meet in the 800m and 1,600m. Matzinger is a former state champion in both track and cross country but battled through an injury-plagued senior season. Monteau is a two-time state champ in track and placed among the top five at the state cross country championships. Storrs is a strong middle distance runner that won the 2002 state title in the 1,600m.
SFA strengthened its hurdles team with the addition of Reggie Lazenby (Whitehouse, Texas) on the men's side and Leah Matthews (Fort Worth, Texas) on the women's side. Lazenby was the class 4A state champion in the 300-meter hurdles recording a personal best time of 37.29. He was the state runner-up in the 110-meter hurdles clocking a time of 13.95. Matthews makes her way to Nacogdoches from Fort Worth Dunbar where she recorded a third-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles at the class 4A state meet.
The Lumberjacks added one of the state's top pole vaulters in Toby Zelt (North Richland Hills, Texas). Zelt was the class 4A state champion in the event and recorded a personal record of 15-6. Zelt is joined by another talented pole vaulter in Greyson Lynn (Carrolton, Texas). Lynn has recorded a personal best of 14-6.
The Lumberjacks bolstered a youthful throws squad with the addition of James Williams (Clarendon, Texas) and Austin Bruton (Whitewright, Texas). Bruton was a two-time state finalist at Whitewright in the discus. Williams comes to Nacogdoches after winning the 1A state title for Clarendon High School in the shot put. He finished his prep career ranked among the state's top three throwers among all classes.
SFA added Peter Alex Harris (Naaman Forest, Texas) and Ashley Lewis-Johnson (Richardson, Texas) to its sprints squad. Harris was a regional champion and recorded a top-five finish at the class 5A meet in the 200 meters. He has clocked a personal record of 21.52 in the event. Lewis-Johnson was a district champion for Lake Highlands High School. She was a member of the school's 4X200-meter relay team that finished fourth at the regional meet.
With the loss of senior Destine Rawls to graduation, the Ladyjacks had some holes to fill on its throws squad and the coaching staff filled that need with the signing of Selisa Freeman (Highlands, Texas) and LaQuisha Houston (San Augustine, Texas). Freeman was a regional champion and state finalists in the discus for Baytown Sterling High School. Houston was the class 2A state runner-up in the shot put and finished fourth in the discus for San Augustine High School.
The SFA signing class stands at 21 student-athletes, joining Markeisha Edwards, Julie Kole and LaKoa McKeever who signed in December.