Track and Field Announces Signings
July 28, 2006
NACOGDOCHES - Stephen F. Austin head track and field coach Phil Olson announced Friday the signing of 16 student-athletes for the 2006-07 school year. Including the four commitments SFA locked up during last year's early signing period, the 2006 class is now 21 athletes strong. The new additions will join a senior-laden track and field team looking for big results in 2007.
This spring and summer, SFA inked throwers Frednisha Marshall and Martin Agoes; sprinters Brittani Woodard, Tabitha Riley, LaTerence Rowe, Chris Moody and Travis Beavers; jumps specialists Camelia Sams, Silent Joy Egboba-Waye and Joshua Cruse; multi events specialists Joshalyn Freeman, Chris Jones and Kyle Ketchersid; and distance runners Megan Jenkins, Mandy Willis and Austin Hardey. Last fall, the team added thrower Kaitlyn Andrews, sprinter Ashley Williams and distance runners Chelsea Bradford and Patrick Wiggins.
"I am very happy with the depth and raw talent of our signing class," Olson said. "We went through the fall semester knowing that we could only afford to sign so many top-level athletes this year. Over time, we were fortunate to be able to attract some very talented young men and women who wanted to be on a senior-heavy team this year, vying for conference titles. My thanks to all our signees and my congratulations go out to my coaches, Ta' Frias, Ron McCown and Lou Snelling, for their perseverance and hard work over the last 12 months."
Marshall, a John Tyler High School product from Tyler, Texas, was the top-ranked high school shot putter in the state this year. Her personal best in the shot put is 46-6. Marshall will join early signee Andrews in bringing a ton of talent to the freshman throws class. Andrews, who hails from Georgetown, Ontario, is the highest-ranked junior shot putter in Canada. Her personal best in the shot is 47-10, and she has launched the discus as far as 142-10. Andrews was second in the shot put at the prestigious Penn Relays in April and is working toward a chance to represent Canada in the World Junior Championships, scheduled for August in China.
"Kaitlyn has had a terrific senior season," Olson said. "She competed at some big national meets and, fortunately for her, is still competing this summer. A trip to China for the World Junior Championships would be the ultimate in experience."
Agoes is the lone male thrower in this year's signing class. A native of Mansfield, Texas and a graduate of Timberview High School, Agoes was one of the top throwers in the state in Class 4A this year. He finished second in the discus and fifth in the shot at the 4A State Championships. He was a regional champion in both events. Agoes has a personal best of 56-0.25 in the shot put and 173-10 in the disc.
"Martin is a very good technician with a lot of intensity in his throws," Olson said. "I feel he will bring instant depth to our throws crew, and I expect him to prove solid in the hammer event in the years to come."
In the sprints/hurdles, SFA added two women and three men this summer, in addition to an early signing pick-up on the women's side. Woodard was part of the fourth-place 4x400-meter relay team at the state meet for Mansfield Summit High School in Arlington, Texas. She'll bring personal bests of 12.1 in the 100 meters, 25.19 in the 200 meters and a 4x400 split in the 55s.
"Brittany will be a wonderful asset to both relays," sprints coach Ta' Frias said.
Riley, a Hebron High School graduate from Carrolton, Texas, joins the Ladyjack squad after finishing third in the state in the 300-meter hurdles. Her best time in that event is 44.6.
"Tabitha will add depth to both hurdle events and to the 4x4 relay," Frias said.
Williams, Frias' signee from last fall, competed successfully in the hurdles and on the mile relay as a senior at Fort Bend Hightower in Houston. Her 4x400-meter relay team finished second at the Class 5A state championships. She has a personal best of 62.1 in the 400-meter hurdles and 44.15 in the 300-meter hurdles.
"I am looking forward to working with Ashley in the 400-meter hurdles," Frias said. "She has great strength and determination and will be a vital link on the relays."
On the men's side, Moody, Rowe and Beavers will join the Lumberjack sprinters. Moody, a native of White Oak, Texas, finished third in the 400 meters at the 2006 state championships. His personal best in the 100-meter dash is 10.61. He has run 21.2 in the 200 and 48.84 in the quarter.
"Chris is a versatile sprinter that will not only add depth to the relays, but will also be a threat in the open quarter," Frias said. "He is a relative newcomer to the event and can only get better."
Rowe is a product of Atlanta, Texas. He ran a leg of Atlanta's sprint relay team that finished third at the state championships this season. His personal best in the 400 meters is 49.20.
"We see Terry as someone who will be able to help us in a lot of areas, especially in the relay events," Olson said. "He is a terrific athlete from an outstanding track and field program at Atlanta High School, and one who we feel can give us an added spark in the relays."
Beavers is a hurdler who also competed on the 4x200-meter relay team as a senior at Sanger High School. He finished second at the state meet in the 300-meter hurdles, and helped his 4x2 team qualify for the state championships.
"Travis' determination and strong will is obvious when you see him compete," Frias said. "I look forward to working with such a disciplined athlete, as he makes the transition to the 400-meter hurdles."
Sams is a strong triple jumper from Longview, Texas. She has recorded a personal best mark of 39-3 in the triple jump.
"Camelia is a talented and powerful athlete," Frias said. "I feel that she has the potential to immediately impact the conference in the jumps."
Egboba-Waye, a Lancaster, Texas, native will also focus on the horizontal jumps at SFA. She has a personal best of 38-3 in the triple jump and 18-5 in the long jump, and Frias expects quick improvement in the college environment.
"Silent Joy just began to develop in her senior year, so I am sure she will continue to improve in the jumps," Frias said.
Woodville, Texas product Cruse is expected to give the Lumberjacks a solid competitor in the triple jump. He was third in the state at the Class 2A level this year with a personal best of 48-6.5.
"Josh is going to be one of those guys who surprises a lot of people in his initial year in collegiate track and field," Frias said. "Since the graduation of DeVaughn Rettig, Josh gives us a presence in the triple jump."
Freeman competed in several events during her high school career at Trimble Tech High School in Fort Worth and will join the multi events ranks at SFA. A good all-around athlete, she ran a 14.57 in the 100-meter hurdles and a 46.32 in the 300-meter hurdles and jumped 18-9 in the long jump and 38-6 in the triple jump. Freeman won the district title in the long jump this season and finished fourth in the state in the 100-meter hurdles.
"Joshalyn has so much talent in a variety of events that it is only natural to prepare her for the heptathlon," Frias said. "I am very excited to see how she will develop over the next few years."
Jones is one of two multi-events athletes added on the men's side. The Hawkins, Texas, native has a personal best of 51-3 in the shot put and 143 in the discus. He also competes strongly in the high jump and hurdles.
"Chris' reputation is of one who is an exceptional athlete who will do whatever you ask of him to have team success," Olson said. "We are indeed going to ask a lot of him, because he'll be working in Coach McCown's talented multi-event crew."
Ketchersid will also join the multi squad. He recorded personal bests of 14-6 in the pole vault and 15.10 in the 100-meter hurdles while competing at Mansfield High School.
"Kyle is very solid in both the vault and the hurdles -- big point scores in the multi events," Olson said. "Give him an opportunity to learn some of the other events, and we feel he can really grow into the decathlon."
The remaining five athletes in this year's signing class are all distance recruits -- three women and two men. Jenkins, a Cypress Falls High School product, and Willis, a native of Conroe, Texas and a Caney Creek High School graduate, join fall signee Bradford as additions to the women's distance program.
Jenkins was a 5:15 miler in high school. Willis was a decorated cross country runner at the high school level. She finished sixth in the state in Class 4A last year and won the Region III championships with a time of 11:32. Willis was also third in the 3,200 meters at the Region III Track and Field Championships this season.
"Megan, Mandy and Chelsea are talented athletes who have the ability to make an immediate impact this fall, which is saying a lot with the strength of our returning class," cross country coach Lou Snelling said.
Snelling inked Wiggins in the fall and picked up Hardey with a commitment this spring. Both athletes are middle distance runners. Hardey, a native of Cedar Hill, Texas, has a personal best of 1:56.56 in the 800 meters. He finished second this year in District 7-5A.
"Austin will be able to make a solid contribution to the team, because he has a great deal of speed, which will be complemented nicely with the strength he will develop this fall," Snelling said. "Along with Patrick, who was the Class 4A state champ in the 800 in 2005, and the current returnees, the middle distance group will be much deeper."
-- SFA --