FRISCO - Sam Houston State sprinter Chris Jefferson is the 2019 Southland Conference Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year, the league announced Wednesday along with the complete list of all-conference teams.
Men’s Athlete of the Year and Outstanding Running Events Performer - Chris Jefferson, Sam Houston State
Jefferson registered 23.75 points at the 2019 Southland Outdoor Championships to become the men’s Most Valuable Performer. The senior from Jersey Village secured a pair of individual gold medal finishes in the 100-meter (10.20) and 200m dash (20.48) events on the final day of competition. Jefferson also helped his Bearkats squad to a gold medal in the 4x100m relay as the team’s anchor leg.
Men’s Outstanding Field Events Performer - Aaron Akens, Sam Houston State
Akens collected 22 points for the Bearkats at the 2019 Southland Outdoor Championships, helping SHSU to its third consecutive outdoor title. The senior thrower from Mesquite bagged a first-place finish in the discus with a mark of 187-04.0 ft and a 196-00.0 ft heave for second place in the hammer throw. Akens also tossed a 55-02.75 ft throw in the shot put for fifth-place honors.
Men’s Freshman of the Year - Jo’vaughn Martin, Sam Houston State
Martin completed his first Southland Outdoor Championships in style notching a trio of podium finishes at the three-day event. The Conroe product finished third overall in the 100m dash with a time of 10.40 and second individually in the 200m dash with a 20.92 clip. Martin completed the event as the second leg of the Bearkats’ first-place 4x100m relay team.
Men’s Newcomer of the Year - Josh Smith, Sam Houston State
Smith, a transfer from Spring Arbor University, claimed Newcomer of the Year honors after a pair of second-place finishes in the 110m (14.20) and 400m (52.42) hurdle events for the Bearkats. The Katy native’s 16 points pushed the Sam Houston State men’s squad to a team title with 164 points, beating out the second-place team by 73 points.
Men’s Coach of the Year - David Self, Sam Houston State
Self is in his 10th year coaching the Bearkats and has created a wave of success throughout the decade. After leading his men’s squad to its third-straight title at the 2019 outdoor championships, Self has now compiled five men’s team titles since the 2005 season. The Bearkats’ three-peat marks the first time in program history that the feat has been performed. The Sam Houston State sweep of all five men’s individual superlative winners marks the first time in conference history that a team has done so across the five awards.