After the first day of the Southland Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships, the Sam Houston State men are in the driver’s seat to defend their title.

The Kats scored 48 points and take an eight-point lead over second place SFA.

“It was a good day for our men,” said head coach Dave Self. “Southland track and field is good and everyone brings their ‘A’ game. We had a few bumps but I like where we are sitting.”

The men were led by a spectacular performance by Tyler Adams. The senior from Buffalo won both the long jump and the high jump to score 20 points for the Kats. He is also the leader in the heptathlon and is the top qualifier in the 60-meter hurdles heading into Thursday’s finals.

“He’s a flat out stud,” Self said. “He’s the best athlete in Sam Houston history and in in position to put up more big points for us tomorrow.”

In addition to Adams big day, Chris Jefferson is the top qualifier in the 60 and 200 meter dash. In the pole vault, freshman Clayton Fritsch took silver while Ashton Summers was fourth and Cade Skuza took sixth, giving the Kats 16 points in the event. Michael Nichols scored in the shot put, taking fourth place. Alex Hernandez scored in the 5,000 meter run with a fifth place finish.

Action from the Crossplex in Birmingham, Ala., will continue at 10 a.m. with the weight throw. Running finals will begin at noon.