Courtesy: Southland Conference
SAN ANTONIO – Defending men’s champion Sam Houston State and Abilene Christian women finished day two at the 2018 Southland Outdoor Track & Field Championships in first place. The Bearkat men walked away with three gold medals on the day, pacing the team to 57.0 total points while the Wildcat women racked up 34.0.
The men’s decathlon and women’s heptathlon got the day started at Trinity Stadium, where UIW’s Rodney Littlejohn took the lead after five events (3,704 points) and McNeese’s Grace McKenzie led the women after four (3,414). Both combined events will finish tomorrow with the men’s 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1,500m segment beginning at 9 a.m. CT. The women will finish the long jump, javelin and 800m, starting at 9:30 a.m.
Sam Houston State made off with two gold medals, each in the hammer throw. Joshua Hernandez took the men’s first-place finish with a heave of 220-06 (67.20m) while Yarixza Rivera earned her second consecutive hammer gold with a mark of 196-07 (59.91m). On the men’s side, fellow Bearkat Aaron Akens finished second (198-10/60.60m) and Michael Seither of Southeastern Louisiana took bronze (186-01/56.72m). Southeastern’s Vigdis Jonsdottir took second for the women (195-06/59.58m) and Abilene Christian’s Kayla Melgar took third (190-03/58.00m).
The Bearkats earned another gold in the men’s long jump on the back of Zachary Johnson’s performance – a 25-02.00 (7.67m) lunge to take first over Southeastern’s Rodney Ruffin (25-00.75/7.64m) and teammate Tyler Adams (24-11.00/7.9m; -2.4 wind).
McNeese came away with a first-place performance in the women’s javelin from Morgan Woods with a gold-medal mark of 161-10 (49.34m)
Sam Houston continued its gold medal dominance on the day with another top podium performance Clayton Fritsch to win the men’s pole vault (17-04.50/5.30m).
UIW’s Sarea Alexander took an emphatic gold in the women’s long jump with a distance of 21-05.00 (6.54m), just narrowly missing out on the Southland championship record mark of 21-08.00 set in 1995. Alexander’s mark ranks her third all-time in conference history.
The 3,000m steeplechase races capped day two, with Stephen F. Austin’s Brittany Innis taking women’s gold in 10:37.67 and Ryan Cleary from ACU finishing first for the men in 8:59.62.
The final day of competition begins on Sunday with the men’s and women’s combined events starting at 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., respectively. Field event finals will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and running event finals will see the day out from 3 p.m. to 6:35 p.m.
Live video streaming of the meet is available through the Southland Conference Digital Network, covering events at Benson Stadium and Trinity Stadium. Broadcasts can be found via southland.org/live and the Southland Conference apps, available on iPhone, Android, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku.