SLC Outdoor Track & Field Championship Central


NATCHITOCHES, La. – The Sam Houston State men’s track and field ran away from the field, claiming the program’s seventh Southland Conference Outdoor Track & Field title on Sunday at the Walter P. Ledet Track Complex.


Coach Dave Self’s team racked up 164 total points, bettering second-place Abilene Christian by 60 points in the final standings. The Kats finished with five of the top 10 individual point scorers, led by Chris Jefferson who was named the men’s MVP with 23.75 points scored.


Jefferson brought home titles in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes, while also taking part in both the 400 and 1600-meter relays. Aaron Akens scored 22 points, including a victory in the discus, while Tyler Adams won the high jump and tallied 17 points himself.


Jo’Vaughn Martin and Joshua Smith also turned in big days, with Martin bringing in 16.50 points in the sprints and Smith 16 total points in the hurdles events.


Jefferson rolled to a league title in 100m dash, finishing in 10.20, nearly .20 seconds faster than his next competitor. Martin’s 10.40 was good enough for third place while Bryan Henderson picked up four points in coming in fifth as well.


The trio picked up another 20 points in the 200m dash as well, with Jefferson taking the title in 20.48 and Martin on his heels with a finish of 20.92 in second place. They also teamed up with Fabian McCall for a 39.62 in the 4x100m relay, taking the top spot and securing 10 points.


The Kats got six points from Joe Austin III and Myriq Freeman in the 800m, and two more from Jordan Leon in the 5000m run.


Meanwhile, Smith was strong in the hurdles with a 14.20 time in the 110 and 52.42 in the 400m, both good enough for second place.


In the field events, Clayton Fritsch soared to a pole vault of 17-05.50 to finish second and secure eight points while Cade Skuza’s 15-07.00 brought in four more points in the fourth spot. Saige Revell’s fourth-place finish in the triple jump brought in five more points.


The shot put was good for the Kats as well with Michael Nichols finishing second with a toss of 58-06.50 and Akens tossing 55-02.75 for fifth. Akens then cashed in on the discus with a throw of 187-04 to top the podium and Daveon Thomas tallied three points with his sixth place finish.


The Bearkat women’s team finished in sixth place with 47 points.


Jamie Eckford delivered six points, making it onto the podium with a third-place finish in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:10.88 while Sandy Clarkin picked up a pair of points for finishing seventh. Rebeca Gonzalez crossed in 4:42.88 in the 1500-meter run to come in fifth and the Kats got five more points in the 4x400 relay, just missing the podium in coming in fourth.


They got another five points with Makenzie Smajstrla’s leap of 1.71m in the high jump, also coming in fourth. They picked up seven points in the shot put with  fourth-place finish from Halie Daniel and Lauryn Caldwell coming in seventh.