SFA track sweeps Southland Conference meet

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The Stephen F. Austin men's and women's track and field teams repeated their performance from the indoor season sweeping the 2013 Southland Conference Outdoor titles in Lake Charles, La. Sunday afternoon. It marked the fifth consecutive outdoor title, and the 10-straight overall (indoor and outdoor titles) for the Ladyjacks, while the Lumberjack men won both the indoor and outdoor titles this season.

The 'Jacks scored 162 points to defeat Sam Houston State by 24.5 points. The SFA women scored 171 points to beat McNeese State by 37 points.

The SFA men and women combined for 29 All-SLC performances, five individual titles and a relay title at the meet. The Ladyjacks recorded 16 all-conference honors, and won three titles, while the SFA men and 13 all-conference recognitions and six athletes who recorded titles.

Sophomore Caitlin Jones recorded the Ladyjacks first title of the day in what turned out to be a big-point scoring event for the Ladyjacks. The SFA women had three athletes in the overall top four, and all three cleared the winning height (5-5.75) but Jones won on the tiebreaker. Junior Heather McPherson earned all-conference honors with her runner-up finish while sophomore Melai Carter was fourth.

Senior Kellie Hermes added another title for the Ladyjacks in the triple jump. She recorded a mark of 40-0.00 to win the event. Sophomore DeJernel Jordan continued the Ladyjacks dominance in the 800-meter run. She clocked a time of 2:12.10 to outkick the competition.

Senior Nick McCloud reclaimed his title as the league's best hurdler. He recorded a time of 14.19 to beat the second-place finisher by 12-hundredths of a second.

The Ladyjacks also had numerous all-conference athletes on the final day of the meet. Sophomore La'Tricia Griffin just missed an individual title in the discus with her throw of 154-2 earning runner-up honors.

The SFA women also got out to a quick start on the track. The team of Jessica Hatchett, Chasity Clark, Keisha Tryon and Brarysheyia Simpson clocked a time of 45.95 to finish third overall in the 400-meter relay. The 4x100-meter relay was just the first event of a very busy day for Clark, Hatchett and Simpson.

As if imitating their female counterparts, the 'Jacks 4x100-meter relay team of freshman Trevon Caudle, Cass Brown-Stewart, Torin Crowder and McCloud posted a third-place finish as well. The team crossed the finish line with a time of 41.45.

Simpson and freshman Bria McIver just missed individual titles in the sprints and hurdles. Simpson posted runner-up finishes in the 100 meters (11.63) and 200 meters (23.88), while McIver took second in the 100-meter hurdles (14.00). The Ladyjacks had multiple athletes score in all three events. Clark added a sixth-place finish in the 100 meters (11.80) and a seventh-place finish in the 200 meters (24.47). Sophomore Stephanie White added a seventh-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles (14.38).

Brown-Stewart returned to the track for the Lumberjacks in the 200 and 400 meters where he posted second-place finishes. He recorded a time of 20.73 in the 200 and 47.09 in the 400 meters. Brown wasn't team's only scorer in the 400 meters. Crowder recorded a seventh-place finish (48.86) on the men's side, while sophomore Cierra Jefferson (56.79) and Hatchett (57.22) went 6-7 on the women's side.

Juniors Josh Taylor and Colton Ross also added all-conference performances in their respective events. Taylor clocked a time of 52.60 to finish second in the 400-meter hurdles, while Ross cleared a height of 17-4.50 to finish third in the pole vault. Ross just beat out teammate Cameron Meyer for the final all-conference honor in the pole vault. Meyer cleared a height of 16-0.75 to finish fourth overall.

Despite having the title locked up on both sides, the SFA men's and women's team closed out the 2013 championship meet in dominant fashion. The 'Jacks 4x400-meter relay team of Shawn Goff, Crowder, Taylor and Brown-Stewart recorded a time of 3:13.92 to win the event. The Ladyjacks' team of Tryon, Jefferson, Hatchett and Simpson recorded a time of 3:44.45 to finish second overall.

The Lumberjacks had several other athletes who posted strong performances on the final day of the meet. After winning two titles, and setting two school records, on the previous two days Arthur recorded a fourth-place finish in the discus throw (151-10) Sunday. Arthur just finished ahead of teammate Lucas Akins (146-4). Senior Hunter Russell added a sixth-place finish in the 1,500 meters (3:57.56), while junior Jonus Rodriguez was sixth in the 800-meter run (1:55.45). Senior Adam Saloom added another top-five performance in the final distance event of the weekend. He finished fifth in the 5,000 meters with a time of 14:46.90. Junior Jamal Peden closed out the field events with a fourth-place finish in the triple jump with his mark of 50-7.50.

Other Ladyjacks that scored on the final day of competition in Lake Charles included sophomore Madison Johnston in the discus. She was fifth with a throw of 131-11. White added a sixth-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles (1:02.32), while freshman Shelby Pesek added a fourth-place finish in the 1,500-meter run. Senior Lauren Smith and junior Laurie Byrd went 4-5 in the final distance event for the women. Smith clocked a time of 17:43.66 in the 5,000 meters, while Byrd crossed the line with a time of 17:49.72.

- From SFA Athletics