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    SEC Track and Field Weekly Notebook

    SEC Track and Field Weekly Notebook (January 21, 2014)


    Two Crimson Tide athletes posted performances last Saturday that lead the SEC in their respective events – sophomore Elias Hakansson broke his own school record in the men’s weight throw with an effort of 20.67 meters (67 feet, 9.75 inches), exceeding his previous Tide record by three inches, and freshman Jeremiah Green made a huge impact in his collegiate debut, breaking the facility record and meet record with a winning leap of 16.01 meters (52-6.50), the fifth-longest in Alabama history … excellent marks in the field events highlighted a strong overall team performances by the Alabama track and field teams in their season opener last Saturday at the Auburn Invitational ... at least 14 athletes achieved personal bests in a variety of events last Saturday ... sophomore Elias Hakansson broke his own school record in the men’s weight throw with an effort of 20.67 meters (67 feet, 9.75 inches) to take the victory, exceeding his previous Tide record by three inches ... junior Charodd Richardson completed a 1-2 Crimson Tide sweep as he shattered his previous personal best with a throw of 19.17m (64-4) while placing second behind Hakansson, exceeding Richardson's prior PR (59-8.25) by almost five feet ... sophomore Quincy Smith shaved a full second off his PR in the 400, running 47.75 to better his old best time of 48.75 on the way to a third-place finish overall among college runners ... newcomer Jacopo Lahbi of Treviso, Italy, arrived in Tuscaloosa in early January but he looked good in his debut, a fourth-place finish in the men’s 800 in 1:51.69, slightly off the all-time Crimson Tide indoor top 10 in the 800 ... junior Matt Airola posted a PR in the mile of 4:02.24, an improvement of 12.24 over his previous best ... senior Sarah Thomas ran a PR of 7.52 in the women's 60-meter dash ... in the women's mile, sophomore Kimberley Ficenec (4:52.07), sophomore Susie Kemper (4:52.50) and freshman Hilary Stafford (4:54.09) crushed their previous PRs in the race ... sophomore Meropi Panagiotou ran 9:40.52 in the women’s 3,000 in 9:40.52, currently No. 2 on the SEC 2014 list ... sophomore Justin Fondren tied for third overall but was the first collegiate finisher in the men’s high jump via a clearance of 2.09 meters (6 feet, 10.25 inches) ... sophomore Imani Brown was third in the triple jump at 15.00m (49-2.50), just slightly off his PR ... junior Nia Barnes had the second-best throw of her career (18.44m/60-6) in the women's weight throw ... senior Alexis Paine took second place in the women’s pole vault with a clearance of 4.15 meters (13-7.25), good for fifth on the all-time UA indoor list ... Alabama continues action this Friday-Saturday (Jan. 24-25) at the Rod McCravy Memorial at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.


    Men -  The No. 1 Arkansas men’s track and field team defeated No. 15 Texas Friday night at the Arkansas vs. Texas Dual. The Razorbacks won 12 of 15 events for the 102-68 victory, with eight of the wins entering in the top-10 finishes in the country. Freshman Omar McLeod continues to impress, now five-for-five in event titles this season. His top finishes in the 200-meter and 60-meter hurdles ranks seventh and fourth in the nation, respectively. Arkansas will be back in action Friday, January 31 for the Razorback Invitational. Women - The No. 7 Arkansas women's track and field team won nine of 15 scored events Friday on its way to a 91-63 dual win over No. 1 Texas. It marked the women’s first dual with Texas. Tamara Myers earned her first two titles of the season, helping take down the top-ranked Longhorns. Her long jump mark of 20-3.5 was a personal best and ties for fifth-best in the nation. Myers recorded a top-mark of 41-8.5 in the triple jump, tying for the third-best in the NCAA this season. Following a week off, Arkansas will be back in action Friday, January 31 for the Razorback Invitational.


    The Auburn track and field team opened the 2014 indoor season this past weekend as it hosted the Auburn Indoor Invitational held at the Birmingham CrossPlex. Auburn came away with wins in six events led by senior distance runner Niklas Buhner, who broke the meet and facility record in the mile with a personal best time of 4:02.20, which is the fourth-best performance in the event in school history. All-SEC throwers Valentina Muzaric and Stephen Saenz claimed the shot put titles, as Muzaric completed the second-longest throw in Auburn history with a throw of 54-1.75/14.81m. Saenz, the reigning SEC Indoor shot put champion, won the men’s event with a throw of 61-00.25/18.60m. Junior Kane Grimster set the meet record in the men’s 3000m with a time of 8:19.11, while the distance medley relay team consisting of Adam Civitano, Ty McCormack, Kane Grimster and Kelley Cutrell won the event with a time of 10:07.30. The Tigers had 58 athletes participate in the opener, accumulating 12 PRs. Of the 58 athletes, 23 were freshman or first-time competitors for the Tigers. Auburn will return to action January 24-25 at the Vanderbilt Invitational in Nashville, Tenn.


    Following a stellar start to the 2013 indoor season two weeks ago at the UAB Blazer Invitational Jan. 10-11, the USTFCCCA Preseason No. 2 (men) and No. 3 (women) Gators will swing back into action Jan. 24-25 at the Rod McCravy Memorial in Lexington, Ky., after a weekend where a select few UF athletes competed at the Jimmy Carnes Invitational in Gainesville. The Florida men’s pole vaulting corps highlighted the Gators’ performers at the Jimmy Carnes as Jared Watkins, Anthony Amodio and Kyle Mailloux swept first through third in the event, Watkins improving upon his mark from the Blazer Invite. Florida departed the season-opening UAB Invite with 13 event victories, 10 meet records, two complex records, eight UF top-10 all-time performances, and several of the top marks in the country so far this season. Heading into the Rod McCravy Memorial, Gators Cory McGee (800m; 2:07.47) and Robin Reynolds (LJ; 6.38m/20-11.25) pace the Southeastern Conference in their respective events, while Reynolds is tops in the nation through the first portion of the indoor season in the long jump.


    Men - The Bulldogs traveled to Birmingham, Ala., to open their season at the Auburn Indoor Invitational on January 18.  Sophomore Brendan Hoban was third in the 3000-meter run on the track with a personal-best time of 8:31.70.  A First Team All-American in the multi-events both indoors and outdoors in 2013, sophomore Maicel Uibo posted a personal best in the shot put by nearly two feet. He reached 46 feet, 6 3/4 inches on his third attempt after two fouls to take 15th.  In the pole vault, Uibo tied for fifth on a third attempt clearance of 16-0.75.  In the final event of the day, three freshmen, Reggie Glover, Ayrian Evans and Derrick White, joined sophomore Maurice Freeman to take fourth in the 4x400 relay. The foursome recorded a 3:12.31 to trim nearly four seconds off of Georgia's top time at the meet last year.  Georgia will go in a pair of directions for its next meets. Some team members will travel to the site of this year's NCAA Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., for the Cherry and Silver Collegiate Invitational. Others will go to Nashville, Tenn., to compete in the Commodores' brand new indoor facility for the Vanderbilt Indoor Invitational. Women - The Georgia women's track and field team posted a series of the nation's top marks to highlight the season-opening Auburn Indoor Invitational in Birmingham.  Freshman Leontia Kallenou surged into the No. 2 spot on this year's national list and No. 3 in the school record books by being the top collegiate finisher in the high jump. Kallenou cleared 6 feet, 2 inches on her first attempt, which is the top mark for Georgia since Levern Spencer set the school record at 6-2.75 in 2008.  In the pole vault, Morgann Leleux opened her third year by winning with a meet record mark of 13-11.25 on her first try. This is the best effort in the SEC this year and is tied for No. 3 on the national list.  Junior Carly Hamilton picked up where she left off last indoor season by taking second in the 3000-meter run. Her time of 9:21.88 was just one second off her school record set in 2013 and not only leads the SEC, but is also No. 7 on the national list.  Primarily an 800 runner, senior Megan Malasarte trained in the mile at the Auburn Invitational and was second with a time of 4:47.80. Malasarte's time is the eighth-best in school history, giving the Lady Bulldogs' four of the all-time top-10 marks in the last two years.  Freshman heptathlete Kendell Williams also made her Lady Bulldog debut and quickly earned a spot in the school record books. Williams was second in the 60 hurdle prelims with the fourth-best time in UGA history (8.39) and the fastest since 2007. The Marietta native finished third in the finals with an 8.40. Senior Lucie Ondraschkova was the fourth collegiate finisher (fifth overall) in the long jump with a mark of 19-3.25 after passing on her final three jumps. An indoor and outdoor scorer at the 2013 NCAA Championships, Ondraschkova clocked an 8.87 in the 60 hurdle prelims before taking eighth in the finals.  Also on the track, redshirt freshman Rashan Browntook fourth in the 200 with the seventh-best time in school history (24.10).


    Dezerea Bryant’s heavily-anticipated UK debut did not disappoint as she shattered school-records in both the 60 and 200 meters during Saturday’s Kentucky Invitational. Taking the Nutter Field House track for the first time, Bryant smashed former Olympic Bronze Medalist Passion Richardson’s 18-year-old 60m record (7.34 seconds) with a nation-leading and personal-best tying time of 7.19. Bryant began the day by running 7.21 in the preliminary heat. Bryant upped the excitement less than two hours later by once again smashing a school-record and posting the nation’s No. 2 performance, this time crossing the 200-meter finish line in 23.04. Bryant’s time bettered the previous UK record, which had been held by Michelle Brown since 1997. Fellow transfer Kendra Harrison posted the nation’s fastest 60-meter hurdles time (8.19) in the preliminary heats, breaking teammate Kayla Parker’s school record, 8.24, a mark which stood for barely more than one month. Harrison also won the 400m with a time of 54.49, which ranks No. 8 nationally. In all, Kentucky won eight of 30 events, five for the sixth-ranked women’s team and three on the men’s side. The Kentucky Invitational served as just a tasty appetizer to the indoor track and field action in store for Lexington. UK will host the Rod McCravy Memorial Meet this weekend. Of the 15 teams scheduled to compete, seven are ranked inside the national top-25 (both men’s and women’s) including No. 3 Oregon men, No. 4 Oregon women, No. 2 Florida men, No. 3 Florida women, No. 7 Arkansas women and No. 24 Alabama women in addition to the No. 6 UK women’s team.


    The LSU Track & Field teams came out firing in their opener of the 2014 indoor season on Saturday as the Tigers and Lady Tigers combined to win five event titles and record 11 indoor personal-best performances as part of a strong 12-team field competing at the Auburn Indoor Invitational at the Birmingham Crossplex. Senior Denise Hinton opened up by winning the women’s weight throw crown in the first event of the day, while fellow senior Jasmin Stowers also took home the title in the first final on the track with a blistering run in the women’s 60-meter hurdles. The teams also closed out the meet by winning three of the four relays to cap another successful season opener. Two of LSU’s relays even set new meet records at the Auburn Indoor Invitational with the women’s distance medley relay and men’s 4x400-meter relay opening with impressive performances. With their 2014 season opener now in the books, the Tigers and Lady Tigers will head back on the road next weekend with a trip to College Station, Texas, to compete at the Texas A&M Triangular being held Jan. 25 at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium. The Lady Tigers are the defending Texas A&M Triangular champion on the women’s side, while the Tigers took third place in the event a year ago.

    Ole Miss

    Sam Kendricks set another meet record and freshman Jalen Miller showed off his impressive sprinting chops to lead the Ole Miss track & field team at the highly competitive Auburn Invitational on Saturday. With the 16th-ranked Ole Miss men squaring off against five other ranked teams in addition to other SEC and ACC schools and a few professional athletes, Kendricks once again stole the show in the pole vault. The junior from Oxford, Miss., set his third meet record in as many tries this season, this time clearing 18-0.5 to defeat the next closest vaulter by nearly a foot and a half. He cleared every bar on the first attempt up to 18-0.5, then had two unsuccessful tries at 18-5.25 to break his own school and facility record before retiring for the day. Miller was equally impressive in his efforts at 60 and 200 meters on Saturday. Running in just the third indoor meet of his career, he set personal bests of 6.67 in the 60 and 21.45 in the 200, which will both rank highly in the NCAA after all the weekend performances are recorded. He finished first among collegians in the 60 and second in the 200. The Tunica, Miss., native now ranks fifth in school history in the 60 and eighth in the 200. For the Rebel women, senior Jhorden Hunter posted a solid 7.52, just .02 off her season best in the 60 meters, to place first among collegians on Saturday. She also led the Rebels in the 200 with a time of 24.65 to finish eighth overall. Ole Miss women that recorded personal bests on Saturday included Amy McCrory, Saga Barzowski and Scarlett Fox in the mile, and Lyndsey Acree and Callie Watson in the pole vault. On Thursday, All-American multi-eventers Fabia McDonald and Mary Ashton Nall competed in their first pentathlon of the season at the Birmingham CrossPlex. McDonald’s runner-up score of 3.989 ranks her No. 2 in the NCAA this year, while Nall’s 3,503 places her among the nation’s top 20, as well. The Rebels return to action on Friday and Saturday at the Vanderbilt Indoor Invitational in Nashville, Tenn.

    Mississippi State

    Returning to the CrossPlex on Saturday after showcasing impressive competition the previous weekend, Mississippi State indoor track and field captured seven Top 10 finishes at the Auburn Indoor Invitational, highlighted by a broken meet record. Junior Ebony Brinker had a leap of 41-05.25 in the triple jump to set the Auburn Indoor Invitational record (previously 40-09.75). Her near personal-best (41-06.25) jump ranks third on MSU’s all-time performance list, and placed her ahead of athletes from Southeastern Conference teams Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt. Rochelle Farquharson also dominated in the field with a long jump of 19-10.25 for a fourth-place finish in a field of 22 lady jumpers. On the track, sprinters Ste’yce McNeil and Scottie Hearn saw top performances. After clocking a 8.71 to win her heat in the 60-meter hurdles prelims, McNeil advanced to the event finals, where she finished fourth by improving her time to 8.64. Meanwhile, Hearn clocked a third-place finish in the 400-meter dash with a time of 47.68. Distance veteran Juan Sanchez (1:53.22) and newcomer Damian Roszko (1:53.53) secured ninth and 11th-place times in the 800-meter run. The pair of Bulldogs displayed strong showings in a group of 33 runners. Additionally, the women’s 4x400-meter relay team garnered another Top 10 finish, placing eighth. The quartet comprised of Ocian Archer, Peli Alzola, Euricka Hardy and Kaelin Kersh clocked a 3:53.72 in the event. After returning to Starkville, the Maroon and White will begin preparation for the Vanderbilt Invitational slated for Jan. 24-25 in Nashville.


    The Tigers had a busy two days in Madison, WI, as they competed in both the Badger Open and the Wisconsin vs. Missouri Dual on Friday and Saturday, respectively.  The teams emerged from the meets with 18 event wins, 28 new personal records, two new All-Time Top Ten marks, and a new Missouri School Record at the hands of junior Kearsten Peoples.  Peoples kicked off the weekend with her winning performance in the weight throw at the Badger Open, throwing 21.01m (68-11.25) for her fourth Missouri School Record performance.  She surpassed the previous record of 20.79m (68-2.50) held by Elisha Hunt, which has stood since 2007.  Peoples bested this mark during Saturday's dual, once again winning the event with a throw of 21.18m (69-6).  She is now ranked 1st in the SEC and 4th in the nation for the weight throw, and 2nd in the SEC and 6th in the nation for the shot put.  Two other women moved up into the Top Ten All-Time lists, with junior Maggie Givens earning a PR of 3.80m (11-11.75) in the pole vault to claim the No. 5 spot.  Sophomore Jacqueline Obi, who took home wins in the 60m dash, 200m dash, and 4x400m relay during Saturday's meet, now sits at No. 7 in the 60m dash All-Time List with her PR of 7.76.  Other big performances include senior Max Storms and freshman Marc Dubrick, who took 2-3 in the men's 3000m on Saturday.  They now hold the 1st and 2nd spots in the SEC rankings for the event.  The teams are back on the road this weekend, traveling to Kentucky for the Rod McCravy Memorial meet.

    South Carolina

    At the Virginia Tech Invitational, South Carolina posted four wins, all by the No. 11 women’s squad…in her first meet of the season, senior Jeannelle Scheper highlighted the weekend by dominating the high jump field and recording an NCAA leader, facility and meet record at 6-02.75 (1.90m)…freshman Natasha Dicks made her collegiate triple jump debut and added her second collegiate win…Dicks’ jump of 41-02.50 (12.56m) is the fifth best in Gamecock history…it is also the best by a freshman and 13th overall in the NCAA this season…the women’s 4x400-meter relay quartet of three freshman, Precious Holmes, Briana Haith and Marisa Bellamy, along with junior Erika Rucker won by nearly three seconds, clocking in at 3:39.95…the time is the seventh fastest in the country this season….making her 2014 debut, Rucker also won the 300-meter dash with a time of 37.62 and finished second in the200-meter dash with a time of 24.15 in her first collegiate race at the distance…sophomore Jermaine Collier posted three top-four finishes at the meet in the 60-meter hurdles, 500-meter dash and 4x400-meter relay…in the 60-meter hurdles, Collier ran the first sub-eight-second time of his career in the prelims and posted his second to take second overall at 7.80…the lifetime best time is the ninth fastest in school history…it also ranks second in the SEC and seventh in the nation this season…on the men’s 4x400-meter relay, Collier ran leadoff and was joined by juniors Eric Winfrey and Chris Walker and senior Chris Royster…the foursome posted a 3:11.51 to finish second amongst collegians and third overall…the time is the 18th fastest in the NCAA this season…sophomore Anna Todd broke the 1,000-meter school record with a time of 2:52.84 and junior Drew Ricci ran the third-fastest time in school history at the distance in the men’s race with his time of 2:27.65…overall, South Carolina recorded 31 top-10 finishes…up next, the Gamecocks host their second home meet of the season on Wed., Jan. 22…two days later, South Carolina splits, with one group heading west for the Cherry & Silver Invitational at the site of the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., and the others set to return to Blacksburg, Va., for the Hokie Invitational.


    The Tennessee track and field teams took part in the Virginia Tech Invitational this past weekend. The Big Orange came away with eight victories, 26 athlete personal bests, and 32 top five finishes.
    Felecia Majors made her debut in the long jump winning the competition with a mark of 5.97m. In other women’s field events, Cassie Wertman won the shot put with a distance of 15.74. Overall the Lady Vols had seven top fives in field events. On the track, Tennessee’s Alexis Panisse won the 800m and 1000m races. Majors continue her success adding three top tens, including two personal bests in the 60m and 500m. The 500m was a great event as Tennessee had six of the top 15 runners, while also having four of the top 15 in the 1000m. Cameron Brown took the weight throw competition for the second consecutive week, scoring a personal best of 20.16m. Deon McAdoo and Carson Frost also achieved personal bests in the event. With a distance of 17.58m, Matthew Hoty won the shot put and Jake Blankenship won the pole vault (5.52m). Austin Whitelaw won the 5000m with an SEC best of 14:44.84, while setting a career best in the 1000m as well. The Vols came together for five top-five performances in various events throughout the weekend. Tennessee will take this week to prepare for the Rod McCravy Memorial Invitational, January 24-25 in Lexington, Ky.

    Texas A&M

    The Aggies swept the team titles at the Texas A&M 10-Team Invitational this past Saturday at Gilliam Indoor as the squads combined for 14 victories and seven meet records. This coming weekend A&M will host LSU and Texas Tech in a Triangular meet. Men - The A&M men dominated the field with a score of 209 ½ points, bettering Baylor (91.5), UT-Arlington (73), TCU (51),UT-San Antonio (50), Texas State (42), Abilene Christian (30), Louisiana Tech (30) and Rice (25). Aggie senior Prezel Hardy, Jr. led the charge with a pair of sprint victories with personal best times in the 60 and 200 meters, as he set meet records in each event with a clocking of 6.56 and 20.70. He broke the A&M school record of 6.59 set by Gerald Phiri on four occasions from 2009 to 2011. Another sprint win had Carlyle Roudette setting a personal best of 46.48 to take the 400m title and he also anchored (46.61) the Aggie 4x400 to a world-leading victory in 3:05.68. Running the first three legs of the relay were Shavez Hart (47.24), Aldrich Bailey, Jr. (45.98) and Deon Lendore (45.87). Casey Strong bettered his own meet record to claim the weight throw with a mark of 64-11 ½ (19.80). Wins were also posted by Devion Harris (6-10 ¼) in the high jump and Olijbanji Asekun (49-6 ½) in the triple jump. The distance medley relay consisting of Isaac Spencer, Greg Coleman, Josh Hernandez and Alex Riba won in 10:01.33. Women – A closer contest had the Aggie women totaling 167 points to finish ahead of Baylor’s 120 with SMU in third at 65. The remainder of the field included Louisiana Tech (60), UT-San Antonio (47), Texas State (42), TCU (37), Rice (34), UT-Arlington (30) and Abilene Christian (9). Texas A&M swept the sprint events with Olivia Ekpone (7.34) in the 60, Kamaria Brown (22.96) in the 200 and Janeil Bellillie (54.48) in the 400. That threesome later teamed up for a meet record in the 4x400 with Ibukun Mayungbe joining the fray. The highlight in the field events was an impressive triple series by LaQue Moen-Davis that included half of her six marks over 44 feet. She broke the meet record with a personal best leap of 44-3 ¼ (13.49). Jennifer Madu used a sixth round jump to win the long jump with an indoor best of 19-4 ½ (5.90).


    Competing in the Auburn Indoor Invitational on Saturday, the Commodores were led by a strong showing from their underclassmen. Vanderbilt freshman Courtney Clayton took first place in the 800-meter run, finishing in a time of 2:11.07. Freshman Sarah Bell continued her series of solid early-season performances by finishing sixth in the pole vault at 3.85m, freshman Simone Charley took third in the triple jump at 12.42m, and freshman Tierney Price took eighth in the triple jump at 11.72m. Those strong performances -- along with a fourth-place finish by senior Brionne Williams in the high jump (1.77m) -- highlighted the day for the young Commodores, who were in action for the third time this season. Clayton's first-place finish punctuated an outstanding effort by Vanderbilt in the 800, as four Commodores finished among the Top-10. Katherine Delaney took third place with a time of 2:11.57, followed by teammates Skyler Carpenter in sixth (2:12.45), Sara Barron in eighth (2:13.36) and Lily Williams in ninth (2:14.26). The Commodores will host the Vanderbilt Indoor Invitational next weekend in the school's new multi-purpose facility.