Arkansas State, WKU Have Successful Season Openers

COURTESY: SunBeltSports.org

Arkansas State Fares Well in Outdoor Season Debut
OXFORD, Miss. (3/22/14) – The Arkansas State University track and field teams registered a combined four first-place finishes at this Saturday’s (March 22) Ole Miss Open to highlight its first meet of the 2014 outdoor season at the Ole Miss Track and Field Complex in Oxford, Miss.

The A-State women’s team turned in three event top placings with redshirt junior Kristina Aubert in the 1,500-meter run, senior Bailey Sisson-Eller in the 5,000-meter run, and freshman Erin Farmer in the shot put. For the men, freshman Brandon Lombardino had a notable outdoor collegiate debut, winning the shot put by recording a first-place 47-10.79/14.60m distance.

The Red Wolves received a number of quality performances in the 13-team field which included host Ole Miss along with NCAA Division I regional opponents Memphis, UALR and Austin Peay.

“For the first outdoor meet of this season, I thought we performed about where we need to be,” said A-State head coach Jim Patchell. “Although we generally train through these early meets, we still had some solid marks.”

On the track, Aubert was first among 27 finishers in the 1,500 meters with a 4:35.17 time while Sisson-Eller clocked a personal-best 18:26.46 time to win the 5,000 meters. Farmer’s throw of 45-10.39/13.98m in the shot put earned her first-place honors.

The Red Wolves compiled a combined 16 top three-place performances with the women’s team accounting for nine, which included five in the track events. The A-State men’s squad would produce seven such efforts with four coming on the track side.

Sophomore Emenderlyn Iwuji would take second place in the 100-meter hurdles following a 14.35 time as did junior Tilda Helgesson in the 3,000-meter steeplechase as a result of producing a career-best 11:09.41 time. In the shot put, senior Kim Ludick-Raath had a throw of 45-05.28/13.85m to earn a runner-up finish while sophomore Macey Rodely tallied an 108-06.75/33.09m in the javelin to earn second-place plaudits. Ludick-Raath and and junior Rexi Parcells both attained third-place showings in the hammer throw and 1,500-meter run, respectively. Ludick-Raath recorded a 147-04.50/44.92 effort and Parcells crossed the finish line in a 4:39.63 time.

On the men’s side, senior Kashef Daniel was second in the high jump by clearing the bar at 6-10.75/2.10m. Senior David Mills’ 10:23.75 time was good for runner-up kudos in the 3,000-meter steeplechase while sophomore Wil Norris lead the way among three A-State top nine 1,500-meter finishers with a personal-best time of 4:02.73. Three Red Wolves would place third in their respective events – senior Tyler Lingo in the shot put (46-01.54/14.06m), sophomore Billy Ellis in the 110-meter hurdles (14.78), and sophomore Jesse Duvall in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (10:33.01).

Arkansas State will be traveling to both the Memphis (Tenn.) Invitational and the 87th Annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin, Texas, next weekend, March 28-29 for its second outdoor appearance of the 2014 campaign.

Hilltoppers, Lady Toppers Open Outdoor Campaign With Eight Wins 
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – The WKU Track and Field teams began their 2014 outdoor campaigns at the SIUE Cougar Classic Saturday and walked away with a combined eight victories at Korte Stadium.

The Hilltoppers were led by a pair of wins from two-time All-American David Mokone, who captured victory in the 1,500-meter run and 3,000-meter run. Mokone breezed his way to wins with times of 3:58.84 in the 1,500 and 8:45.85 in the 3,000.

Junior Travis Gerding, a 2013 Outdoor All-Sun Belt Conference honoree in the shot put, opened his outdoor season with a win in the shot put and third-place showings in the hammer and discus throws. Gerding heaved the shot 52-feet-10 ½ inches on his way to victory.

Senior Chris Chamness nabbed his first-career 800-meter run victory with a 1:56.56 clocking and also ran the lead leg for WKU’s victorious 4X400-meter relay consisting of Elvyonn Bailey, Karlis Daube, and DeAngelo Strickling.

The Lady Toppers received wins from All-Sun Belt Conference field athletes Satrina Oliveira and Karleigh Parker. Oliveira secured her second-career discus throw victory with a mark of 150-feet-6 inches while Parker cleared 12-feet-1 ½ inches to win the pole vault.

The 4X100-meter quartet of Sandra Akachukwu, Gelela Cooley, Carrol Hardy and Chioma Agwunobi also took home top honors with a time of 47.83 seconds.
Antonia Susnjar finished runner up in the javelin throw with a toss of 132-feet-4 inches in her first meet as a Lady Topper. The Hilltoppers’ Cyrus Johnson also had a runner-up finish in the long jump with a leap of 22-feet-11 inches.

Neither squad competed with a full arsenal but the Hilltoppers still finished third out of seven teams with 105 points while the Lady Toppers finished fourth out of eight with 74 points.

Both teams are back in action next weekend in Nashville as they participate in the multi-day Vanderbilt Black and Gold Invitational at the Vanderbilt Track and field Complex. For more information on WKU Track and Field, follow the team on Twitter at @WKUTrackField or visit WKUSports.com.