NEW ORLEANS - Arkansas State's Kristina Aubert and Ethan Turpen highlight the Sun Belt Conference's Indoor Track & Field Athletes of the Week following their performances on the track as Aubert claimed the Women's Track Athlete of the Week honor, while Turpen claimed the Men's Field Athlete of the Week honor.
Joining Aubert and Turpen were WKU's Dante Sales, who was named the Men's Track Athlete of the Week honoree, and Middle Tennessee's Ann Dudley, who earned the Women's Field Athlete of the Week award.
Aubert, running her first-ever 3,000 meter race as a freshman at Arkansas State, placed first and shattered the Arkansas State record in the run at the Arkansas State Kickoff Classic, breaking the old record by more than 26 seconds. Aubert ran 9:52.14, to eclipse the record of 10:19.83 set by Maggie Kimani during the 2008-09 indoor season.
Dudley, a sophomore, broke the Sun Belt regular season indoor record in the high jump, leaping 5-11.25 (1.81m) at the Tennessee State Ed Temple Invitational to claim first place honors. The sophmore ranks second in the NCAA this season. Dudley also placed third in the 55-meter hurdles at the meet.
WKU's Sales led the way for the Hilltoppers with a first-place finish of 6.26 seconds in the 55-meter dash at the MT Christmas Invitational. With that effort, he passed former Sun Belt Champion Gavin Smellie to move into second all-time in the WKU record books.
This past weekend at Tennessee State, Sales took runner-up honors with a clocking of 6.38 seconds. Sales currently ranks fourth in the country at 60 meters based on his 55-meter conversion from MTSU.
Arkansas State sophomore, Turpen, scored 5,095 points to edge junior teammate Taylor Short winning the heptathlon to lead the Red Wolves' Track & Field team at the Arkansas State Kickoff Klassic. Turpen was the leader after four events at the conclusion of day one, but slipped to second after day two's first event. Short took over first place, with Turpen still in second after the pole vault, but Turpen won the 1,000 meter run with a time of 2:48.53 to secure first place overall.
Several SBC teams will be in action this weekend highlighted by the Texas A&M Conference Challenge where three SBC teams will compete - Louisiana-Lafayette, ULM and North Texas. Arkansas State heads north for the SIU Saluki Booster, while Middle Tennessee and WKU will travel to Kentucky for the UK Invitational and FIU heads east for the LSU Purple Tiger Classic.