MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (5/13/2011) —Arkansas State junior Stephanie Foreman captured her third consecutive pole vault title and sophomore Julia Agawu won the women's discus on the opening day of the Sun Belt Conference Outdoor Track & Field at Dean A. Hayes Track & Soccer Stadium on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University.
Foreman cleared 12-11.75 to win the pole vault, giving her both the outdoor and indoor titles in each of her three seasons at ASU. She led the Red Wolves to four of the top-eight places in the event. Senior Erica Naeger finished second, clearing 12-8.00, senior Jennifer Day cleared 11-8.00 to finish fifth and freshman Courtney Briney vaulted a personal-record 10-8.25 to finish seventh.
Agawu put forth the third-best effort in ASU history in winning the discus with a throw of 160-10. With Friday's effort, she now has eight of the top-10 throws in A-State history in the event.
"Julia really came through for us because she had two fouls to start with, and she was ranked in the top-two coming in," said ASU head coach Lon Badeaux. "She barely got one in to make the finals, and then put it away with her first throw in the finals and took the lead. She kind of gave us all heart attacks, but she did what she had to do."
"The pole vault went according to business," added Badeaux. "We got a surprise with Courtney Briney getting seventh, but our top two girls were better than everybody else and it was pretty uneventful. We got started off right and we are ahead of projections, but we need everything to go right to have a chance."
For the ASU men, freshman William Oliver leads the decathlon after five events, scoring 3,469 points to edge Louisiana-Lafayette's Chris Raborn who scored 3,463 points on the day. A-State sophomore Ethan Turpen closed out the day in third place with 3,455 points, freshman Andrew Corter is in sixth place with 3,382 points and junior Taylor Short stands in seventh place with 3,366 points.
Corter got the day and the decathlon underway by running an 11.05 in the 100-meter dash to take first place, followed by a first-place jump of 22-6.25 from Short to win the long jump. Turpen gave ASU a first-place finish in the first three events of the decathlon when he won the shot put with a throw of 40-8.25. Oliver, Corter and Turpen all finished in a fourth-place tie in the high jump, clearing the bar at 6-1.25, with Oliver and Turpen finishing 2-3 in the 400-meter dash behind Raborn.
Freshman Chris Nicasio finished seventh in the men's discus with a throw of 160-06, giving the Red Wolves men two points after one completed event to rank in fifth place.
In the women's heptathlon, A-State junior Kanesha Hicks is in second place following the first four events. Hicks won the 100-meter hurdles to open the day, finishing with a time of 14.52. She finished fourth in the 200-meter dash, fifth in the shot put and 15th in the high jump to total 2,817 points on the day, trailing only South Alabama's Lindsay Schwartz who finished day one with 3,108 points.
The A-State women pace the field following one day of competition, totaling 34 points to lead second-place Western Kentucky which scored 19.
For complete meet results, log on to the Sun Belt Conference website at www.sunbeltsports.org and follow the "Championships" link on the top of the page.
The 2011 Sun Belt Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships will resume Saturday at 9:00 a.m. with the completion of the decathlon and heptathlon.