ASU Track Registers Strong Finishes at South Alabama and Tennessee Meets

MOBILE, Ala. ( – The Arkansas State University men's and women's track and field teams produced a strong finish at both the South Alabama Invitational and Tennessee Relays this weekend (April 10-12) with 13 top-three performances, which included winning five individual events.

A-State's top showings at the non-scoring South Alabama Invitational came in the 200-meter dash, 110-meter hurdles, and the long jump for the men while the women's team captured first-place honors in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes at USA's Jaguar Track in Mobile, Ala.

We had another solid weekend at both the South Alabama Invitational and the Tennessee Relays," said A-State head coach Jim Patchell.  "I was proud of how everyone competed and we are starting to see the results of some pretty heavy training over the last five weeks.  We want to keep getting a little better each weekend as we begin to sharpen up for the conference championships."

The Red Wolves featured the top two finishers in the 200-meter dash as senior Justin Whitfield won first place in a personal-best 21.57 time with senior Raymond Jackson right behind with a personal-record setting time of 21.68 to earn second.  Sophomore Billy Ellis was tops in the 110-meter hurdles by clocking a time of 14.44.  Freshman Roelf Pienaar was the third event winner for A-State in Saturday's (April 12) action topping the field in the long jump with a 24-07.75/7.51m distance.  He also took second in the triple jump as a result of a 49-05.00/15.06m effort.

In the 100-meter dash, Raymond Jackson's personal-best 10.63 time afforded him second-place laurels while sophomore Tahshon Reese tied for third by crossing the finish line in a 10.69 time.  Junior Devin Noel placed third in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 55.39.

Senior Sharika Nelvis paced Arkansas State in women's competition with a pair of individual event titles in the 100 and 200-meter dashes.  Nelvis sprinted 11.32 in the 100 meters to tie for the eighth fastest time nationally this spring and generated a personal record
23.29 time to win the 200-meter dash.  The Red Wolves would register a pair of runner-up showings in two separate hurdle events.  Sophomore Emenderlyn Iwuji notched a 14.18 time in the 100-meter hurdles and freshman Ane Fourie had a 1:04.87 time in the 400-meter hurdles.  Freshman Erika Christian contributed to A-State's success in the sprints by running a 24.56 in the 200-meter dash to claim third place.

The Tennessee Relays, which were held at UT's Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn., featured A-State's primary throwers and a couple of distance runners.  Senior Bailey Sisson-Eller was the highest finisher for the Red Wolves at the non-scoring meet as she took fourth in the 10,000-meter run Thursday (April 10) with a 38:18.77 time.  Freshman Kiarra Simpson would achieve seventh place in last Friday's (April 11) discus event following a throw of 137-05.21/41.89m.

On the men's side, senior Tyler Lingo earned eighth place in the discus with a 154-07.90/47.14m toss in day two of the three-day meet.  A-State's other top-10 performance on the weekend came the way of senior Chris Nicasio in the hammer throw by virtue of his ninth-place 192-08.98/58.75m distance.

The Red Wolves are competing in the Central Arkansas Open next weekend, April 18-19, at UCA's Bill Stephens Track Complex in Conway, Ark., while a select number of individuals are traveling to California for the 56th annual Mt. SAC Relays to be held April 17-19 at Mt. San Antonio College's Hilmer Lodge Stadium in Walnut, Calif.

Arkansas State track and field is on Twitter.  Follow the program's official Twitter account (@ASTATETRACK) to get information and team updates.  The Red Wolves are also on Facebook<>.