Red Wolves complete A-State Invite with 19 top finishes

Red Wolves complete A-State Invite with 19 top finishes

JONESBORO, AR ( – Hosting the A-State Invitational, the Arkansas State men's and women's track teams completed the two-day meet at the Convocation Center Saturday with 19 event championships and 40 top-three finishes.

After winning four of six events on the meet's first day, the Red Wolves continued to pile up individual victories with 15 first-place showings on Saturday.  The women's team was responsible for nine of them and the men's team the remaining six.

"We had an incredible meet," said A-State head coach Jim Patchell.  "I thought the December 7th meet (A-State Kickoff Classic) was really special, but we exceeded that with this meet.  We had nearly the entire roster set a personal best.  Roelf (Pienaar) set a school record and is now ranked second in the nation in the long jump.  Richard (Chavez) moved up from 10th to eighth in the shot put, and that puts him in All-America territory.  We've got to keep improving, but this was a great performance across the board."

Pienaar, a sophomore, won the long jump with a distance of 7.97m, which broke the school record of 7.89m previously set by Mesut Yavas in 2001.  Additionally, his distance was the second best in the nation at the end of the day.

Chavez was also one of the leaders on the men's team, winning the shot put event after claiming the weight throw championship on Friday.  The school record holder in the event, he claimed first place with a distance of 19.61m.

Also claiming top finishes for the Red Wolves were David Phillips in the heptathlon (4698 points), Billy Ellis in the 55m hurdles (7.60), Jaylen Bacon in the 55m dash (6.29) and Rickus Jacobs in the mile run (4:18.26).

The women's team was led by two first-place finishes from freshman Kristina Knott in the long jump and the 200m dash, while Heather Newberry, Chelsey Roberson, Brianne Murphy and Rexi Parcells combined to win the 4x400m relay.  Knott posted a best jump of 5.91m and won the 200 with a time of 24.55.

Also claiming top finishes for the women's team on Saturday were Erin Farmer in the weight throw (18.82m), Ivery Guyton in the high jump (1.67m), Emenderlyn Iwuji in the 55m hurdles (8.01), Erika Christian in the 400m dash (57.58), Parcells in the 800m run (2:19.40) and Tilda Helgesson in the 5,000m (17:26.37).

Arkansas State returns to action Feb. 6-7 at the Nebraska Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational in Lincoln, Neb.