BIRMINGHAM, AL (A-STATE) – The Arkansas State University men’s and women’s track and field teams both finished third in the team scoring at the 2016 Sun Belt Conference Indoor Championships that concluded Tuesday at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
The A-State women compiled 96 points and finished behind champion Appalachian State (101.5) and second-place Texas State (99.5). The Red Wolves men’s squad recorded 102.5 points and finished third behind champion Texas State (127.5) and second-place UT Arlington (113.5).
“We had a much better day today but we dug ourselves such a hole on Monday we couldn't come back all the way,” said A-State head coach Jim Patchell. “We do have a young team and I think a valuable lesson was learned about what it takes to win a championship. You have to be on your game as soon as the meet starts and not let up until it's over. The team is obviously disappointed but I think now they realize what has to happen and are looking forward to getting to work on the outdoor season.”
Junior Samone Thompson won the pentathlon with a school-record total of 3,764 points. Thompson won the 60-meter hurdles (8.56) and long jump (5.60m/18-04.50) while finishing third in the final event, the 800-meter run (2:27.37). Freshman Gracee Damron placed sixth in the pentathlon with 3,361 points, the eighth-highest point total in program history.
Sophomore Keturah Smith won the 400-meter dash to earn 10 points for the women. Smith finished the race in 55.06 seconds to tie for the second-fastest time in program history. Junior Erika Christian posted a time of 57.30 seconds to place eighth.
Sophomore Jamil Peeples won the 60-meter hurdles with a Sun Belt Conference championship and SBC season record time of 7.99 seconds. The time ranks him third all-time in program history.
Junior Roelf Pienaar claimed the individual championship in the triple jump. He finished with a mark of 15.73m (51-07.25) to win his fourth individual championship and second on the indoor circuit.
Sophomore Kristina Knott garnered two second place finishes on the day. She finished with a time of 23.98 seconds in the 200-meter dash and clocked a 7.42 60-meter dash for second place finishes. Sophomore Jaylen Bacon finished third in the 60-meter dash (6.70) and 200-meter dash (21.40).
Thompson ran in the finals of the 60-meter hurdles and ran the race in 8.44 seconds, the second-fastest time in program history. The A-State women picked up three more points in the race with senior Emenderlyn Iwuji (8.74) and sophomore Trevene Cowan finishing seventh and eighth, respectively.
Senior Alexandra Pevtsova took second place in the pole vault with a clearance of 3.89m (12-09.00). Senior Megan Wright added two points with a seventh place vault of 3.61m (11-10.00).
In the men’s high jump, freshman Tiaan Steenkamp finished second and sophomore David Phillips placed third. Steenkamp tied his personal best with a clearance of 2.16m (7-01.00) while Phillips cleared 2.01m (6-07.00).
The men’s mile run saw the Red Wolves earn two top-eight finishes. Senior Drew Mueller finished fifth with a time of 4:15.96 while sophomore Rickus Jacobs placed eighth with a time of 4:17.81. Jacobs joined senior Wil Norris in the top-eight of the 5000-meter run. Norris posted the fourth-fastest time in program history (14:57.62) to finish fifth while Jacobs logged the fifth-fastest time in program history (14:59.98).
Elsewhere, A-State saw top-eight finishes from junior Erin Farmer third place in the shot put (15.93m/52-03.25), junior Zach VanGundy fifth place in the 800-meter run (1:54.06) and sophomore Calea Carr eighth place in the shot put (14.17m/46-06.00).
The NCAA Indoor Championships are scheduled for March 11-12 at the Birmingham CrossPlex while the outdoor season begins March 17 for the Red Wolves.