Three Red Wolves win conference titles in Day 1 of SBC Outdoor Track & Field Championships

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 11:13 PM CDT
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Three Arkansas State track and field athletes earned conference titles on the first day of the 2022 Sun Belt Conference Outdoor Championships Thursday at the Home Bank Track and Field Complex.

A-State’s women own a commanding early lead after the first day of competition, totaling 55 points in just four of 21 events scored – 29 points ahead of second-place host Louisiana’s 26. On the men’s side, the Red Wolves sit in second place as a team after three events scored, totaling 17 points behind South Alabama’s 49 points.

Camryn Newton-Smith notched the first individual title for the Red Wolves, claiming gold in the women’s javelin and breaking her own school record with a throw of 47.79m (156-9.0) on her sixth attempt.

A-State racked up 17 points in the event, with Isabel Daines placing fifth with a throw of 42.10m (138-1.0) and Allie Hensleytossing 41.38m (135-9.0) to finish sixth and move up to eighth in school history.

In the men’s hammer throw, Aimar Palma Simo did just as he had all season and led from his first throw on the way to taking gold in the first scored men’s event of the meet. The three-time SBC Men’s Field Athlete of the Week posted a best throw of 63.73m (209-1.0) to win.

It was a repeat gold medal for Lauren Beauchamp, who won her second straight outdoor crown in the women’s pole vault. She edged out teammate Avery Shell, who took silver, with both clearing 3.82m (12-6.25).

Grace Flowers took bronze in the women’s hammer to put the first points on the board for the women, while also hurling a personal-best 59.17m (194-1.0) to move up to second all-time in school history in the event.

Near the end of the night, Sophie Leathersand Sarah Trammel took silver and bronze, respectively, in the women’s 10,000 meters to add 14 points to the women’s team’s opening-day total. Jacob Pyeatt closed out the night with a bronze-medal finish in the men’s race, crossing the line in 31:04.44.

On the first day of the heptathlon, Newton-Smith and Daines put together strong performances in the first four events en route to placing in the top five entering Friday. Newton-Smith threw a personal-best 12.59m (41-3.75) in the shot put and matched her career-best in the high jump with a clearance of 1.76m (5-9.25) to go into the second half of the event second overall with a score of 3,277 points. The freshman Daines is currently fifth with a total of 2,920 points.

Three Red Wolves advanced as automatic qualifiers to the men’s 1500-meter final, led by Bennett Pascoe’s top time of 3:54.73. Grayson Young finished just behind him in the second heat with a time of 3:55.37, while Seth Waters captured the top time in his heat, crossing in 3:58.10.

In the women’s 1500 meters, both Elizabeth Martin and Kayla Wade registered automatic-qualifier finishes in their respective heats to move on to Saturday’s final. Martin posted the second-best qualifying time of 4:35.49, while Wade finished in 4:41.62.

Jonae Cook clocked a time of 24.24 in the women’s 200 meters prelims, punching a ticket to Saturday’s final in the event.

A pair of athletes earned spots in the 400-meter hurdle finals, as Chelby Melvin won her heat in 59.69 to automatically qualify, while Darrian Lockett qualified on time with a mark of 52.60.

The Red Wolves return to action at 9:30 a.m. with the final three events of the heptathlon. The first track event of the day, the women’s 100-meter hurdles prelims, is set for a 5 p.m. start and can be viewed live on ESPN+.

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