A-State women’s track and field three-peats as Sun Belt Outdoor Champions, men finish second
For the second year in a row, the Arkansas State women’s track and field team completed the illustrious Sun Belt Conference Triple Crown, winning its third consecutive conference outdoor title on Saturday.
A-State’s women led wire-to-wire, not relinquishing their early lead from the first day of the three-day meet, and totaled 157 points – tied for the school record for points scored in a Sun Belt Conference outdoor championship meet. The Red Wolves finished 21 points ahead of second-place Coastal Carolina, which racked up 136 points.
The title marks the ninth consecutive conference crown for the A-State women’s track and field and cross country program dating back to the Red Wolves’ 2019 outdoor championship. It was the Scarlet and Black’s eighth outdoor SBC women’s title, which made A-State the league’s all-time winningest women’s program in outdoor history.
On the men’s side, the Red Wolves clawed back from a deficit to come to within a half point of leader South Alabama, but the eventual champion Jaguars pulled away with 20 points in the men’s 5000 meters. A-State finished second in the team standings with 137 points, 11.5 behind USA’s 148.5.
Bennett Pascoe earned his second consecutive gold in the men’s 1500 meters, doing so in a meet-record 3:46.89. Seth Waters took silver and finished in 3:49.39 while Grayson Young crossed the line fifth with a time of 3:54.68. Elizabeth Martin captured bronze in the women’s race, finishing in 4:37.89.
Waters later took the top spot in the men’s 800 meters with a time of 1:49.90. Freshman Cheyenne Melvin picked up a silver medal in the women’s 800, finishing in 2:07.72, while Chelby Melvin earned bronze in the 400-meter hurdles with a personal-best time of 59.30.
Sophie Leathers won the women’s 5000 meters with a time of 17:38.16, finishing just under 10 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. Jacob Pyeatt took silver in the men’s race, running a personal-best 14:28.69 while Coleman Wilson crossed the line in 14:54.01.
A-State’s men picked up a pair of silver medals in the vertical jumps, with Bradley Jelmert and Frank Massey earning runner-up honors in the pole vault and high jump, respectively. Dylan Western added a point in the high jump behind Massey, placing eighth.
The women added 11 points in the discus behind Evangelynn Harris’ silver-medal finish. The East St. Louis native hurled a season-best 52.38m (171-10.0) while Grace Flowers placed sixth with a toss of 48.82m (160-2.0). On the men’s side, the freshman duo of Jacob Tracy and Willem Coertzen placed fourth and eighth, respectively.
In the sprints, Jonae Cook earned bronze in the women’s 100 meters with a time of 11.43, then later placed fourth in the 200 meters with a blistering time of 23.35. Her 200-meter time moved her up to third all-time in the event in school history.
Also on the straightaway, Chelby Melvin earned a sixth-place result in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.04. Ke’Von Holder placed sixth in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.02, while Will Glass finished seventh in 14.29.
Darrian Lockett placed sixth in the men’s 400-meter hurdles, finishing in 53.21.
A-State’s women’s 4x100-meter relay squad placed fifth with a time of 45.42, while the men finished in 41.16 to place eighth.
The track and field season is not over for the Red Wolves, as several athletes will turn their attention to the NCAA West Prelims, set for May 26-28 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The top 12 finishers in each event at the preliminary rounds will then qualify for the 2022 NCAA Outdoor Championships held June 8-11 in Eugene, Ore.
For the latest on the A-State track and field program, follow @AStateTrack on Twitter and @Arkansas_State_Track on Instagram, while also liking the team’s Facebook page at //Facebook.com/AStateTrackAndField.
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