“It takes great determination, relentless hard work and resiliency to achieve such a title. We are so proud of our men and women and what they have been able to accomplish…”
SAN MARCOS, Texas – A dramatic finish saw the Texas State women’s track and field team win the 2018 Sun Belt Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championship and complete the Triple Crown Sunday night at the Bobcat Track & Field Stadium. The men were runners-up for the second year in a row after compiling 131 points.
The championship was the fifth consecutive overall SBC trophy for the women and second straight outdoor title as the team totaled 139.5 points to Arkansas State’s 138.5.
“The Triple Crown is a huge accomplishment for our program. It is an indescribable challenge to win cross country, indoors and outdoors in the same year,” said Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Jody Stewart. “It takes great determination, relentless hard work and resiliency to achieve such a title. We are so proud of our men and women and what they have been able to accomplish in these short three years and it is exciting knowing there is still room to grow.”
“Special thanks to Dr. Larry Teis, Lacy Needham, Don Coryell and our entire athletic administration and all of our supporters.”
“We would also like to acknowledge our facilities crew and volunteers who helped put together an outstanding Sun Belt Championship meet.”
Heading into the 4×400-meter relay, the final race of the championships, the Bobcat women trailed by four points to Arkansas State.
The team of Dawnshae Evans, Tramesha Hardy, Esther Oyetunde and Sydni Willis won the race with a championship record and fifth fastest in school history time of 3:38.55.
The Red Wolves nearly claimed third to share the title but were overtaken on the final turn by a runner from rival Little Rock to allow Texas State to clinch the title.
Oyetunde led from start and crossed the line in 2:10.56 to win her first outdoor gold medal in the 800m after picking up bronze medals the previous two championships.
The battle for third saw an Arkansas State runner cut inside and bump into an Appalachian State runner to take the bronze. However, a challenge by the Mountaineers resulted in the Red Wolves athlete to be disqualified for impeding and take away six team points from ASU.
Hardy repeated as the 200m champion in a time of 22.95. It is the quickest non-wind aided time in program history and the second fastest overall. Joining her on the podium was DeAijha Hicks-Boyce with a time of 23.79 to claim the bronze.
In the 100m, Hardy took the silver and posted a top 10 program time at 11.45. Hicks-Boyce picked up another bronze after crossing the line in 11.64. Adding four points to the team’s total was Chrischaynie Washington after coming in fifth in 11.70.
Eight points were earned in the 400m with Evans crossing the line in fourth with a time of 55.12. Taffoya Shirley crossed the line for a sixth-place finish.
Kylah Smith captured the gold in the 100m hurdles. She crossed the finish line in 13.49, the fastest in the SBC and fourth in program history. Just missing also standing on the podium was Javlyn Cameron, who came in fourth.
In the 400m hurdles, Willis added her name to the Texas State record book with a time of 58.54. It was also the fastest in the finals to win the gold.
A silver medal was clinched by the foursome of Washington, Evans, Hicks-Boyce and Hardy in 45.65. Also winning the silver was Mylana Hearn, the second of her outdoor career, with a season’s best leap of 12.94m (42-5.5) on her second attempt. Coming in sixth in the triple jump was Taydria Nickerson.
Smith tallied the first points for the women with a fourth place finish in the heptathlon. The junior totaled 5,022 points with her best two events being the 100-meter hurdles (994 pts) and 200m dash (820 pts).
The first medal on the women’s side for the Bobcats was earned by Naomi Ferdinand. She matched her season best leap of 6.00m (19-8.25) on her second attempt of the day to earn the silver.
Chelsie Decoud came up short in her attempt to four-peat in the high jump but shared the bronze with Arkansas State’s Darragh May. Both cleared 1.74m (5-8.5) on their first leaps. Also earned points for TXST was Courtney Johnson with a sixth place finish and clearance of 1.69m (5-6.5).
Earning two points for the women’s team score was Devina Schneider in the 3000m steeplechase. She also added five points behind a fourth place finish in the 1500m with a season best time of 4:32.02 that ranks fifth in school history.
Claiming the first medal of the meet for either team was Joseph Meade in the men’s 10,000m run Friday night. The junior took home the silver in a time of 31:38.02. Earning three points for the men’s team score with a sixth place finish was Jose Angel Gonzalez.
T’Mond Johnson continued his domination of the shot put. The junior unleashed a toss of 19.79m (64-11.25) on his third throw of the day that ranks 12th in the nation. The distance broke his own school record and was his sixth consecutive outdoor meet to surpass 19 meters.
For the first time since 1998, a Bobcat student-athlete claimed a conference title in the decathlon. Winning the gold was Ben Collerton with a point total of 7,148. The last TXST athlete to take home the gold in the event was Ben Ploetz when Collerton was three weeks old.
Oliver Ryborg Kjeldsen posted strong performances in the second day of the decathlon to jump from 10th after the first five events to claim sixth with 6,658 points.
A surprising gold came from Ronnie Briscoe in the men’s long jump. The freshman uncorked a personal best 7.59m (24-11) on his final attempt to surpass the Red Wolves’ Carter Shell. It is the first long jump conference title for a Bobcat since 2005. Coming in sixth for TXST was Alvin Chikaeze at a season best distance of 7.29m (23-11).
Sunday began with Bobby Smith winning the bronze in the men’s discus. The freshman posted a throw of 53.31m (174-11) on his third attempt of the day. Also earning points in the event were Johnson with a fifth place finish and Brandon Busby claimed seventh.
Chikaeze became the first Bobcat to win a conference triple jump title since 2005 with a leap of 15.47m (50-9.25) on his third try. Joining him on the medal stand was Michael Madu after a jump of 14.38m (48-8) to grab the bronze. Also scoring in the event was Briscoe with a seventh place finish.
The first event on the track on the final day of competition saw the team of Lincoln Warren, Carlos Wilson, De’Marcus Porter and Jaylen Allen just get edged out for the gold in the 4x100m relay. The foursome combined for a time of 38.89 that is the second quickest in program history.
Warren followed with a bronze medal in the 400m in 46.66, a top 10 mark in the TXST record book, while running in lane No. 1. Porter placed fifth in 46.97 and Kelson Pierre came in eighth.
Running beside Jaylen Bacon, who is the quickest student-athlete in the country, Wilson finished in second with a school record breaking time of 10.24. Among freshman, it is tied for the second fastest time in the nation.
Christopher Green captured the bronze in the 400m hurdles in a personal best time of 51.99 out of the seventh lane. Also picking up points in the race was Christian Jackson after coming in seventh.
Meade posted a fourth place finish in the 5000m and Jaylen Allen came in eighth in the 800m.
Wrapping up the championships was the men’s 4x400m relay. Tyrell Valentine, Porter, Green and Warren combined to finish in a time of 3:08.85 to take home the silver.
Ben Collerton Decathlon Gold Tramesha Hardy 200m Gold
T’Mond Johnson Shot Put Gold Esther Oyetunde 800m Gold
Ronnie Briscoe Long Jump Gold Kylah Smith 100m Hurdles Gold
Alvin Chikaeze Triple Jump Gold Sydni Willis 400m Hurdles Gold
Carlos Wilson 100m Silver Team 4x400m Relay Gold
Joseph Meade 10,000m Silver Tramesha Hardy 100m Silver
Team 4x100m Relay Silver Mylana Hearn Triple Jump Silver
Team 4x400m Relay Silver Naomi Ferdinand Long Jump Silver
Lincoln Warren 400m Bronze DeAijha Hicks-Boyce 100m & 200m Bronze
Christopher Green 400m Hurdles Bronze Chelsie Decoud High Jump Bronze
Bobby Smith Discus Bronze
Michael Madu Triple Jump Bronze
Next meet on the schedule is the NCAA West Preliminary meet that takes place in Sacramento, California from May 24-26. Student-athletes that qualify for the meet will be announced later in the week.
For the latest on Texas State track and field, visit the official website of Texas State Athletics at www.txstatebobcats.com and follow the team on Twitter at @TxStateTrack.