Sam Houston State men and women’s track and field team finished runners-up at the Southland Conference Track and Field Championship on Tuesday.
The two-day competition was held at the CrossPlex Facility in Birmingham, Alabama and started on Monday and lasted through Tuesday.
The Bearkat ladies shined during the competition, but SLC rival Stephen F. Austin State captured the women’s championship with a point total of 132.5. The Kats followed with a second place finish at 118 points. Lamar placed third, totaling 106 and Abilene Christian placed fourth with 69 points.
Junior Ashley Jenkins came up big by taking home the gold medal in the women’s weight throw while setting a school record in the event by throwing 62’ 10”. Junior Danielle Demas also found herself finishing in a top spot. She placed first in the 60-meter hurdles with a clocked time of 8.30 seconds.
In Tuesday’s final event, freshmen Camry Grigsby and Kodii Church, junior Ruth Amaku and sophomore Jordan Grady worked together to place first in the women’s 4×400 meter relay with a time of 3:43.37.
Bearkat women junior Paula Smith, Grady and senior Kara Whitson found themselves finishing near the top of the leaderboard in their respective events.
Smith finished second in long jump (19’ 3.5”), third in the 60-meter dash (7.62) and also took home fourth place in high jump (5’ 4.25”). Grady finished second in the 400-meter dash with a mark of 55.50, and Whitson finished third in pole vault, clearing 13” 0.75”.
On the men’s side of action, the Bearkats were led by freshman Tyler Adams and 60-dash gold medalist Justin Jenkins. The Kats finished second in the team competition behind the Lumberjacks.
Adams had a marvelous showing at the championship taking home first place in both the heptathlon and the high jump. In the heptathlon, Adams placed first in the 1,000-meter run (2:37.62), high jump (6’8”), 60-meter hurdles (8.52) and long jump (22” 11,75) to total 5,221 points.
“I feel like I performed very well,” Adams said. “It was one of the best performances I’ve had all year.”
Jenkins, senior Rodney Jones, sophomore William Stark, sophomore Jay Robertson and freshman Jeffrey Moore all contributed to the Bearkats team placing.
Jenkins finished first in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.78 while Jones scored points for the Kats in multiple events. Jones finished as runner-up in the 400-meter dash (46.97) and third in the 200 meters (21.41). He also ran the anchor leg on the men’s 4×400, teaming with Stark, Jenkins and senior Alex Gilreath to finish sixth with a time of 3:15,98.
Moore was the runner-up in the 800-meter race clocking a 1:51.58 and eighth in the mile run. Stark placed third in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.21 and Robertson was third in the heptathlon with 5,105 points.
“I feel like we competed alright as a team. We had a lot of things go well and a lot of things go wrong which is typical for a conference meet,” Robertson said. “In my opinion, I feel like I should’ve put up more points in the pole vault. I think that would’ve been helpful but I don’t think that would have made much of a difference in point scoring.”
The NCAA Indoor Championships are slated from March 13-14 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.