For the first time in ten years, both the men and women’s track and field programs took first place at the Southland Conference Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Alabama.
The men earned a program best of 121 points and won their first indoor league title in ten years while the women earned a score of 162, which shattered a previous program record, and won their second indoor title in three years.
“It is a great feeling to be back on top again with both programs,” Head Coach David Self said. “I was on staff here in 2005 and 2006 when we did it during the outdoor season and to be able to do it again as the head coach was something I have set in my personal goals for some time.”
Senior Danielle Demas earned a score of 28, where she was the top scorer at the championship meet.
Demas also earned a gold medal in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.48 seconds. She defended her title in the 60-meter hurdles with a time 8.23 seconds and earned a silver medal in the 200 meter dash with a time of 24.06.
“My main goal for this meet was to get the highpoint award and win conference,” Demas said. “That was my goal from the beginning of the year, and I knew what it would take to win so I made sure every practice I did what I needed to do to put myself in the position to win.”
During the championship meet, numerous Bearkats broke personal meet and program records.
Sophomore Jeffery Moore was a top finisher in the men’s mile with a time of 4:12.91, a personal best.
Graduate student Nicole Aponte also earned a personal during the women’s mile with a time of 4:58.25.
At the women’s 400-meter dash, junior Jordan Grady earned a silver medal and personal best of 54.85 seconds as well as senior Ruth Amaku with a time of 55.73 seconds.
Two Bearkats broke a previous meet record at the 800-meter dash. Sophomore Camry Grigsby completed in the run in 2:09.68 while junior Briana McCall finished in 2:09.95.
Junior Krisrine Hanks took first place and broke a meet record during the 4×400-meter relay with a time of 3:41.13
“I am very pleased with our athlete’s performances,” Self said. “We knew we had a very talented group at the beginning of the year and seeing them meet their goals and be apart of rewriting the school’s as well as the conference’s record books is a great feeling.”
At the heptathlon, sophomore Tyler Adams took first place with 5,277 points and also won the 1,000-meter dash in the final event with a time of 2:45.82 while junior Jay Roberson finished the heptathlon in sixth with 4,884 and first place in the pole vault.
“Mental preparation was big part of this,” Adams said. “I always tell myself at conference to just treat it just like any other meet and go out and compete to the best of my ability and the rest will fall into place.”
At the men’s 600-meter hurdles, junior William Stark came in fourth while freshman Damian O’Neal finished in sixth.
In the 60-meter dash, senior Justin Jenkins secured a bronze medal while sophomore Chris Jefferson took fourth.
The Bearkats added to their lead at the women’s triple jump. Freshman Tristyn Allen finished fourth with 39 feet, 10 ¾ inches.
Junior Khalaya Williams jumped 39 feet 10 inches, where she got sixth and freshman Darian Bucknor secured sixth with a jump of 39 feet, 3 ¾ inches.
To end the meet, Hanks took home a gold medal at the women’s weight throw with a distance of 48 feet, 10 inches while the men’s 4×400-meter relay took third with a time of 3:15.87
“Winning is one of the best feelings you can feel as an athlete,” Adams said. “There was so much devotion, heart and sweat put into the meet. So having the outcome we had individually and as a team is a blessing and as exciting as it can get.”