BATON ROUGE, Louisiana – The 2008 Southwestern Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships concluded today with conference institutions competing in the finals in the field events, sprints, distance runs and a relay. In the end, it was the women of Jackson State and the men of Prairie View A&M taking home the titles of conference champion.
The men’s weight throw was won by Prairie View’s Bradley Durham with a toss of 16.56 meters while Alabama State ’s Kameral Kendrick was second with a toss of 16.03 meters. In the women’s weight throw, Jackson State ’s Leadrianna White had a toss of 15.91 meters, besting Kristin Hart of Alabama State by nearly a meter (14.90 meters).
Alabama State claimed the top three spots in the women’s pole vault as Ardra Stepnay (3.23 meters), Shamonique Mattox (3.23 m) and Tanisha Boulware (3.03 m) completed the sweep. In the men’s pole vault, Prairie View’s Justin Brewer had a mark of 4.64 meters while Southern’s Jovanni Jenkins was second with a mark of 4.44 meters.
In the finals of the men’s long jump, Jackson State ’s Afolabi Ayanwale jumped 14.55 meters to take the top spot; Grambling State claimed spots two and three as Matu Bundy (14.28 m) and Travis Joseph (14.06 m) both cleared the 14-meter mark. In women’s action, Prairie View’s Alexis Tanner had a jump of 12.63 meters for the meet’s high mark while Southern’s Earldreka White jumped 12.39 meters for second place.
In the finals of the 60-meter dash, it was Dawn Hernanes of Alabama State registering a time of 7.55 seconds for the win, besting Texas Southern’s Francesca Okwaro (7.56 sec) and Jackson State ’s Courtney Prentiss (7.65 sec). In the men’s dash, Lavarus Giles of Jackson State finished with a time of 6.81 seconds for the top mark; Prairie View’s Chris Taylor (6.83 sec) was second while Texas Southern’s William Osborne (6.95 sec) finished third.
In the women’s one-mile run, Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s Vasity Chemweno set her third conference record of the meet as she finished with a time of 5:02.06 – besting the old mark by 15 seconds set by Johnelle Thomas in 2005 (5:17.22). In men’s action, Prairie View’s Alonzo Thomas finished first with a time of 4:22.84; Alabama State ’s Robert Gunn (4:23.17) was second while Prairie View’s Ashton Brown (4:28.24) was third.
In the women’s 400-meter dash, all eight runners bested the previous conference record set by Joy McDonald in 2004. In the end, it was Kimberly Shaw of Texas Southern with the top time of 56.24 seconds while Tayari Clay of Jackson State was second with a mark of 56.44 seconds. In men’s action, both Texas Southern’s Jeremy Davis and Southern’s Leon Citizen each had faster times than the 2004 record set by Michael Smith, but it was Davis’s time of 48.95 seconds – one one-hundredth of a second faster than Citizen’s – that won first place.
Prairie View’s Ronda Tucker won the women’s 60-meter hurdles with a mark of 8.83 seconds while Jackson State ’s Toniece Williams with a time of 8.88 seconds. Grambling State ’s Edmund Joseph claimed the men’s 60-meter hurdle title with a time of 8.02 seconds. Rodney Harris of Southern was second with a time of 8.04 seconds.
UAPB’s Vasity Chemweno set her fourth conference mark of the meet as she was one of six runners to best the 800-meter SWAC record set by Johnelle Thomas in 2005 (2:25.66). Chemweno won the 800-meter run with a time of 2:14.55 while Southern’s Precious Collins was second with time of 2:17.57. In the men’s 800-meter run, Alabama State ’s Delorean Peek had a time of 1:54.54 to claim the title. Jackson State ’s Kevin Itima was second with a mark of 1:56.11.
Texas Southern’s Francesca Okwaro won the women’s 200-meter dash with a time of 24.92 seconds while Jackson State ’s Tayari Clay was second with time of 24.95 seconds. In the men’s race, Texas Southern’s William Osborne set a new conference record with a time of 21.91 seconds. Three other runners bested the 2005 mark set by Albert Turner (22.29 sec).
Arkansas-Pine Bluff continued their reign in the distance events as Theresa Padilla won the women’s 5,000-meter run with a time of 18:51.64; Grambling State ’s Grace Korir finished second with a mark of 19:12.67. In the men’s 5,000-meter run, Alonzo Thomas of Prairie View (15:52.77) and teammate Ashton Brown (15:53.42) claimed the top two spots.
The final event of the day was the 4-by-400 meter relay. In the women’s race, Jackson State set a new conference mark with a time of 3:49.78; Grambling State (3:54.08) and Southern (3:54.91) finished second and third, respectively. The old mark was set by Grambling State in 2005 with a time of 3:55.21. In the men’s race, Jackson State , Prairie View and Southern were each separated by less than a half-of-an-second. However, JSU won the event with a time of 3:17.19; Prairie View was second with a time of 3:17.42 and Southern was third with a time of 3:17.47.
In the women’s team standings, Jackson State finished first with a total of 127 points; Alabama State was second with 101 points while Grambling State finished third with 99 points. In the men’s competition, Prairie View A&M was first with 143 points, Jackson State was second with 112 points and Southern was third with 83.5 points.
Pauline Banks of Jackson State was named Women’s Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year while Clifton Gillard of Prairie View A&M was named Men’s Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year.
Final Team Point Totals
Jackson State 127 pts
Alabama State 101
Grambling State 99
Arkansas-Pine Bluff 70
Texas Southern 49
Prairie View A&M 43
Prairie View A&M 143 pts
Jackson State 112
Alabama State 69
Grambling State 66.5
Texas Southern 58
Mississippi Valley State 14