NEW ORLEANS – The Grambling State strangle hold on SWAC Track and Field continued as the Tigers claimed their fourth straight conference title. GSU scored 149.5 points to earn their 8th title overall, earning Bertram Lovell Coach of the Year honors.
Erick Thomas of Arkansas-Pine Bluff scored 24 points to win meet Most Outstanding Performer honors. He finished second in both Discus and Javelin, while coming in fourth in the Hammer Throw and sixth in the Shot Put. On the track, Darwin Price of Grambling claimed top honors with 32 points. He won both 1500m and 3000m Steeplechase, while finishing third in the 800m and 5000m races.
Prairie View was second in the team standings, scoring 125 points. Southern (112.5), Texas Southern (103) and Jackson State (91) rounded out the top five. Alabama State was sixth with 75 points, Mississippi Valley finished seventh with 63, followed by Arkansas-Pine Bluff (48), Alabama A&M (27) and Alcorn State (18).
Individually, Kenneth Hoskins of Jackson State outjumped a pair of competitors from Prairie View, Devion Harris and Pierre Shepherd, to claim first place in the High Jump. Hoskins cleared 2.10m (6-10.75), while Harris was second at 2.06m (6-09.00) and Shepherd third with a height of 2.02m (6-07.50).
In the Pole Vault, Joshua Albert of Southern topped the field with a height of 3.75m (12-03.50). James Bickham of Prairie View took second, clearing 3.45m (11-03.75) and Durante Ponder of Jackson State was third at 3.35m (10-11.75).
D’Wayne Houston of Southern captured first place in the Discus with a distance of 46.74m (153-04). Erick Thomas of UAPB was second with a throw of 44.70m (146-08), while Lee Thrasher of Alabama State was third at 44.56m (146-02).
The Triple Jump champion was Preston Woodard of Prairie View who won the event with a jump of 15.76m (51-08.50). De’Andre Woodland of Southern was second with a distance of 14.81m (48-07.25), while Demetrious Williams of Texas Southern had the third best jump of 14.11m (46-03.50).
In a bit of a surprise, Prairie View edged Jackson State to win the 400m Relay. The foursome of Jeremiah Johnson, Terrance Clayton, Victor Nichols and Sidney Brown finished the race with a time of 41.07. JSU was breathing down their neck crossing the line at 41.42, while Alabama State was a close third with a time of 41.54.
As the sprints continued, William Donelson of Prairie View rolled to a first place finish in the 110m hurdles. He finished the race with a time of 14.24. Geoffrey Brady from Jackson State was second at 14.62, while Erich Seals of Southen claimed third place.
Then in the 400m race, Akeem Williams of Grambling State finished just ahead of Arte’ Collins and Jeffry Lacroix of Texas Southern. Williams won the race with a time of 46.47. Collins was close by in second with a time of 46.59, while Lacroix was third at 46.78.
In the 100m and 200m sprints, Anaso Jobodwana of Jackson State took first place. In the 100m, Jobodwana finished first in the 100m with a time of 10.37, then ran a 20.74 in the 200m. Justin Anderson of Texas Southern finished second in the 100m (10.45) and Brent Lee of Jackson State was third at 10.50. Finishing behind Jobodwana in the 200m was Akeem Williams of Grambling in second place at 20.84 and Justin Anderson of Texas Southern was third at 21.17.
Grambling swept the top three spots in the 800m. Darius Taylor led the way with a time of 1:52.63. Teammate Stephone Leaks was second with a time of 1:52.93, while Darwin Price ran 1:54.38 to take third place.
In the 400m Hurdles, it was William Donelson of Prairie View claiming the top spot, finishing with a time of 52.61. Ronald Jordan of Alabama State was second at 52.89, with Shawn Jackson of Grambling rolling in third at 53.07.
In the distance races, Jose Vega of Texas Southern took the 1500m, crossing the line at 4:17.17. Willie Williams of Southern was second at 4:23.45, just edging out Lester Hebert of Grambling who finished third at 4:23.59.
Meanwhile, in the 5000m run, Daniel Kibet of MVSU coasted, winning the event with a time of 15:41.39. Brandon Broden of Texas Southern was seven seconds behind in second place, crossing the line at 15:48.24. In third place, Darwin Price of Grambling State finished with a time of 16:02.65.
In the meet finale, Texas Southern had the last celebration, rolling to a first place finish in the 4x400m Relay. Jeff Lacroix, Michael Holmes, Arte’ Collins and Treven Dickerson combined race to a 3:08.34 finish. Grambling State was second with a time of 3:10.18, while Prairie View was third at 3:10.71.