Turpen, Pienaar Win Sun Belt Outdoor Track Titles
SAN MARCOS, Texas (5/10/14) – The second day of competition at the 2014 Sun Belt Conference (SBC) Outdoor Track and Field Championships was a rewarding one for Arkansas State University as the Red Wolves produced a number of individual scoring performances this Saturday (May 10), which featured a pair of SBC titles on the men’s side.
Senior Ethan Turpen and freshman Roelf Pienaar highlighted day two for the A-State men’s team at the Texas State Track and Field Complex in San Marcos, Texas by winning league titles in the decathlon and long jump, respectively. The top performance for the women’s team was turned in by senior Sharika Nelvis, who took second place in the long jump.
The A-State men scored 22 points in Saturday’s action to move up one spot into third place with 34 points going into this Sunday’s (May 11) final day of competition. South Alabama leads the way with 55 points and UT Arlington (50 pts.) is 16 points in front of the Red Wolves. For the women, A-State slid two placings into fifth as the Red Wolves have a combined 37 points to date after generating 15 in the meet’s second day.
“As a unit we performed great today,” said A-State head coach Jim Patchell. “We had a few people step up, others saw it and responded themselves. I was extremely proud of the effort and determination our team showed today. We've got to continue with the same effort tomorrow.”
Turpen repeated as the conference meet outdoor decathlon champion by registering a conference-meet record 7,292 points to score a first place 10 points for the Red Wolves and earn all-conference first-team plaudits for the second consecutive outdoor season as a result. He outscored runner-up Garrett Schumacher of South Alabama by 206 points to lead the 11 participants and eclipsed the 7,253 points compiled by A-State’s B.J. Parish at the 2008 league meet. Turpen, who tallied a first-place 7,222 points at the 2013 SBC Outdoor Championships (May 10-11) in Miramar, Fla., won the decathlon’s pole vault by clearing 15-02.75 (4.64m) to go with second-place showings in the 110-meter hurdles (15.01), discus (122-11.20 - 37.47m), and 1,500-meter run (4:39.01) events. He will conclude his career as a three-time (2011, 2013, and 2014) SBC champion in the decathlon.
Pienaar, a 2014 United States Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-America Indoor First-Team honoree, achieved the feat of becoming conference’s long jump champion in both the indoor and outdoor seasons for this 2014 campaign. Pienaar covered a 26-01.75 (7.97m) distance to best the event’s 26 finishers and exceed the conference meet record of 26-00.75 (7.94m) set in 2002 by Mesut Yavas of A-State.
Clint Ligon added two points for A-State in the decathlon by accumulating a seventh-most 6,455 score. The freshman multi-event athlete managed to run a 4:55.93 time in the 1,500 meters to post a seventh-place finish, which was his highest of the day.
On the women’s side, Arkansas State was paced by Sharika Nelvis’ second-place leap of 20-07.00 (6.27m) in the long jump as the two-time (2012-13) USTFCCCA Outdoor All-America performer picked up eight points. Nelvis, the SBC’s Most Outstanding Women’s Track Athlete the past two seasons (2012 and 2013), registered the fastest time in the preliminaries of the 100-meters, 200-meters, and 100-meter hurdles to qualify for the finals.
Senior Kim Ludick-Raath and junior Savannah Hutchinson also scored for the A-State women. Ludick-Raath finished fifth in the shot put with a throw of 46-11.75 (14.32m) to score four points and Hutchinson contributed three points in the heptathlon by totaling a sixth-place 4,564 points.
The third and final day of the 2014 SBC Championships is this Sunday (May 11) with the men’s discus starting off the field events schedule at 10 a.m. (CT). The running events are slated to commence at 5 p.m. (CT) with the women’s 4x100-meter relay. The conference meet’s final event is the men’s 4x400-meter relay, which is set for an 8:45 p.m. (CT) start time.
The A-State men will have three individuals advancing to Sunday’s finals in two running events as seniors Justin Whitfield and Raymond Jackson earned bids in the 100-meter dash with second and seventh-place performers, respectively. Sophomore Billy Ellis qualified for the 110-meter hurdle finals by turning in the fourth-best time in the preliminaries. Freshman Erika Christian moved into the 400-meter dash finals as has fellow frosh Ane Fourie in the 400-meter hurdles with their top eight qualifying times.
2014 Sun Belt Conference Championships Team Scores – Day 2
1. WKU – 81 pts.
2. South Alabama – 63.5 pts.
3. UL-Lafayette – 46 pts.
4. Texas State – 44 pts.
5. Arkansas State – 37 pts.
6. Georgia State – 35 pts.
7. UT Arlington – 22.5 pts.
8. ULM – 13 pts.
9. Troy – 5 pts.
10. UALR – 4 pts.
1. South Alabama – 55 pts.
2. UT Arlington – 50 pts.
3. Arkansas State – 34 pts.
4. UL-Lafayette – 33 pts.
5. WKU – 30 pts.
6. Texas State – 27 pts.
7. ULM – 19 pts.
8. Troy – 13 pts.
9. UALR – 12 pts.
2014 Sun Belt Conference Championships - Individual – Day 2
Heptathlon - Overall
6. Savannah Hutchinson – 4,564 points
Heptathlon – Long Jump
4. Savannah Hutchinson, 18-03.00 (5.56m)
Heptathlon – Javelin
7. Savannah Hutchinson, 79-05.15 (24.21m)
Heptathlon – 800-Meter Run
5. Savannah Hutchinson, 2:32.49
2. Sharika Nelvis, 20-07.00 (6.27m)
14. Emenderlyn Iwuji, 18-05.75 (5.63m)
5. Kim Ludick-Raath, 46-11.75 (14.32m)
9. Erin Farmer, 45-07.00 (13.89m)
11T. Savannah Hutchinson, 5-01.25 (1.56m)
11. Chelsey Roberson, 11:53.03
13. Tilda Helgesson, 12:21.50
Decathlon - Overall
1. Ethan Turpen – 7,292 points
7. Clint Ligon – 6,455 points
Decathlon – 110-Meter Hurdles
2. Ethan Turpen, 15.01
8. Clint Ligon, 15.80
Decathlon – Discus
2. Ethan Turpen, 122-11.20 (37.47m)
8. Clint Ligon, 104-00.42 (31.71m)
Decathlon – Pole Vault
1. Ethan Turpen, 15-02.75 (4.64m)
9. Clint Ligon, 12-11.00 (3.94m)
1. Roelf Pienaar, 26-01.75 (7.97m)
19. Foster Ngowe, 22-08.00 (6.91m)
11. Chris Nicasio, 50-00.75 (15.26m)
12. Tyler Lingo, 49-10.50 (15.20m)
13. Jesse Duvall, 10:29.40