Both the women’s and men’s teams for Arkansas State earned points in nine events apiece with champion titles occurring in five events on the women’s side and two in men’s competition.
The A-State women’s team, which scored 67 points in Sunday’s final day of action, would conclude the three-day league meet with a 104 team score to place fourth among the 10 conference schools. The men’s squad managed to tally 34 points on the third and final day to end up with a 77-points total, which was good for sixth place. Western Kentucky (173 points) was crowned the women’s champion and UT Arlington (145 points) claimed the title on the men’s side.
“I thought our teams did an outstanding job,” said A-State head coach Jim Patchell. “They fought hard and raised their game when it counted. This was the deepest and most competitive conference meet I have been a part of since the 1998 SEC Championships.
“The performances in the Sun Belt (Conference) have exploded over the past year and it was an incredible meet to watch. The fact that we were in the mix with these talented teams is a testament to our kids and coaching staff,” added Patchell.
A pair of seniors, Sharika Nelvis and Kristina Aubert highlighted the final day of the championships for the Red Wolves and wrapped up their conference careers in memorable fashion. Nelvis, who was the 2014 conference meet’s overall top scorer with 38 points, placed first in the 100-meter hurdles, the 100-meters, and the 200 meters for the third year in a row and eclipsed all of her A-State records in those three events to boot. Nelvis, a two-time (2012-13) United States Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-America selection, registered a wind-aided 12.67 time in the 100-meter hurdles. She would go on to win the 100-meter dash by sprinting an 11.17 time and turned in a 22.70 break the tape first in the 200 meters. Aubert successfully defended her 5,000-meter conference title as she bested all runners with a league-meet and complex record 16:44.55 time in providing the Red Wolves with an event first-place 10 points. In the 1,500-meter run, Aubert broke her school record time of 4:34.67 by clocking a 4:31.84 en route to capturing the top placing among the event’s 16 participants.
“Sharika (Nelvis) had another outstanding conference meet and managed to set three personnel bests along with a national-leading time in the hurdles,” said Patchell. “Kristina (Aubert) had a great meet as well, winning three individual titles.”
Junior Rexi Parcells and freshman Ane Fourie collected five points apiece for A-State while sophomore Emenderlyn Iwuji contributed four. Parcells was fourth in the 1,500-meter run with a 4:37.98 time and Fourie’s 1:02.37 time in the 400-meter hurdles allowed her to take fourth place. Iwuji managed a fifth-place showing with a 14.04 time in the 100-meter hurdles.
For the A-State men, freshman Roelf Pienaar followed up his conference long jump title Saturday (May 10) by winning the triple jump with a personal-best mark of 51-02.25 (15.60m) among the 16-member field. Senior Kashef Daniel made his final SBC Championship meet appearance a memorable one in the high jump with a first-place 7-00.50 (2.15m) height.
“Roelf (Pienaar) did a great job by winning both jumps and setting personal records in both,” said Patchell. “Kashef (Daniel) and Ethan (Turpen) both finished their careers as champions in their respective events.”
The Red Wolves garnered a combined 10 points in the first two men’s field events held this Sunday, which included eight in the discus as senior Chris Nicasio attained fourth place with a throw of 169-05.46 (51.65m) and freshman Brandon Lombardino was sixth as a result of a 166-06.42 (50.76m) distance. Sophomore Thomas Walton paced A-State in the pole vault by clearing the bar at 15-01.00 (4.60m) to score two points.
Sophomore Billy Ellis timed a 14.21 in the 110-meter hurdles to take fourth place and pick up five points while four points were earned by senior Raymond Jackson, who raced a fifth-fastest time of 10.38 in the 100-meter dash.
All-Sun Belt Conference designation was awarded to those athletes who finished first, second or third place in either a running or field event at the conference meet. Those placing first in an event at the conference championships were recognized as first-team all-league performers and second-team laurels went to athletes who took runner up in an event. Third-place finishers received third-team accolades by the conference. Athletes earning first-place honors in one event and a second or third-place showing in another will be afforded the higher place all-conference recognition.
A-State fans can receive the latest information and updates on the Red Wolves track and field teams via Twitter (@ASTATETRACK). A-State Track & Field/Cross Country is also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AstateTrackandField.
2014 Sun Belt Conference Championships Final Team Scores
1. WKU – 173 pts.
2. Georgia State – 111 pts.
3. Texas State – 108 pts.
4. Arkansas State – 104 pts.
5. South Alabama – 87.50 pts.
6. UT Arlington – 83.50 pts.
7. UL Lafayette - 77
8T. ULM – 30 pts.
Troy – 30 pts.
10. UALR – 14 pts.
1. UT Arlington – 145 pts.
2. WKU – 138 pts.
3. South Alabama – 132 pts.
4. Texas State – 86 pts.
5. ULM – 83 pts.
6. Arkansas State – 77 pts.
7. UL Lafayette – 70 pts.
8. Troy – 67 pts.
9. UALR – 21 pts.
2014 Sun Belt Conference Championships - Individual – Day 3
11. Kiarra Simpson, 138-11.32 (42.35m)
19. Erin Farmer, 130-07.71 (39.82m)
10. Jasmine Marks, 39-06.00 (12.04m)
11. Jamie Curry, 38-06.25 (11.74m)
1. Kristina Aubert, 4:31.84
4. Rexi Parcells, 4:37.98
15. Chelsey Roberson, 5:10.17
16. Tilda Helgesson, 5:25.72
1. Sharika Nelvis, 12.67
5. Emenderlyn Iwuji, 14.04
8. Erika Christian, 57.42
1. Sharika Nelvis, 11.17
4. Ane Fourie, 1:02.37
1. Sharika Nelvis, 22.70
1. Kristina Aubert, 16:44.55 - SBC Championship Record
10. Abbey Dixon, 18:15.14
11. Rexi Parcells, 18:17.96
18. Bailey Sisson-Eller, 18:51.48
4. Chris Nicasio, 169-05.46 (51.65m)
6. Brandon Lombardino, 166-06.42 (50.76m)
9. Tyler Lingo, 160-03.23 (48.85m)
7. Thomas Walton, 15-01.00 (4.60m)
9. Ethan Turpen, 15-01.00 (4.60m)
1. Roelf Pienaar, 51-02.25 (15.60m)
1. Kashef Daniel, 7-00.50 (2.15m)
9. Ethan Turpen, 6-03.50 (1.92m)
12. Clint Ligon, 6-01.50 (1.87m)
14. Jesse Duvall, 4:13.33
4. Billy Ellis, 14.21
5. Raymond Jackson, 10.38
8. Justin Whitfield, 10.70
6. Wil Norris, 15:16.86