JONESBORO, Ark. (1/26/18) – Hosting the A-State Invitational at First National Bank Arena, the Arkansas State track and field program took first place in four events and collected 14 top-three finishes Friday to begin competition at the two-day event.

The women’s team took top honors in three of six events, while the men’s squad was led by a first-place showing in the weight throw by Cristian Ravar Ladislau at their home facility.

“First National Bank Arena is an outstanding facility, and it’s always nice to compete at home in front of friends, family and our fans – that is why we have these meets,” said A-State head coach Jim Patchell. “I thought it was a pretty good first day. Our women’s multis did really well this morning. Hayden Hampton did a great job for the first day of the heptathlon. We had some areas where we looked good and, obviously, other areas where we need to get a little better, but we’re improving week-by-week.”

The women’s team saw Arabriaun Mack claim first place in the long jump with a distance of 5.57m, Calea Carr win the weight throw with a toss of 19.13m and Sarah Michael pick up the pole vault championship with a 3.70m mark. The Red Wolves took at least two of the top three spots in three events.

Including Ravar Ladislau’s winning toss of 18.50m in the weight throw, the men’s team finished at least second in two of the three events in which it had someone competing. Hampton is currently in second place in the heptathlon with three additional events still to be held Saturday.

“We just have to keep improving. I like our team chemistry – we had a lot of kids cheering for each other, even when they weren’t competing, and we like to see that,” said Patchell. “Tomorrow we need to continue to be competitive – if we do that, we’ve got the talent to give ourselves an opportunity to be successful.”

The A-State Invitational is set to resume Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. with the heptathlon. The field events will begin at 11:00 a.m. with the triple jump, and running events will kick off at 11:30 a.m. with the 55 meter hurdles prelims. All finals for the running events will start at 2:00 p.m.