Scales, Okafor Both Win Twice at SBC Championships

May 12, 2003 · MT Media Relations

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Mardy Scales and Rosemary Okafor both won the 100 and 200m on Sunday, as the Blue Raiders finished second and Lady Raiders took fifth during the third and final day of competition at the Sun Belt Outdoor Track and Field Championships Sunday at Fouts Field in Denton, Texas.


The Blue Raiders took a four-point lead in the standings over winner Western Kentucky with two events left in the meet, but the Hilltoppers captured first, fourth and fifth-place finishes in the 5000m to take the title. WKU ended up winning by eight points over the Blue Raiders.


Host North Texas captured the women's crown, picking up valuable points on Saturday and then running away with the title on Sunday, winning by 55 points over second-place Western Kentucky.


Scales won the 200m as a freshman in 2001 at Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans, La., but did not participate in last year's event due to injury.


Scales won both the 100 and 200m, finishing in 10.35 and 20.78, respectively. December football signee Pedro Holiday finished third in both the 100 (10.60) and 200m (21.48), while senior Omar Ali took seventh in the 100 in 10.90 and fourth in the 200m in 21.58.


Sophomore Victor Okorie, senior DJ Spann and senior Brad Orr finished 1-2-3 in the 400m hurdles, picking up 24 points for the Blue Raiders. Okorie ran 50.53, with Spann finishing in 50.72 and Orr crossing the line in 51.52.


Linnie Yarbrough led a contingent of four runners who garnered points in the 110m hurdles, led by the freshman's second-place finish in 14.32. Senior Jasper Demps was third (14.35) and Orr followed in fourth (14.36). Junior Garland Martin, who had the fastest time in Saturday's prelims, hit a hurdle and came in eighth.


Freshman Sean Waller ran a season-best 46.43 to win the 400m, leading three runners who finished in the top six in the event. Junior Fred Williams was fourth (47.39) and junior Tim Hicks placed sixth (47.55).


The 4x100m relay of Danny Tolbert, Holiday, Scales and Spann ran 40.19, as the Blue Raiders won the event for the fourth straight year. The 4x400m relay Waller, Hicks, Williams and Okorie also won for the fourth consecutive year, running 3:09.03.


Senior Levi Sybert placed sixth in the 1500m in 3:58.96.


Senior Rob Jordan, who won the long jump on Saturday, finished second in the triple jump on Sunday with a season-best mark of 51-6.25.


Junior Lindsay Sims, who competed only once during the outdoor season, March 23 at Alabama, finished fifth in the javelin with a mark of 174-9. Freshman Willie Parker came in eighth in the hammer throw with a mark of 122-1.


Okafor won both the 100 and 200m, finishing in 11.64 and 23.64, respectively, while freshman Kerry Barrow placed sixth in the 100 (12.14) and seventh in the 200m (24.78).


Sophomore Kishara George set a school-record in the 400m hurdles, winning the event in 59.67, her first sub-one minute time this year in her first season of competition in the intermediate hurdles.


Freshman Candice Robertson finished sixth in the 100m hurdles and junior Nicolette Jarrett was eighth in the 400m.


The 4x400m relay won for the first time in the Sun Belt, as Okafor, George, Barrow and Jarrett finished in 3:41.55. The same foursome took fourth in the 4x100m relay in 46.09.


Late Saturday sophomore Jennifer Howard came in eighth in the pole vault, clearing 10-0.


Senior Kim Freeman finished third in the triple jump on Sunday after taking third in the long jump the day before. Freeman jumped 40-2.75, while sophomore KeKe Deckard was fourth in the event with a season-best mark of 39-8. Sophomore Rolanda Howard placed seventh in the triple jump with a mark of 38-2.


Freshman Meaghan Byrd finished eighth in the hammer throw with a mark of 104-3, while LaToya Brown was also eighth in the javelin with a mark of 97-0.


Middle Tennessee head coach Dean Hayes said his squads ran well, especially the men, but it was not quite enough to overcome the winners.


"We ran well and competed well on both sides," Hayes said. "Mardy and Rosemary both ran very well, as did Pedro, and we went 1-2-3 in the intermediate hurdles, which was a big event for us. That finish really gave us a chance to win.


"But Western Kentucky on the men's side was just too much. We never competed against each other in any events. We ran wild in our events and they did the same in their events, and they just had a little more than we did.


"On the women's side North Texas racked up a boat-load of points and it was never really in doubt. They did a terrific job in so many events."


A limited number of Blue Raiders and Lady Raiders will run at next week's Georgia Tech Last Chance Invitational in Atlanta, Ga. A host of Middle Tennessee tracksters will compete in the NCAA Mid-East Regional set for May 30-31 at Ohio State University at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, the qualifying meet for the NCAA Championships in June. Sacramento State will host the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, June 11-14, at Hornet Stadium.

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