Raider Men, Women both finish second

Men had chance until final event

February 24, 2008 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - It came down to the final event, but depth and injuries prevented Middle Tennessee's men's track team from claiming its sixth conference title, losing by two points at the Sun Belt Indoor Track and Field Championships Sunday at Murphy Center. The women's team finished strong, placing second in the mile relay and second overall, the team's best showing since winning its last title in 2004.

Middle Tennessee's men battled and battled all day long, picking up valuable points in the sprints, but not as many as in normal years for the Blue Raiders to distance themselves from the rest of the field.

Junior Greg Franklin, junior Samuel Adade, sophomore Phillip Tanner and freshman Chaz Ward finished third, fourth, fifth and seventh, respectively, in the 55-meter finals with times of 6.40, 6.42, 6.51 and 6.55.

Adade placed third in the 200 in 21.63, while Franklin was sixth in 21.98. Sophomore DeRay Sloss placed third in the 55-meter hurdles in 7.51 and junior Pete Senatus was sixth in 7.60.

Western Kentucky held an 11-point advantage heading into the 5000-meters, where sophomore William Songock placed fourth in 15:06.02, with freshman Isaac Biwott fifth in 15:08.14, sophomore Julius Kirui sixth in 15:15.82 and freshman Festus Chemaoi seventh in 15:19.66. That put the Blue Raiders ahead by just three points heading into the mile relay, meaning the home team had to place second to claim the conference title.

WKU won the event and the Middle Tennessee foursome of freshman Robert Ezell, sophomore Freddie Rankin, Sloss and Adade finished fourth, giving WKU the title by just two points.

Middle Tennessee sophomores Sarah Nambawa and Zamzam Sangau were the big winners for Middle Tennessee on the women's side.

Nambawa broke the school-record in the long jump with a mark of 44-8.25, an automatic NCAA mark and the fourth best distance in the nation this season. Nambawa broke the record of Andreja Ribac in 2000 (43-7.25).

Sangau placed second in the 800-meter finals in 2:16.13, second in the mile run in 4:55.17, third in the 5000-meters in 17:54.42, and anchored the second-place mile relay, which finished in 3:48.25. She also anchored the school-record setting distance medley relay on Saturday.

Junior Ashley Comstock placed fifth in the mile run in a personal-best 5:08.88, while senior Marjorie Gombert finished fifth in the 800 in 2:19.23.

Junior TraMayne Gillyard finished fourth in the 400-meters in a personal-best 55.41 and Nambawa was eighth in 56.79. Junior Tenesha Hill placed eighth in the 55-meter finals in 7.11 and Gillyard finished eighth in the 200-meters in 24.96.

Junior Maité Cortin placed seventh in the women's weight throw with a mark of 51-1.

Elsewhere for the men, junior Carl Morgan was also a big winner for the Blue Raider men, capping a double by winning the triple jump with a mark of 50-1.75. He won the long jump on Saturday. Senior Carlos Morgan was fourth in the triple jump with a mark of 48-2 and junior Brandon Jones finished seventh with a mark of 47-6.25.

Chemaoi waited until the final lap-and-a-half before breaking loose from the pack to win the mile run in 4:16.81. Biwott finished sixth in 4:20.28 and freshman David Emery was eighth in 4:22.84.

"When it's that close and it comes down to the end, you can find a thousand different ways where you could have make up the difference," head coach Dean Hayes said. "We had to get everything we could in the sprints and the jumps and we missed a few points there for the men and that was probably the difference.

"For the women, Sarah and Zamzam were outstanding and the group did very well. They finished about where I thought they would."

Complete results from the meet may be found at http://www.deltatiming.com/events/2008/sunbeltin/.

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