Middle Tennessee track teams finish third at SBC meetMay 9, 2004 · MT Media Relations
The Blue Raiders, picked to win the outdoor title in a pre-championship vote of league coaches, finished third with 123 points, well off the pace established by Western Kentucky, as it successfully defended its crown with 147 total points. Arkansas State had a strong showing and was second with 133.5 points.
New Mexico State (175) was the surprise winner on the women's side, while pre-championship favorite North Texas (143) was second and Middle Tennessee (114) third.
Although the Middle Tennessee teams fell short of their goals of team championships, several individuals enjoyed stellar performances and were primary reasons for each team turning in top three finishes, including multiple wins for mainstays Mardy Scales and Rosemary Okafor.
Mardy Scales made sure his final Sun Belt Conference championship would be a memorable one. The five-time All-American set SBC records in winning two individual events; he was on a winning 4X100 relay team and was on the 4X400 second-place relay team.
Scales set conference and championship records with his winning time of 20.52 in the 200, the fastest collegiate time in the country this season and the sixth-fastest time in the world. He also won the 100-meter by establishing a new Sun Belt record of 10.12. Pedro Holiday was fourth in the 100.
The Blue Raiders had their strongest showing in the 200 with four players earning points. Xavier Darden (21.17) followed Scales in second, while Wesley Dupar-Scott (21.65) and Pedro Holiday (22.28) were seventh and eighth, respectively.
Victor Okorie (51.87) was first in the 400-hurdles, while Garland Martin (53.54) was fourth. Linnie Yarbrough made it a sweep for the Blue Raiders in hurdles by winning the 110-hurdles in 13.76. The 4X100 relay team of Garland Martin, Scales, Darden and Holiday won the event with a time of 40.15, while the 4X400 quartet of Darden, Scales, Okorie and Sean Waller was second (3:10.49).
Also earning point for the Blue Raiders were: Sean Waller, fourth, 400 dash; James Parker, fourth, Willie Parker, sixth, hammer throw; and Greg Jones, third, J.J. Sturn, fourth, triple jump.
Rosemary Okafor continued her outstanding season with wins the 100 and the 200 to place the Lady Raiders. She won the 100 in 11.43, while teammate Tiffany Owens was sixth. Okafor also won the 200 with a time of 23.49; teammate Kishara George was eighth (25.66). The Lady Raiders' 4X400 team of Kerry Barrow, Contrena Brown, Tiffany Owens and George was its event in 3:42.32, but no other Lady Raider won an individual event. There were; however, several point-producing finishes.
Following are Lady Raiders who earned points in the final day of the three-day championship meet on Sunday. Katie Mirgliotta (148-07), second, Meaghan Byrd (143-03), seventh, hammer throw; Laetitia Florimond, second, javelin; KeKe Deckard, fifth, Rolanda Howard, sixth, triple jump; Jessica Anderson, second, Candice Robertson, third, 100-meter hurdles; Kishara George, second, Kerry Barrow, sixth, 400-meter dash; Contrena Brown, fourth, Candice Robertson, seventh, Jessica Anderson, eighth, 400-meter hurdles.
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