Women first, Men fifth after second day at SBC Championships

Women's team "Jumps" from sixth to first

May 8, 2010 · Christian Lemon

DENTON, Texas - Middle Tennessee women's track and field team sits in first place after the second day's of competition at the 2010 Sun Belt Championships in Denton, Texas with 68 team points. The men sit fifth overall with 23 points.


In typical Dean Hayes fashion, his Blue Raider women's team jumped their way from a sixth to first place after the second day of field event competition. Middle Tennessee sits first with 68 points, followed by Western Kentucky with 59 and Arkansas State with 45.5. Thirty-eight of MT's 61 points scored on Saturday came from the high and long jump events.


In the long jump, Middle Tennessee took five of the top seven scoring positions. Kiara Henry was the top Blue Raider finisher in the event taking second place with a career best leap of 20-6.5 (6.26m). Nyeisha Wright, Sarah Nambawa and Kortney Thurman placed third fifth with respective marks of 19-11 (6.07m), 19-9.75 (6.04m) and 18-10 (6.02m). Cherice Robertson placed seventh with a leap of 18-10 (5.74m).


For the second consecutive season, Brittany Cox won the shot put at the SBC Outdoor Championships. Cox's toss of 53-1.5 (16.19m) was recorded on her second throw of the competition. MeLyn Thompson placed fourth with a mark of 46-6.25 (14.18m) for five important team points.


Freshman Ann Dudley was superb in the high jump taking second place overall with a mark of 5-6.5 (1.69m). Dudley and Troy's Veronica Bryant went to a person jump off with Bryant edging Dudley leaping 5-7.-75 (1.72m). Robertson scored five more points for the Blue Raiders placing fourth in the high jump marking 5-4.5 (1.64m).


Marla Bailey took second the 3,000 meter steeplechase in 11:16.33. Bailey scored eight points crucial in keeping the Blue Raiders in first place after two days.


In the preliminary rounds of the running events, Wright qualified for tomorrow's finals in the 100 and 200 meter dashes with Henry earning a top eight spot in the 200. Amber Jackson ran the third fastest time in the 400 meters to qualifying for tomorrow's finals. Zamzam Sangau ran the fastest 800 meter preliminary time and will be the top seed in tomorrow's finals.


In the preliminary heats of the 110 meter hurdles, Robertson finished in the top eight to move on to tomorrow's finals.


"Field events are really going to be the key for us," said head coach Dean Hayes. "It was really important to take five places in the long jump. I am really proud of Ann Dudley competing so well as a freshman. Tomorrow's triple jump is going to be very important for the women. Have enough in the running finals tomorrow to help us as well."


Stanley Gbagbeke was the lone men's competitor in field events on Saturday. The Nigeria native won the men's long jump with a leap of 24-8.25 (7.52m).

Isaac Biwott took the bronze medal in the 3,000 meter steeplechase and six point. Biwott crossed the line in 9:20.84, a lifetime best.


Currently the Blue Raider men sit fifth with 23 points. Western Kentucky leads after two day, Louisiana site second, and South Alabama currently holds the fourth position.


The preliminary running heats, Gbagbeke, Greg Franklin and Curtis King will all move on to tomorrow's 200 meter finals. Festus Chemaoi placed third in the 800 meters to move on to the final heat.


In the men's preliminary hurdle heats, Roscoe Payne and DeRay Sloss finished in the top eight in both 110 and 400 meter events. Payne and Sloss must each score multiple points for the men's team to have success at this year's championships.


The 2010 Sun Belt Championships will conclude Sunday with the 4x400 meter relay around 9 p.m. Full results and coverage will be available on GoBlueRaiders.com.


Women's Overall Standings

1) Middle Tennessee           68

2) WKU                                59

3) Arkansas State                  45.5

4) Troy                                  33

5) Louisiana-Monroe             30

6) South Alabama                  29

7) North Texas                      21

8) FIU                                  12

9) FAU                                7.5

10) UALR                            5

11) Louisiana                        2


Men's Overall Standings

1) Western Kentucky             56

2) Louisiana                           39

3) South Alabama                  29

4) Arkansas State                  25

5) Middle Tennessee             23

6) North Texas                     22

7) Louisiana-Monroe            18

8) UALR                              16

9) Troy                                 6

Friend of the Blue Raiders? Like us on Facebook and become part of the True Blue army today.