Blue Raider men clinch 2013 SBC Outdoor Track and Field Championships

Rutto named Freshman of the Year, Hayes Coach of the Year

May 12, 2013 · @MTAthletics

MIAMI - Middle Tennessee's men's squad had 12 top five finishes, including three champions, on the final day of the Sun Belt Conference Championships to clinch the 2013 team title, while the Blue Raider women took fifth.

"The men really, really competed well," Middle Tennessee head coach and the 2013 SBC Men's Coach of the Year Dean Hayes said.  "Several guys really just laid it on the line - Noah (Akwu), (Eliud) Rutto and Emmanuel (Tugumisirize) - a bunch of guys, really just got it done.  These are our final exams, and they did a great job."

MT won the title with 138 team points, seven more than runner-up Arkansas State.  For the women, North Texas took the title in runaway fashion, racking up 151.5 team points. MT's women had 83.

Eliud Rutto turned in a gutsy performance in the men's 800 meter run, finishing in 1:50.89 to win his first SBC title. Asa Bowman (1:53.51) took third in the event.

Rutto was also named the 2013 Freshman of the Year of his performance at the three-day meet.

Another Blue Raider individual champion on the day was Noah Akwu in the men's 200 meter dash. Akwu's time of 20.80 was .09 seconds slower than his personal best, set last year, but good enough for the title. Joining Akwu on the podium was Emmanuel Tugumisirize, who took third in 21.11. The final Blue Raider in the event was freshman Tahir Walsh. He was fifth in the event, finishing in 21.44 seconds).

Emmanuel Tugumisirize was the final Blue Raider champion, clinching the title in the 400 meter dash. Tugumisirize's time of 46.36 was just under .3 seconds ahead of the second place finisher. Teammate Andre Hamilton also placed in the event, taking seventh in 48.10 seconds.

"Us not having a lot of firsts is an oddity when you win the title," Hayes said.  "We had a lot of runners in final events though, and that carried us.  Winning the 800, 400 and 200 meter runs with a number of runners in those races really carried the men."

MT had two second place finishes in the triple jump, as France Makabu leaped 13.20 meters in the women's competition and Cordairo Golden hit 15.53 meters in the men's. Both were awarded eight team points.

From there, the Blue Raiders turned to the 4x100 meter relay, where the women's team of Sheniece Daphness, Christal Wilson, Ann Dudley and Jasmine Abrams were sixth with a time of 46.47. The men's team, comprised of Akwu, Walsh, Demetrius Shelton and Kenneth Gilstrap, finished third to grab six points in 40.71.

Wilson and Dudley also competed in the 100 meter hurdles' finals, taking fifth and sixth, respectively. Wilson's time of 14.08 was just .05 seconds behind her personal best, while Dudley hit a mark of 14.12 seconds.

Wilson's final event of the day, the 400 meter hurdles, saw her take fifth in 1:02.60.

Abrams' other top finish was in the 100 meter dash, where she was given four team points for her fifth place finish. Abrams crossed the finish in 12.16 seconds.

Autumn Gipson and Eliud Rutto were the only Blue Raiders to qualify in their respective 1,500 meter runs, and each finished in the top five. Gipson (4:34.83) was fourth to earn five points, and Rutto was third in 3:53.01. Rutto grabbed six team points.

On the men's side, Tahir Walsh and Noah Akwu were Nos. 2 and 3 in the 100 meter dash. Walsh crossed in 10.53 seconds, with Awku just .08 seconds behind.

Amber Jackson, Tressanique Hampton and Islam all earned team points for their 800 meter run times. Jackson (2:12.04) and Hampton (2:12.77) were second and third, while Islam (2:16.56) was sixth.

After taking first and second in the 10,000 meter run on Friday, Arkansas State's Kristina Aubert and MT's Lucy Kapkiai finished in the same order in Sunday's 5,000 meter run. Aubert's 17:01.92 was the new Sun Belt Championship meet record, while Kapkiai was second with a time of 17:18.87.

The men's distance runners again turned in an impressive performance, as Silas Taiget and Shadrack Matelong finished third and fourth in the 5,000 meter run, helping MT overtake first place in the team standings. Taiget finished in 14:46.23 while Matelong's time was 14:52.98.

The final two events of the day were the men's and women's 4x400 meter relays. MT's women's team of Jackson, Abrams, Hampton and Ginasia Hamilton finished in 3:46.37, placing them fifth.

The Blue Raider men clinched the team victory with a record-breaking performance in the 4x400 meter relay. Though they finished second, the team of Tugumisirize, Shelton, Hamilton and Akwu was one of two teams to break the SBC Championships record, finishing in 3:06.68.

"This title was great to win because it was our last Sun Belt meet," Hayes said. "Competing in this league has been really fun. We've won a lot of titles and have enjoyed competing with these teams over the past 13 years."

MT won its first title prior to officially being part of the league, when in 2000 they were invited to compete early and won the women's title.

"When we came in for the 2000 meet, our women won the meet and the North Texas men won," Hayes said.  "This time, with both teams leaving, North Texas won the women's side and we won the men's side.  Pretty interesting to have that scenario happen."

The Blue Raiders will now compete May 23-25 in the NCAA East Regional in Greensboro, N.C.

Sun Belt Championship Results (Team Standings)

1. North Texas (151.5)
2. Arkansas State (131)
3. South Alabama (100)
4. Western Kentucky (87)
5. Middle Tennessee (83)
6. Louisiana (67)
7. Georgia State (57)
8. FIU (51)
9. Troy (37)
10. Florida Atlantic (29)
11. UALR (14)
12. ULM (10.5)

1. Middle Tennessee (138)
2. Arkansas State (131)
3. Western Kentucky (126)
4. North Texas (85)
5. South Alabama (79.5)
6. ULM (78)
7. Troy (77)
8. Louisiana (44)
9. FIU (36.5)
10. UALR (24)

Sun Belt Championship Results (MT Only)

Women's Triple Jump
2. France Makabu (13.20m / 43-3.75 / 8 points)
11. India Hammond (11.80m / 38-8.75)
14. Pershawna Williams (11.50m / 37-8.75)

Men's Triple Jump
2. Cordairo Golden (15.53m / 50-11.50 / 8 points)
13. Kameron Rory (14.41m / 47-3.50)
16. Junior Cadet (14.09m / 46-2.75)
19. Nigel Jones (13.52m / 44-4.25)

Women's 4x100 Meter Relay
6. Middle Tennessee (46.47 / 3 points)
Daphness, Wilson, Dudley, Abrams)

Men's 4x100 Meter Relay
3. Middle Tennessee (40.71 / 6 points)
Akwu, Walsh, Shelton, Gilstrap

Women's 1,500 Meter Run
4. Autumn Gipson (4:34.83 / 5 points)
10. Stephanie Smith (4:46.67)

Men's 1,500 Meter Run
3. Eliud Rutto (3:53.01 / 6 points)
14. Daniel Ketter (4:05.33)
23. Robinson Simatei (4:17.10)

Women's 100 Meter Hurdles
5. Christal Wilson (14.08 / 0.3 wind / 4 points)
6. Ann Dudley (14.12 / 0.3 wind / 3 points)

Women's 100 Meter Dash
5. Jasmine Abrams (12.16 / 0.8 wind / 4 points)

Men's 100 Meter Dash
2. Tahir Walsh (10.53 / 0.3 wind / 8 points)
3. Noah Akwu (10.61 / 0.3 wind / 6 points)

Men's 400 Meter Dash
1. Emmanuel Tugumisirize (46.36 / 10 points)
7. Andre Hamilton (48.10 / 2 points)

Women's 800 Meters
2. Amber Jackson (2:12.04 / 8 points)
3. Tressanique Hampton (2:12.77 / 6 points)
6. Rachel Islam (2:16.56 / 3 points)

Men's 800 Meters
1.  Eliud Rutto (1:50.89 / 10 points)
6.  Asa Bowman (1:53.51 / 3 points)

Women's 400 Meter Hurdles
5. Christal Wilson (1:02.60 / 4 points)

Men's 200 Meters
1. Noah Akwu (20.80 / 0.3 wind / 10 points)
3. Emmanuel Tugumisirize (21.11 / 0.3 wind / 6 points)
5. Tahir Walsh (21.44 / 0.3 wind / 4 points)

Women's 5,000 Meters
2. Lucy Kapkiai (17:18.87 / 8 points)
20. Jackline Kiprono (18:37.87)

Men's 5,000 Meters
3. Silas Taiget (14:46.23 / 6 points)
4. Shadrack Matelong (14:52.98 / 5 points)
9. Alden Dixon (15:20.76)
13. Keith Davis (15:28.52)

Women's 4x400 Meter Relay
5. Middle Tennessee (3:46.37 / 4 points)
Jackson, Abrams, Hampton, Hamilton

Men's 4x400 Meter Relay
2. Middle Tennessee (3:06.68 / 8 points)
Tugumisirize, Shelton, Hamilton, Akwu

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