FRISCO – McNeese graduate runner Christoph Graf’s record-breaking performance at last weekend’s LSU Alumni Gold Meet enabled him to be voted as this week’s Southland Conference Men’s Athlete of the Week presented by UniversalCoin.com, the league announced on Wednesday.
Graf, a native of Chru’Grisons, Switzerland and a transfer from South Alabama, broke a 38-year old McNeese record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase when he clocked a time of 8:49.42 to finish first in the event.
He bested the previous top mark of 8:53.0 held by David Kohrs since 1979. That mark moved him to No. 1 in the Southland Conference rankings, eighth in the East Region and 18th nationally.
Alison Smegal was named honorable mention for the women’s weekly award after she also set a school record in the 3,000m steeplechase. In taking first place in the event, Smegal became the first Cowgirl runner to break an 11-minute steeplechase race with her school record mark of 10:54.54. She broke a 13-year old record of 11:01.70 set by Helen Kibby in 2004.
Her current mark ranks her fourth in the conference in the event.
Tristyn Allen of Sam Houston State was named the league’s women’s athlete of the week for her performance in the triple jump which moved her to the top of the conference rankings in that event.
McNeese will next be in action on Saturday when it takes part in the Northwestern State Leon Johnson Invitational in the final tuneup before the Southland Conference Championships.