NEW ORLEANS, La. – Southeastern Louisiana junior Devin King was hurting, but he was not going to let the pain of a pulled groin suffered two weeks ago during a training session keep him from extending his streak of Southland Conference titles alive.
King made only three vaults, but made the last one count, clearing 17 feet, 9.5 inches to win his fourth straight title at the Southland Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships Sunday at Tad Gormley Stadium.
“Three years from now, I don’t want to look back and say, I only won three. I want to win as much as I can,” King said of what he was thinking going into his final jump. “To be honest, it (his groin) hurt. It hurt badly all three attempts. I just sat back and let adrenaline take over. My last one, I didn’t even feel it. I just planted it and before I knew it, I was over the bar. One jump, that was all I needed.”
King’s was one of a host of championship effort put forth by the Southeastern squads on Sunday. Senior Alex Young was named the meet’s men’s high point scorer with 25 points after throwing a Southland Conference Championships-record 228 feet, 4 inches in winning the hammer throw. He also captured the shot put on Saturday and placed fourth in the discus on Friday. Young, who was also the co-high scorer in 2015, joins Michael Sang (2001), Kalphys Kemboi (2007), Adonson Shallow (2010) and Jeff Milliron (2014) as Lions earning high scorer honors.
“It’s good to come back off my redshirt season (2016 outdoors) and build off my junior year,” Young said. “It’s just nice to be back and have the experience of conference one last time.”
Senior Andre Colebrook also had a record-breaking day, setting a new school mark in winning the 400-meter hurdles in 50.60 seconds. That broke Adlus Wiltz’s time of 50.98 seconds set at the 2008 Southland Championships.
“There’s been a lot of training and I just wanted to go there and represent my school,” Colebrook said. “This is my last conference meet so I had to go in like a lion, not like a cub.”
Sunday’s three championships, added to Young’s one in the shot put and senior Gennard Paul’s javelin title on Saturday, helped the Southeastern men finish third with 90 points. The five titles tied for the most with Sam Houston State, which won its first men’s team championship since 2006 with 179 points. Stephen F. Austin was second with 169. Northwestern State took fourth with 89 and McNeese fifth with 67.
The Lady Lions, led by second-place finishes by junior hammer thrower Natalia Redondo and the 4×100-meter relay team, came in seventh with 47 points. Stephen F. Austin nipped Sam Houston, 166-164.5, for the title, with Northwestern State third with 133 points. Lamar (66), McNeese (58) and Incarnate Word (55.5) were fourth through sixth.
“I have to applaud those guys and ladies who were on the podium this weekend and did the best they could do on the day,” Southeastern head coach Sean Brady said. “That’s what it is all about. This is a fun meet, this is an exciting meet and we’ll be back.”
Young’s hammer championship was the sixth of his Lion career. His final hammer throw of the day eclipsed the mark of 222-02.5 set by former Southeastern teammate Jonathan Kinchen at the 2015 meet.
“After I broke it the first time, I thought about Jonathan,” said Young, who also broke the mark on three of his previous five throws. “That was my boy so it was kind of funny. I chuckled a little bit. Coming in, the mark I had already had it beat by several meters. I wasn’t looking for a PR but on a day like this after a hard week of finals, you can’t complain.”
Junior Natalia Redondo went into the finals of the women’s hammer throw fourth, but came up with a second-place throw of 175-01 on her final attempt.
The Lady Lions’ 4×100 relay of Daijah Washington, Kaelynn Smith, Jaslyn Bowman and Aareion Jackson finished second in a season-best 45.63 seconds.
Senior Dwayne Woodard finished fifth in the 400 hurdles in 52.89 seconds with junior Albert Martinez eighth in 57.96. Senior Maverick Bowleg added a fifth-place finish in the 400 in 47.74. Junior Cliff Resias was sixth in the 100 in 10.59. Sophomore Tajh Lewis was also sixth in the 800 in a personal-best 1:53.63. Justin Taylor completed his freshman season by taking seventh in the 110 hurdles in a caeer-best 14.72.
Sophomore Michael Seither placed eighth in the hammer with a throw of 166-05. The men’s 4×100 relay of Shadrack Abu-Gyamfi, Bowleg, Deandre Henderson and Resias took eighth in 41.39.
For the Lady Lions, sophomore Dekayta Alex ran a fourth-place time of 54.60 in the 400 meters. Freshman Ayaunee Williams finished sixth in the 100 hurdles in a career-best 14.45. Smith and Washington went seventh-eighth in the 100 meters in 11.95 and 12.11, respectively. Smith was also sixth in the 200 in a personal-best 24.34 with Bowman eighth in 24.80.
The 4×400 relay of Bowman, Alex, Lekesha Jelks and Vanessa Williams wrapped up the meet with a sixth-place time of 3:49.10.
Team members with qualifying marks will next compete in the NCAA East Preliminaries, scheduled for May 25-27 at the University of Kentucky Track and Field Facility in Lexington, Kentucky.
Southland Conference Championships
Women’s Team Scores
1. Stephen F. Austin 166
2. Sam Houston St. 164.5
3. Northwestern St. 133
4. Lamar 66
5. McNeese State 58
6. Incarnate Word 55.5
7. Southeastern La. 47
8. Texas A&M-CC 41
9. Abilene Christian 37
10. Houston Baptist 24.5
11. Central Arkansas 21
12. Nicholls State 4.5
13. New Orleans 1
Men’s Team Scores
1. Sam Houston St. 179
2. Stephen F. Austin 169
3. Southeastern La. 90
4. Northwestern St. 89
5. McNeese 67
6. Abilene Christian 51
7T. Houston Baptist 36
7T. Lamar 36
9. Central Arkansas 29
10. Texas A&M-CC 28
11. Incarnate Word 27
12. New Orleans 18