NEW ORLEANS, La. – Southeastern Louisiana senior Gennard Paul began Saturday by walking across the stage to receive his diploma. He concluded it by walking up onto the podium at Tad Gormley Stadium as the Southland Conference javelin champion.
Paul threw 255 feet, 4 inches his first attempt, breaking the school record by 17 feet and his own personal record by. It is also the second-best throw in the country this season, topped only by Texas A&M’s Ioannis Kyriazis’ 288-09 at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays.
Not bad for someone who only started throwing the javelin this season after beginning his Southeastern career as an all-conference triple jumper.
“I’ve been practicing all year for this,” said Paul, who broke the Lion record of 238-02, set by Chris Carter at the 2006 Southland Championships. “I guess I was excited from walking today at graduation. I just concentrated and everything else happened.”
Paul was joined on top the podium by senior Alex Young and freshman Ashley Davis, who both took firsts in the shot put. Senior Julian Maze was third in the triple jump.
The Southeastern men are third heading into the final day with 41 points while the Lady Lions are 10th with 13.
Sunday’s final day competition starts with the field events at 10 a.m. with the track events getting underway at noon. The running event finals will be broadcast live on the Southland Digital Network, available via southland.org/live and the Southland Conference mobile app. Live stats, via the Southland Conference, will be accessible on the Southeastern track and field schedule page at www.LionSports.net.
Young won his second career shot put title with a throw of 57-11.75. Young also won the event in 2015.
Davis captured the shot with a throw of 51-03 on her final attempt. Davis was also eighth in the discus with a personal-best 127-08.
Maze eclipsed his previous best effort by nearly a foot in taking third in the triple jump with a mark of 50-04.5.
“I’ve been through a lot this semester and it’s been challenging but I knew if I continued to work hard, that mark would come,” Maze said. “It came finally and at the right time. I had the crowd behind me, I had the team behind me and that really just boosted me, so I was just able to go out and compete and just get it.”
Senior Collin Rowland finished fourth in the javelin at 209-04.
Senior Harry Wiggins finished the night for the Lions with a sixth-place time of 9:28.77 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
Senior Addie Shafer took eighth in the javelin with a throw of 128-04.
A host of Lions and Lady Lions set themselves up for the track finals on Sunday. Sophomore Dekayta Alex qualified second in the preliminaries of the 400 meters in 54.35. Daijah Washington was sixth in the 100 prelims in 11.80 with senior Kaelynn Smith eighth in 11.86. Smith was also eighth in the 200 in 24.54 with sophomore Jaslyn Bowman seventh in 24.53. Freshman Ayaunee Williams came in eighth in the 100-meter hurdles trials in 14.70.
On the men’s side, senior Andre Colebrook qualified third in the 400 hurdles in 52.87. Senior Dwayne Woodard was fourth in 52.75 and junior Albert Martinez eighth in 53.90. Senior Maverick Bowleg finished fifth in 47.82 in the 400 preliminaries. Junior Cliff Resais was sixth in 100 meters qualifying in 10.45. Sophomore Tajh Lewis also qualified sixth in the 800 in 1:53.92 and freshman Justin Taylor qualified seventh in the 100 hurdles in 14.60.
Sunday’s field finals include the men’s and women’s hammer, men’s and women’s high jump and the men’s pole vault.
Southland Conference Championships
Team Scores (Through 9 events scored)
- Sam Houston St. 70.50
- Stephen F. Austin 69
- McNeese State 43
- Northwestern St. 39
- Lamar 36
- Abilene Christian 21
- Texas A&M-CC 19
- Houston Baptist 15.50
- Central Arkansas 14
- Southeastern La. 13
- Incarnate Word 8.50
- Nicholls State 2.50
- Stephen F. Austin 68
- Sam Houston St. 57
- Southeastern La. 41
- Northwestern St. 36
- McNeese State 31
- Abilene Christian 28
- Lamar 23
- Houston Baptist 15
- New Orleans 8
- Incarnate Word 3
- TAMCC 2