Indoor Track and Field Athletes of the Week: Jan. 9
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Texas Southern sprinter Alexis Gray, Alabama A&M sprinter Alex Ward, Alcorn State jumper J'Koven Celestine, and Southern thrower Jamira Russ have been recognized by the Southwestern Athletic Conference as indoor track and field athletes of the week following their performances in competition from Jan. 5-7.
Men's Track Athlete of the Week - Alex Ward, Alabama A&M
Sprints/Relays | So. | 5-11 | Winter Haven, Fla.
Ward picked up a victory at Tennessee State's Edward Temple Classic, running a 49.80 in the 400-meter dash to claim first place. Additionally, Ward was part of a Bulldogs 4x400-meter relay unit that finished second overall with a time of 3:21.47. Ward currently ranks No. 1 in the SWAC atop the 200-meter and 400-meter performance lists.
Women's Track Athlete of the Week - Alexis Gray, Texas Southern
Sprints/Relays | Jr. | Nassau, Bahamas
Gray won the women's 200-meter dash during the LSU Purple Tiger Invitational this past weekend, finishing with a time of 24.53 seconds. Additionally, Gray claimed a seventh-place finish in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.57 and was part of a TSU quartet that finished third in the women's 4x400-meter relay with a mark of 3:58.68. Gray currently has the best mark of any SWAC athlete in the 200-meter dash, and her 60-meter time is one-hundredth of a second off the top spot.
Men's Field Athlete of the Week - J'Koven Celestine, Alcorn State
Jumps | Fr. | Beaumont, Texas
In his first collegiate meet, Celestine claimed third place in the men's triple jump event at the LSU Purple Tiger Invitational, clearing 14.18m (46-06.25 feet) in the discipline. The Beaumont, Texas native also finished seventh in the long jump thanks to a distance of 6.79m (22-03.25 feet). With his performance, Celestine took over the No. 1 performance rankings among conference athletes in the long jump and triple jump events.
Women's Field Athlete of the Week - Jamira Russ, Southern
Throws | Sr. | 5-11 | Plaquemine, La.
Russ collected two top-3 finishes at the LSU Purple Tiger Invitational. After qualifying for the finals on her final toss in the preliminary round of the weight throw, Russ locked up the second-place finish with a throw of 17.52m (57-05.75 feet) on her second attempt. Russ also added a third place finish in shot put, making a throw of 12.65m (41-06.00 feet). Russ has the No. 2 ranking in the SWAC shot put performance list this year, and her weight throw mark is No. 1 among conference athletes by nearly five feet.