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Courtesy: Padraic Major / Major Photography

Alabama State claims SWAC Indoor Track/Field title

Courtesy: SWAC.org
Release: 02/17/2017
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Alabama State won the 2017 Southwestern Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championship by one point, 125-124 over Grambling State University. It is the first title for the Hornets since 2010. Texas Southern finished third with 100 points.

After Grambling State took four of the top five spots in the men’s 5,000-meter run, GSU was within three points of the Hornets, needing a win in the final event of the meet: the 4x400-meter relay. The Tigers (3:13.81) won the 4x400 but Alabama State (3:14.972) held off Arkansas-Pine Bluff (3:14.98) to win second place and seal the title.

Ritchie Beene of Alabama State University was named coach of the year. Alabama State’s Jamie Brown won Most Outstanding Men’s Field Performer with 19 points, and Grambling’s Noah Rugut was named the Most Outstanding Men’s Track Performer award with 20 points. Full standings and day two highlights are below.

MEN’S TEAM FINAL STANDINGS:
1. Alabama State (125)
2. Grambling State (124)
3. Texas Southern (100)
4. Prairie View (78)
5. Arkansas-Pine Bluff (51)
6. Jackson State (50)
7. Alabama A&M (31)
8. Alcorn State (24)
9. Southern (21)
10. Mississippi Valley (18)

DAY TWO HIGHLIGHTS
Grambling State’s Samuel Reese delivered a final throw of 16.44m to overtake Texas Southern’s Terrell Perry (15.74m) in the men’s weight throw final. Perry received the silver medal and Alabama A&M’s Kessy Bell was third with a toss of (15.29m).

Maliek Kendall of Texas Southern won the 60-meter hurdles (8.01s), just edging the Jackson State duo of Joshua Hilliard (8.06s) and Azariah Foster (8.26s).

Alabama State claimed the top two spots on the podium for the 60-meter dash, as Norris Spike won the gold with a time of 6.76 seconds. Teammate Josh Davis earned the silver (6.77s) and Prairie View’s Keon Campbell was third, clocking in at 6.83 seconds.

D’Andre Lewis defended his conference championship in the men’s mile run, winning in 4:26.86. Jackson State’s Darrion Hampton of Jackson State won silver (4:28.29) and Mississippi Valley’s John Akakeya earned the bronze (4:28.74).

Grambling’s Altany Wilson delivered a 15.59-meter mark in the triple jump to win the conference title. Texas Southern’s Tevin Kimble (15.13m) gained the silver, and Alabama State’s Jamie Brown finished third (15.05m).

Jonathan Sawyer of Grambling State won the men’s 400-meter dash in 47.98 seconds. Finishing second was Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s Juwan Parker (48.48). Alabama A&M’s Alex Ward won the bronze (48.69).

Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s Malique Smith won the men’s 800-meter run in 1:53.62. Alabama State’s Bryont Brown was second (1:55.09) and Grambling’s Wesley Love earned third (1:55.84).

De’Torrian Green (21.38) of Alabama A&M held off Alabama State’s Devin O’Neal to win the 200-meter dash gold medal. O’Neal (21.43) gained the silver, and fellow Hornet Kevin Spraggins won the bronze with a time of 21.50.

Jawalyn Brooks’ SWAC Championship record in the pole vault fell as Prairie View’s Sunne Rodriguez-Weems won the gold with a new-record clearance of 4.75m. Fellow Panther Tristan Ham cleared the same distance, but finished second as Rodriguez-Weems won a jump-off.  Brooks, who tied his old record at 4.65m, won the bronze.

Grambling State swept the 5,000-meter run, as Noah Rugut won it in 15:57.6. Teammate Hassan Chepkwony was second at 15:58.8 and fellow Tiger Jeremiah Kimeli finished third at 16:08.

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