The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

SEC Track and Field Notebook

20 days ago
SEC Staff
Photo: Texas A&M Athletics

Alabama

Alabama men's and women's track & field teams rested following a strong performance at the Samford Invitational. In total, the Crimson Tide picked up 10 individual wins and two relay wins last Friday at the Birmingham CrossPlex. Junior Isaac Odugbesan threw a personal best in shot put with a mark of 64-1 (19.53m) which earned him first place and broke the meet's record. In women's weight throw, junior Taylor Gorum, picked up a win to start the morning for Alabama. Both the men and women opened the running portion of the meet with 1-2 finishes in the 60-meter dash. In their first race of the season, freshman Grady Shiflet and junior Elliot Gindi finished 1-2 in the men's 800-meter run. Alabama ended the day with first and second place finishes in both the men's and women's 4x400-meter relays. Overall, the Tide posted 29 top-three finishes for the meet. After the break this weekend both the men's and women's teams will travel to Bloomington, Ind., for the Indiana University Relays taking place Jan. 31-Feb. 1.

Arkansas

The No. 7 Arkansas men's track & field team picked up a pair of first-place finishes at the Red Raider Invitational on Friday afternoon at the Sports Performance Center in Lubbock, Texas. Carl Elliott III captured the 60-meter hurdles by .004 seconds to capture the first crown for the Hogs at the Invitational. Elliott III won the event with a time of 7.795 after finishing fourth in the prelims. The No. 2 Arkansas women's track & field team put together another strong showing in its second meet of the season, the Red Raider Invitational, on Friday afternoon at the Sports Performance Center in Lubbock, Texas. Backing up her win in the 400-meters last week at the Arkansas Invitational, Paris Peoples tied for the sixth-fastest time in the NCAA this season with her 53.69 in this week's competition. In the 200-meters 'B' event Arkansas put four in the top eight, including a 3-4 finish from Morgan Burks-Magee (24.20) and Rosey Effiong (24.32).

Auburn

The Auburn track and field team had numerous strong performances and personal bests, including three event wins at the Bob Pollock Meet over the two-day meet this weekend. The Tigers' individual event winners included sophomore Madi Malone in the women's weight throw, sophomore Christopher Grant in the men's 60m and junior Tommy McDonough in the men's mile. Ranked seventh nationally in the women's weight throw, Malone won with a season-best throw of 21.46m/70-05. The winning throw was the No. 3 performance in school history in the event and the eighth 21 meter throw this season for Malone. The women's weight throw also saw three Auburn freshman in the top eight as Jocelynn Budwig (16.88m/55-04.75) was fifth, Danielle Gregory (16.45m/53-11.75) was sixth and Maura Huwalt (15.21m/49-11) was eighth. Budwig and Huwalt both established PRs in the event.

Florida

Florida throwers closed out the two-day the Hokie Invitational at Virginia Tech's Rector Field House Saturday afternoon with a top-10 national mark, a spot in the program's All-Time Top 10 list and a couple of new personal records. Redshirt junior shot putter Connor Bandel beat his personal record by 16 centimeters Saturday after throwing for 19.45 meters (63 feet, 9.75 inches). Bandel's new personal best ranks 10th in Division I and third in school history.

Georgia

The Bulldogs registered five top collegiate finishes and a number of marks on this year's national performance list at the Bob Pollock Invitational in Clemson, S.C., over the weekend. Redshirt freshman Kyle Garland took only three tries in the long jump but finished as the top collegiate finisher (second overall) with a mark of 25 feet, 2 ¾ inches. This put him 11th on the national list (top freshman) and seventh on Georgia's all-time top-10 list. Senior Darius Carbin won his second straight meet in the high jump after soaring over the bar at 7-3.75 on his first attempt. In the 60-meter hurdles, senior Johannes Erm led the way for the Bulldogs taking 11th with a career best 8.07 while Garland was 12th (8.09) and Tilga 13th (8.32). Tilga (24-5.75), Erm (24-5.75) and freshman Matthew Boling (24-1.75) managed a 5-6-7 finish in the long jump as well. In addition, Tilga made his debut in the shot put and had a big mark of 51-0.25 while Erm (46-8.25) and Garland (45-10) continued to train for their first heptathlon of 2020. Sophomore Elija Godwin ran his first indoor collegiate 200m and left the facility with a victory thanks to his 21.02. This time stands 13th nationally (seventh in the SEC) and No. 3 on the school's all-time top-10 list. Boling finished third in the 60m final with a 6.74 while Godwin was fifth after 6.76 in the prelims. Godwin later led off the 4x400m relay and a combination of freshman Caleb Cavanaugh, junior Justes Nance and Boling completed the race in 3:10.78 for second. In the pole vault, freshman Haze Farmer improved his collegiate personal record to 16-10.75 to win and take over the No. 10 spot in the school record books. The Bulldogs had a pair go 4-5 in the mile after freshman Chase Condra clocked a 4:13.00 and redshirt freshman Sam Bowers finished right behind with a 4:13.79. Bowers, Cavanaugh, freshman Wesley John and Condra also managed a third-place finish in the distance medley relay at 10:20.90. Also of note, Nance sped to a 35.49 finish to be the top collegiate finisher (third overall) in the 300m. Georgia will make the first of two trips to Fayetteville, Ark., this season for the Razorback Invitational this weekend. The second-ranked Georgia women locked down six top collegiate finishes in Clemson and continued to introduce the country to their talented underclassmen. Sophomore Imani Carothers bettered her personal record in the 60-meter hurdles to 8.20 to be the top collegiate finish (second overall). Carothers now ranks 10th nationally this season and fourth in the school record books. Senior Micaiah Ransby, freshman Anna Hall, sophomore Sterling Lester and senior Amber Tanner combined to clock a 3:36.07 to win the 4x400m relay and vault to second in the school record books. This finish placed them fourth on the national performance list this year. Hall, who is training for her first collegiate pentathlon, made a statement in the high jump with a clearance of 6 feet, ½ inches. This made her the top collegiate finisher (second overall), put her third on the national performance list and 10th in the school record books. One spot behind Hall was fellow freshman Shelby Tyler, who went over the bar at 5-10. Freshman Jasmine Moore turned her attention from the long jump to the triple jump and won her second straight meet. She traveled 43-9 on her third try to win the triple jump, move to fourth on the national performance list and take over the No. 6 spot in the school record books. Behind Moore was sophomore Titiana Marsh, who was second at 42-11. Yet another first-year competitor, Julia Fixsen, was the outright winner in the pole vault with a mark of 13-10. Standing No. 11 on the national list, Fixsen is now sixth on the UGA all-time top-10 list. Senior Kayla Smith toughed it out for second in the pole vault with an identical clearance of 13-10. The Drop twins made their season debut and completed the meet with Jessica taking fourth in the mile (4:44.39) and Samantha registering a seventh-place finish (4:50.68). The sisters returned to run with Chelsea Zoller and Ellie Hall in the distance medley relay and the group took third with a 11:44.48. Freshman Arria Minor debuted in the 60m and was third with a 7.51. In the 300m, Ransby was the top collegiate finisher (second overall) thanks to her 38.60 while junior Destiny Jackson took third (39.63). Redshirt freshman Grace Clements battled for a third-place finish in the 5000m as well by finishing her laps in 17:52.00. The Lady Bulldogs will join the UGA men at the University of Arkansas this weekend.

Kentucky

Kentucky is coming off of a strong performance at the Rod McCravy Memorial last Friday and Saturday. The Wildcats lead the SEC in 10 different events and lead the NCAA in four different events. Most notably, the women's 4x400m relay team of Megan Moss, Abby Steiner, Dajour Miles and Alexis Holmes set the fastest time in the world on Saturday with a 3:31.29. Additionally, Abby Steiner (23.06) leads the NCAA in the 200m and Alexis Holmes (52.27) leads the NCAA in the 400m. Ellen Ekholm leads the NCAA in the high jump with a mark of 6-1.25 (1.86m). On the men's side of things, Langston Jackson continues to set impressive times in both the 60m and 200m. Jackson's 6.61 in the 60m is is good for fourth-fastest in the NCAA while his 20.72 is second-fastest in the NCAA. Josh Sobota broke the shot put school record on Saturday with a mark of 66-3.25 (20.20m), which is fifth in the NCAA. UK will take this weekend off before traveling to the Doc Hale Elite Meet in Blacksburg, Virginia on Feb. 7-8. The distance runners are scheduled to compete at the Camel City Invite on Feb. 8 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

LSU

The U.S.Track & Field & Cross Country Coaches Association rankings were released Monday afternoon and the men's team remained in the No. 2 spot, while the women's squad moved up ten spots to become the sixth ranked team in the nation. LSU is one of five schools in the country to have both the men's and women's team be ranked in the top ten. The LSU track and field team will be back in action on Friday January 31 where they will begin two days of competition in the Razorback invitational.

Ole Miss

Ole Miss women's track & field has been rewarded for an excellent start to the 2020 indoor season, taking the NCAA by storm after shooting up 48 spots in the USTFCCCA's Week One National Rankings to No. 20, the association announced Monday. The Rebel men aren't far out of the top-25, sitting at No. 32 following a 15-spot jump in the Week One release. Ole Miss heads to the Hoosier State for the Indiana Relays this weekend, held at IU's Gladstein Fieldhouse on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.

Mississippi State

Jesse Henderson's busy weekend culminated with a victory in the 60m hurdles on Saturday at the Vanderbilt Invitational. His time was one of nine personal bests for Mississippi State's track and field program on its final day in Nashville. After competing in the long jump and setting a new career best in the 200m on Friday, Henderson nearly caught his personal-best in the prelims of the hurdles with a run of 8.16, which was just two hundredths of a second of his season best and five hundredths shy of his career mark. In the finals, he clocked in at 8.00 to edge out Oklahoma's Isaiah Levingston (8.01) for his first career victory in any event. Henderson had never finished higher than fifth in any event.

Missouri

Mizzou Track & Field totaled eight first-place finishes at the Texas Aggie Invitational in College Station on Saturday. The distance squad highlighted the action on the track by taking first-place finishes on both sides of the 3000m, as well as logging dominant performances in the mile. Redshirt junior Ja'Mari Ward (Cahokia, Ill.) was one of four Tigers to earn first place finishes in the field. Ward set a new Aggie Invitational record in the long jump with a mark of 7.92m (26-0).

South Carolina

The University of South Carolina Track and Field team earned top five finishes in both the men's and women's standings at the 2020 Dr. Sander Columbia Challenge at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory in New York City. The women's squad finished as the runner up while the men's team finished in fifth. Highlighted by three victories, the Gamecocks set six personal bests during the two day meet. Jordan Fields (High Jump), Stephanie Davis (200m) and the men's 4x400m relay team picked up the wins for the Gamecocks to add on to Hailey Sweatman's win in the pole vault on Friday.

Tennessee

The Tennessee track & field program is back in action this week as the Vols travel to Lubbock, Texas, to continue the indoor season at the Texas Tech Invitational. The meet is set for Thursday, January 30 through Friday, February 1 at the Sports Performance Center. The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) released the Week 1 edition of its Track & Field Rating Index (TFRI) on Monday, which saw both the Vols and Lady Vols rise in the rankings. On the men's side, Tennessee moved from its No. 19 preseason ranking to No. 12 in the nation this week. The Lady Vols saw the fourth-greatest leap in the country, up 27 spots from the preseason to No. 38 among 130 NCAA Division I programs that qualified for consideration.

Texas A&M

Texas A&M Indoor Track & Field won 10 events, as the Aggies swept the team titles at the Texas Aggie Invitational title on Saturday at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium. The Men's team placed first with 150 points, followed by Baylor (102) and Missouri (99). The Women's team recorded 155 points, followed by Baylor (115) and Missouri (103). Bryce Deadmon notched sub 46-second times in 400m twice. He won his individual 400m in 45.86, and his split in the 4x400m was clocked at 45.83. Tierra Robinson-Jones also claimed a victory in the women's 400m (53.19) and posted a 53.31 split in the 4x400m relay. Emmanuel Yeboah and Immanuela Aliu had impressive Aggie debuts, as Yeboah won the men's 60m (6.74) and Aliu placed second in the women's 60m (7.53m). Kelsie Warren (9:28.57) and Ashley Driscoll (9.28.67) posted top-5 times in the A&M record book in the 3000m, clocking the 3rd and 4th fastest times in program history respectively.

Vanderbilt

In the first road meet of the year, three medals and several personal bests highlighted a fast Clemson Invitational for the Vanderbilt track and field team over the weekend. Sophomore Haley Walker and senior Reagan Bustamante earned silver and bronze, respectively, in the 800 meters. Walker was the runner-up with a time of 2:10.69 and Bustamante was just a few strides behind with a finish of 2:11.11. Four Commodores also took home a medal Friday. Vanderbilt's distance medley relay finished second as Becca Schulte (3:32), Regan Clay (58.71), Bustamante (2:11.16) and Walker (4:56.51) combined to earn the silver in 11:38.64.