Record breakers, redemption stories and an expectant father all rode back to Conway after the men and women’s Southland Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships Feb. 21 and 22 in Birmingham, Alabama.
Junior Hannah Noble placed first in the women’s high jump on the second day of competition with a UCA school record of 1.72 meters. Sophomore Alex Hanson won the 800-meter race with a time of 1:50.87, which was also a school record.
These broken records led track and field coach Richard Martin to believe that UCA’s track meet performance was a success.
“We had a good conference championship for both the men and women’s teams,” Martinsaid. “We set two school records.The men finished sixth [in total points]and the women in 10th place.”
Five UCA athletes made it through preliminary rounds for track competitions on Feb. 21 and competed in final competitions on Feb. 22. Sophomore Zachary Jewell advanced to the finals in both the men’s 60-meter race and the 200-meter race.
He finished fourth in the 200-meter race,just three thousandths of a second ahead of the fifth-place finisher. He placed fifth in the 60-meter race with a time of 6.85 seconds.
Freshman Jordan Atkins qualified for the 60-meter hurdles final and finished seventh with a time of 8.38 seconds. Other placers in finals events on Feb. 22 included senior Daniel Lawson — sixth in the men’s 400-meter race — and freshman Jordan Brock — eighth in the women’s 800-meter race.
In distance competition, junior Taylor Dunn finished seventh in the women’s 5,000-meter race and junior Markus Schweikert finished sixth in the men’s 5,000-meter race, followed by senior Preston Borg who placed eighth.
In this race, junior Julian Jeandree finished seventeenth,and said he was hoping to do better in other races. He had the opportunity to redeem himself in the men’s distance medley.
“I was just thinking that I had to redeem myself,” Jeandree said. “It was time for us to show what we are capable of with the team.”
UCA finished third in the medley, and Jeandree went on to place sixth in the men’s 3,000-meter race.
“We have never done that well with our distance squad, so we are more than happy,” Jeandree said.
In field competition, senior Eric Moore finished second in the men’s high jump with a 2.15-meter finish. Junior Logan Morton finished eighth in the women’s triple jump with a length of 11.73 meters. In the men’s heptathlon, sophomore Zac Bitton was on pace through the first four events to place in the top eight, but fell short through the final three events and finished in tenth place.
Coach Martin said the team deserved rest after its performance and will soon prepare for UCA’s home outdoor meet on March 10.
Although the team has a break before the outdoor season begins, it had to hurry back to Conway, as coach Beau Theriot was expecting his third child to come at any moment.
Photo courtesy of UCA Sports.