Track and field received top performances from three of its standout athletes this weekend in its second-to-last regular season meet of the year, the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.
Baptiste Kerjean, transfer from St. Brieuc, France, finished third in the men’s hammer throw. He fell only to Chukwuebuka Enekwechi of Purdue and winner Matthias Tayala of Kent State. Tayala currently holds the nation’s second-ranked hammer throw distance of 235-1, but fell short of his record at the Drake Relays with a 231-6, comfortably edging out Enekwechi’s 224-10. Kerjean’s third-place throw of 208-6 made him one of only five participants to reach over 200 feet in the event.
Kerjean has been finished in the top three in every competition since the outdoor season’s opening weekend at McMurry. He walked away with first-place victories in the War Hawk Classic and ACU’s only home meet of the season, the Wes Kittley Invitational. However, his best performances came at the University of Texas when he finished second amidst nationally ranked programs at the Texas Relays, and at Oklahoma University, where he took first place against equally tough competition.
Kerjean was named the Southland Conference Men’s Field Athlete of the Week earlier this month in recognition of his dominating performance at the Wes Kittley Invitational. He held the first place rank in the Southland Conference all season with his record of 66.33m from the Texas Relays.
Junior Daniel Block also earned third place in his event at the Drake Relays, finishing only half a second behind first-place sprinter Chris Low of Long Beach State in the men’s 800m. Block’s 152.23 also fell .02 seconds short of the runner-up time of 152.21 by Purdue’s Kevin Griffith.
Block has also had a successful season, starting strong with a second-place finish at the War Hawk Classic in the men’s 1500m. He followed with another fourth place finish in the men’s 800m at the Texas Tech Open earlier this month, then earned fifth place at the Kittley Invitational with a personal record of 1:51.27, the time which currently ranks him third in the 800m in the Southland Conference.
Sophomore Johnathan Farquharson also excelled in the Relays, finishing seventh overall in the men’s 100-meter dash. He qualified for sixth in Friday’s prelims, but finished .01 seconds slower on Saturday, landing him seventh behind competitors from Baylor, TCU and Georgia.
Farquharson’s final time of 10.45 was only .11 seconds behind his personal record of 10.34 from the Kittley Invitational, which places him second in the Southland Conference behind Justin Walker of Northwestern State. Farquharson is also ranked 10th in the conference in the 200-meter dash.
Farquharson has been consistent all season, earning five top-five finishes since the outdoor season opening weekend in March. He came in third in the men’s 100m and second in the 200m at the War Hawk Classic. He shone at home at the Kittley Invitational, finishing third in the 100m. His best performance of the year was his victory in the 100m at the Oklahoma Invitational, which he combined with a fifth-place finish in the 200m.
The Wildcats sent only two other athletes to the Drake Relays to represent the women’s team: junior Lexus Williams and senior Amelia Mitchell. Williams is ranked third in the Southland Conference in the women’s 100-meter hurdles, and Mitchell is ranked fifth in the women’s hammer throw, but neither placed in their events this weekend.
The Wildcats will compete next at the Red Raider Open in Lubbock on May 3, as the scheduled ACU home meet on Wednesday has been cancelled. The outdoor Southland Conference Championships will be held May 9-11 at the University of Central Arkansas.