By Jared Fields, Managing Editor
Everything finally came together for the men’s and women’s teams at the Lone Star Conference Championships in Commerce.
The men won the conference title with 248 points over Angelo State, and the women posted 280 points to beat the 211 points from Angelo State.
The team championships were the 23rd for the men, making it the 13th championship won in a row, and the second in a row for the women’s team with 22nd overall.
Besides blowing out Angelo State twice, head coach Don Hood said he was happy with the number of athletes who placed.
“There are kids who just couldn’t score last year who are scoring this year,” Hood said.
After a successful weekend at the LSC meet, Hood said he is much more confident about his teams heading into the national outdoor meet.
“We’re down to just three or four people who need to do something instead of 10 or 12,” Hood said.
The women’s team claimed 10 individual and two relay titles, and the men won 11 individual championships with the 400 relay winning with a time of 41.24, just under the provisional qualifying mark.
The men’s relay won with a freshman anchor who didn’t know he was a part of the relay until 10 minutes before taking the stick.
“Jordan Traub stepped in and ran a great anchor leg for us,” Hood said. “We just basically had a better handoff. He didn’t know he was going to run it until 10 minutes before the race. To see a freshman step up and do that was amazing.”
The women’s 1,600 relay won with a time of 3:44.07 while the 400-relay time earned the team an automatic qualifying time for the national meet with its time of 45.49.
“That’s a second faster than what we’ve been running,” Hood said. “It kind of makes it exciting.”
Two women, Sasharine McLarty and Loice Cheboi, won two individual events. McLarty won the 100 and 200 meters in 11.54 and 23.65 seconds, respectively. The times rank her second in the nation in both events. McLarty was also a member of the 400-relay team.
Cheboi won the two longest races: the 5,000 and 10,000 kilometers in 18:46.31 and 38:10.95, respectively.
Keva Wilkins won the 400 meters with an automatic qualifying time of 53.20, and Azraa Rounds, who finished second, also automatically qualified with a time of 54.00 seconds. The Wildcats claimed the top four spots in the 400 meters and also took the top-three positions in the 800 and the top four in the 200 meters.
However, Hood said, Liga Klavina was the highlight on the women’s side of the meet. Klavina set an LSC meet record in the shot put with a throw of 49-1.5 feet and finished third in the javelin. Klavina has battled injuries the last few years, and Hood said it’s good to see her performing well and being healthy.
“She has come all the way back,” Hood said. “It’s good to see her come back and finish her conference career with a bang.”
The men also had two athletes who won two events: Julius Nyango and Serge Gasore. Nyango won the 800 and 1,500 meters, and Gasore, like Cheboi on the women’s side, won the 5,000 and 10,000 meters.
Marvin Bien-Aime, the 200-meter champion two years ago, posted the best time in the country at the meet, 20.77, showing signs of recovering from injuries.
“Marvin was probably the highlight,” Hood said. “He’s kept training and training and training, and all of a sudden, here he comes.”
The Wildcats took the top-two spots in the 110-meter hurdles with Andrew McDowell winning at 14.10 and Matt Pugh following at 14.20.
With all the success at Commerce, one name was missing from the final results. Record-setting long-distance runner, Nicodemus Naimadu did not run because Hood said he wanted to rest him before his final meet at home Thursday.
Also, without worrying about too many individuals, Hood said he can focus on the relays at the ACU Open at Elmer Gray Stadium.
The home meet is the final meet the team has before nationals in Charlotte, N.C., on May 24-16.
ACU’s 2007 LSC Track and Field Champions
200 — Marvin Bien-Aime, 20.77w
400 — Johnny Jacob, 46.85
800 — Julius Nyango, 1:51.86
1,500 — Julius Nyango, 3:52.82
5,000 — Serge Gasore, 15:16.36
10,000 — Serge Gasore, 32:01.99
110 Hurdles — Andrew McDowell, 14.10w
400 Relay — Andrew McDowell, Marvin Bien-Aime, Roger Morris, Jordan Traub, 41.24
High Jump — Roger Morris, 6-6
Pole Vault — Kyle Dennis, 17-1
Triple Jump — Vladyslav Gorbenko, 49-10.5w
Decathlon — Chris Pounds, 7,056
100 — Sasharine McLarty, 11.54w
200 — Sasharine McLarty, 23.65w
400 — Keva Wilkins, 53.20
800 — Denise Morgan, 2:16.50
5,000 — Loice Cheboi, 18:46.31
10,000 — Loice Cheboi, 38:10.95
3,000 Steeplechase — Olha Kryv’yak, 10:47.31
400 Relay — Sasharine McLarty, Azraa Rounds, Shawna-Kaye Thompson, Kim Prather, 45.49
1,600 Relay — Venessa Whittle, Jessica Hunt, Mary Mwangi, Denise Morgan, 3:44.07
Pole Vault — Angie Aguilar, 12-10
Shot Put — Liga Klavina, 49-1.5 (meet record)
Heptathlon — Jessica Withrow, 5,090
Women – Team Rankings – 22 Events Scored
1) Abilene Christian: 280
2) Angelo State: 211
3) Texas A&M-Kingsville: 82
4) Tarleton State: 60
5) Texas A&M-Commerce: 27
6) Eastern New Mexico: 16
Men – Team Rankings – 21 Events Scored
1) Abilene Christian: 248
2) Angelo State: 152
3) Tarleton State: 83
4) Texas A&M-Commerce: 59
5) Texas A&M-Kingsville: 53
6) Eastern New Mexico: 47