Abilene Christian assistant track and field coach Jerrod Cook is confident in this year’s throwers after their success in their season-opening meet Saturday at the Texas Tech Open.
Seniors Baptiste Kerjean (known as the Frenchman) and Shalania Lakey took first place in their weight throw event. Kerjean threw his collegiate best with a throw of 17.7 meters, while Lakey threw 15.56 meters. Kerjean was not happy with his performance because he felt he could work on his mechanics and technique more to throw even further. Cook believes Kerjean has the potential to become an elite thrower.
“I know he is very capable to compete at the NCAA Indoor Championships this year. He just has to keep improving, and putting performances out there,” Cook said. “He started off like a seasoned veteran. He knows his routine, he is very composed and knows what it takes to win.”
Among the many highlights, senior Matthew Stark from Abilene recorded a personal best indoor pole vault height of 4.3 meters.
In his first competition as a collegiate-athlete, freshman Luke Woods made the finals in the 55 meter hurdles and improved his time by half a second with a time of 8.31 seconds.
“He’s going to be a great asset to our team, he’s coachable and he’s learning a lot as a first-time heptathlete,” Cook said.
Cook expressed his excitement of the first meet. His athletes were poised and focused throughout the meet with great expectations.