Southland Conference Track Athletes Compete at 2019 Toyota USATF Outdoor Championships

first_imgDES MOINES, Iowa – The 2019 USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships wrapped in Des Moines, Iowa over the weekend with six Southland Conference student-athletes from five member institutions competing at the meet. Of the Southland’s six performers, none finished outside of the top-20 individuals within their respective events. UIW’s Sarea Alexander grabbed 13th-place honors in the women’s long jump, while Sam Houston State’s Clayton Fritsch capped an impressive weekend with a seventh-place finish in the men’s pole vault.Denim Rogers and Tay Nance represented Houston Baptist as the school’s first-ever athletes to compete at the national meet. Nance registered a 15th-place finish in the triple jump, completing a 39-01.25-foot (11.92m) leap on her final attempt. Nance recently finished her HBU career with her fourth-consecutive trip to the NCAA West Preliminary meet this past May in Sacramento, Calif. Rogers rounded out the HBU duo’s weekend with a 12th-place finish in the decathlon event, scoring 7,314 points. Rogers’ performance was highlighted by a fourth-place finish in the decathlon high jump (6-05.5 ft/1.97m) and a pair of fifth-place finishes in the 400m (49.24) and 110m hurdle (14.49) events.Alexander’s 13th-place long jump performance came on her second attempt of the afternoon Saturday, where she completed a 20-05.75 (6.24m) effort, a feat which topped her initial leap by over five inches. The UIW jumper is coming off an impressive senior campaign in which she was named a NCAA First Team All-American, the first in program history to do so. She took sixth place in the long jump at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in addition to claiming Southland Conference outdoor titles in both the long jump and triple jump events.Northwestern State’s Micah Larkins closed out his weekend with a 20th place finish in the 100m dash. Larkins, who concluded his NSU career this spring, crossed the finish line with a 10.46 clip in his second-ever appearance at the national meet. His performance narrowly missed an automatic qualifying bid to the semifinal round, falling just 0.05 seconds short.Fritsch provided the top finish among Southland competitors, tying for seventh place overall in the men’s pole vault. His finish came on a 17-11-foot (5.46m) jump on his first attempt Saturday afternoon. The vaulter is coming off his sophomore season for the Bearkats, where he nabbed All-America honors following a third-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Austin, Texas. Since completing the latest NCAA season, the Sealy, Texas, native has embarked on an action-packed summer where he took gold in the pole vault for Team USA at the 2019 U-23 North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association Championships in Queretaro, Mexico (July 7).Rounding out the Southland competitors at the meet was Southeastern Louisiana’s D.J. Ruffin, who represented the Lions in the long jump. Ruffin took 16th place overall with a 25-0.0-foot (7.62m) mark on his second attempt. The senior closed out the 2019 Southland indoor season as the men’s Athlete of the Year in addition to being named the Outstanding Field Events Performer. The SLU student-athlete competed in multiple running and field events for the Lions, nabbing gold medals in both the indoor high jump and long jump events at the conference meet in Birmingham, Ala.last_img

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