Special report to Deltaplex News
By Kalan Hooks
PRAIRIE VIEW, TX – The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff men’s and women’s completed their third and final day of competition at the Southwestern Athletic Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Saturday at the Prairie View A&M track facility.
After some great performances from day one and day two of the SWAC Championships, UAPB Track & Field, were looking to close out the final day with a bang. On day two, the majority of the team qualified for finals, and most athletes had something to prove to the SWAC in which they did in finals.
Kicking things off for UAPB would be redshirt junior Katrina Small, who would earn the first piece of hardware for the Golden Lions, winning a gold medal in the women’s triple jump, stretching out to 12.76 meters on the day of her graduation.
Sensation Safiya John who is currently ranked 19th in the nation in the women’s heptathlon, continued her destruction in the SWAC Championships adding a silver medal to her collection after jumping 1.67 meters in the high jump, showing off the springs she has.
John then went ahead to dominate the women’s 100-meter hurdles and hurdled her way to a gold medal with a winning time of 13.66 seconds with junior Jyzmin Gray finishing right behind John to take home a silver medal with a time of 13.91 seconds and to complete the first and second place sweep on the podium.
Gray wanted to take home her own personal collection of gold, however, and she did so by showing her determination in the 400-meter hurdles and maintaining great mechanics through the finish line to earn her spot on top of the podium with a time of 61.63 seconds.
In the women’s 400-meter dash, freshman Tatyana McKenzie put on a performance on the track, fighting hard and strong coming out of lane five. She would finish second in the competition with a time of 54.54 seconds and sophomore Jada Sabir finished behind McKenzie in third place with a time of 55.50 seconds coming out of lane seven.
McKenzie also earned a silver medal in the women’s 200-meter dash after giving her all in the 400-meter dash and would cross the finish line in 23.64 seconds to secure her spot on the podium in the women’s 200-meter dash.
The women’s 4×100-meter relay team made Golden Lion history, breaking the school record with an impressive time of 45.32 seconds to secure a silver medal, making UAPB head coach Christopher McCoy proud.
The Lady Lions Track & Field team would finish the meet in third place with 123.5 points collectively as a team.
On the men’s side, freshman Caleb Snowden kicked things off for the men on day three, earning a silver medal in the men’s high jump with a height of 2.02 meters to earn yet another medal in his freshman campaign season.
Senior Wade Garner dominated his race in the men’s 400-meter dash finals, getting out quick and strong. Easily breaking the stagger, Garner continued to accelerate in the first 200-meters of the race, making the second 200-meters of the race easy as he cruised his way to a first-place finish with a blazing fast time of 46.77 seconds, collecting a gold medal and spot at the top of the podium.
With nervousness going through the spectators for the final event of the meet, the Golden Lions ran a great competitive race in the men’s 4×400 meter relay. With Franklyn Stanislaus, Akeem Marshall, and Romario Marshall running great legs for the Golden Lions, Garner would bring the stick across the finish line with a split of 46.17 seconds, securing a bronze medal in the men’s 4×400-meter relay.
Golden Lion Men’s Track & Field finished the meet in fifth place with a team collective of 105 points.