UAPB Track And Field Close Out their Indoor Season on Good Note at SWAC Championship


BIRMINGHAM, AL –With one gold medal under their belt from day one of the competition, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff men’s and women’s track team ended their indoor season on a great note at the SWAC Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Birmingham Crossplex.

Picking up from yesterday’s weather delay, Che Rochford would finish up his final three events in the men’s heptathlon with his highlight being in the 1000 meters – a close second-place finish with a time of 2:45.86 to secure his spot on the podium as well as a bronze medal with 4447 points.

The men’s distance medley relay team brought back some hardware for Arkansas-Pine Bluff as well, but it wasn’t the race entirely that secured the medal; it was the chemistry and bond the DMR team has off the track as well. With the lineup of Genesis Joseph, Ryan Longmire, Tarik Xavier, and Rio Williams, the four crossed the finish line with a time of 10:30.33 to earn a bronze medal around each of their necks.

Bringing home hardware was the main goal in all aspects of the competition, meaning bringing home medals on the track and in the field. Deandre Fyffe would be that guy to get the job done in the men’s shot put with a massive throw of 15.03 meters to secure the podium’s top spot, stepping off with a gold medal around his neck.

Also getting the job done in the field would be Caleb Snowden whose been a dominant force on the high jump mat all season. Coming in at the 1.98-meter mark, Snowden would clear the jump on the first attempt and the next height of 2.02 meters. Fouling two 2.06-meter jumps, he would clear the third jump to stay alive.

Being the only competitor to clear 2.10 meters, Snowden found himself on top of the podium again at a SWAC Championship, with a gold medal dangling from his neck.

Out of the 12 teams in the conference, the men’s team finished in sixth place with 63 points.

On the women’s side, Joelle Stewart would kick off the morning just right in the ring in the women’s weight throw, securing a spot on the podium with a throw of 16.18 meters to go home with a bronze medal around her neck.

Sensation Safiya John continued her domination in the field events, securing her first medal of the day in the women’s long jump, soaring to a distance of 5.92 meters for a second-place finish.

Not satisfied, John was determined to medal gold in her remaining events. Back on the runaway for the women’s triple jump, she hopped, skipped, jumped, and tucked and extended into the sand on her final jump to get the white flag, recording 12.36 meters to secure herself the top spot on the podium with a gold medal.

She would then place second in the high jump competition, clearing a height of 1.67 meters to secure silver, with Jaylynn Hampton missing the podium by one jump but still executing well with a mark of 1.59 meters.

John then took her talent to the track, where she had emptied her gas tank in the women’s 60-meter hurdles. Firing out of the blocks with all her strength and attacking each hurdle, she would cross the line in first place to secure not only her third gold medal and fifth medal of the meet but also a new SWAC record of 8.41 seconds.

The women’s team finished in fifth place out iof 12 teams with 71 points.

“We had some great performances here in Birmingham, but that does not mean the work is done,” said UAPB head coach Christopher McCoy. “We’re just getting warmed up for the outdoor season.”

The Golden Lions track & field team will return to the lab to prepare for their outdoor season.