UAPB Track And Field Women’s 4×400 Relay earns Gold Medal at Bobcat Invitational

SAN MARCOS, TX – Following a great season opener at Central Arkansas, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff men’s and women’s track team decided to up the competition as they traveled to the warmer climate of Texas to compete in the Bobcat Invitational at Texas State.

On the women’s side, the Arkansas-Pine Bluff 4×400 meter relay team did damage on the track and alerted competitors across the country as to what they could do. Running a great first leg, Joanna Rodgers wind-stepped her way out of the blocks to break the stagger early, allowing the Golden Lions to be the first to hand off the baton.

With a nice lead from Rodgers, Safiya John would run a relaxed second leg, cruising along the backstretch to maintain the lead. However, Incarnate Word would try to make a move on John in the last 100 meters, but John caught her second wind to kick to the exchange zone to pass the baton to Raina Perry.

Getting out fast with the baton in her hand, Perry regained the lost ground to open their lead to over 50 meters of all their opponents to put their anchor leg, Leandria Elam, in a great position.

In a relaxed position in the relay, Elam refused to take her foot off the gas for the Golden Lions as she kept her form and strategy in the 400 meters before giving her kick in the final 110 meters to bring things home for the Lady Lions with a first place with a solid time of 3:48.10.

Baron Freeman kicked the weekend in Texas off on the men’s side on a good note. Competing in the 10,000-meter run, Freeman is consistently seen around the UAPB campus on long runs to prepare for big meets such as the Bobcat Invitational. Keeping an incredible pace, Freeman crossed the finish line with a time of 32:38.68 to finish in third place.

However, Freeman wasn’t the only Golden Lion to place in the top three; Caleb Snowden put on an early morning show in the men’s high jump. Clearing his first three jumps with ease, he would add pressure on his other competitors as the bar was raised to 2.08 meters. With the help of UAPB assistant coach NaToya Davidson, the crowd would get involved, clapping to Snowden’s rhythm. Approaching the bar, Snowden would explode off the ground, clearing 2.08 meters to secure third place with additional applause from the audience.

“I’ve always believed in putting our team in the best meets with the best athletes because I know the amount of greatness our team produces on the track,” said UAPB head coach Christopher McCoy.

UAPB track and field will travel just up the road to Fayetteville, Arkansas, next weekend on April 7th, to compete in the John McDonnell Invitational.