Jefferson, Melgar headline 2019 All-Southland Outdoor Track & Field Teams
Jefferson claims three Southland gold medals; Melgar recorded 26 points in three Southland events
FRISCO, Texas – Sam Houston State sprinter Chris Jefferson and Abilene Christian thrower Kayla Melgar are the 2019 Southland Conference Outdoor Track & Field Athletes of the Year, the league announced Wednesday along with the complete list of all-conference teams. Southland yearly awards are presented by Ready Nutrition.
Men’s Athlete of the Year & Outstanding Running Events Performer – Chris Jefferson, Sam Houston State
Jefferson registered 23.75 points at the 2019 Southland Outdoor Championships to become the men’s Most Valuable Performer. The senior from Jersey Village, Texas, secured a pair of individual gold medal finishes in the 100-meter (10.20) and 200m dash (20.48) events on the final day of competition. Jefferson also helped his Bearkats squad to a gold medal in the 4x100m relay as the team’s anchor leg.
Men’s Outstanding Field Events Performer – Aaron Akens, Sam Houston State
Akens collected 22 points for the Bearkats at the 2019 Southland Outdoor Championships, helping SHSU to its third consecutive outdoor title. The senior thrower from Mesquite, Texas, bagged a first-place finish in the discus with a mark of 187-04.0 ft and a 196-00.0 ft heave for second place in the hammer throw. Akens also tossed a 55-02.75 ft throw in the shot put for fifth-place honors.
Men’s Freshman of the Year – Jo’vaughn Martin, Sam Houston State
Martin completed his first Southland Outdoor Championships in style notching a trio of podium finishes at the three-day event. The Conroe, Texas, product finished third overall in the 100m dash with a time of 10.40 and second individually in the 200m dash with a 20.92 clip. Martin completed the event as the second leg of the Bearkats’ first-place 4x100m relay team.
Men’s Newcomer of the Year – Josh Smith, Sam Houston State
Smith, a transfer from Spring Arbor University, claimed Newcomer of the Year honors after a pair of second-place finishes in the 110m (14.20) and 400m (52.42) hurdle events for the Bearkats. The Katy, Texas, native’s 16 points pushed the Sam Houston State men’s squad to a team title with 164 points, beating out the second-place team by 73 points.
Men’s Coach of the Year – David Self, Sam Houston State
Self is in his 10th year coaching the Bearkats and has created a wave of success throughout the decade. After leading his men’s squad to its third-straight title at the 2019 outdoor championships, Self has now compiled five men’s team titles since the 2005 season. The Bearkats’ three-peat marks the first time in program history that the feat has been performed. The Sam Houston State sweep of all five men’s individual superlative winners marks the first time in conference history that a team has done so across the five awards.
Women’s Athlete of the Year – Kayla Melgar, Abilene Christian
Melgar sealed her status as the women’s Most Valuable Performer at the 2019 outdoor championships after ringing up 26 points with three podium appearances. The senior from Tempe, Ariz., finished first overall in the shot put with a toss of 52-08.0 ft to go along with a pair of second-place finishes in the discus (168-08.0 ft) and hammer throw (184-00.0 ft) events.
Women’s Outstanding Field Events Performer – Sarea Alexander, Incarnate Word
Alexander locked up her third consecutive conference title in the long jump with a 21-4.25 ft leap on her first attempt of the day for the Cardinals. The San Antonio, Texas, product’s three-straight Southland championships makes her the first woman in UIW program history to accomplish the feat and the second competitor in conference history to win three consecutive long jump gold medals. Alexander’s success was not limited to one event as the senior also claimed gold in the triple jump with a mark of 43-02.5 ft.
Women’s Freshman of the Year & Outstanding Running Events Performer – Gracie Hyde, Central Arkansas
Hyde, a native of Benton, Ark., put together an impressive run at the 2019 championships with a pair of first-place finishes in the 3,000m steeplechase (10:27.55) and the 5,000m run (17:50.89). The freshman’s time in the steeplechase marked a stadium record for Walter P. Ledet Track Complex in Natchitoches, La.
Women’s Newcomer of the Year – Madison Pecot, Stephen F. Austin
The senior transfer from UT-Arlington concluded her appearance at the 2019 championships with a silver medal in the pole vault. Pecot cleared the bar at 13-06.25 ft behind teammate Nastassja Campbell and ahead of Kaylee Bizzell, cementing a Ladyjack sweep of the podium in the pole vault event.
Women’s Coach of the Year – Phil Olson, Stephen F. Austin
Olson nabbed his Coach of the Year honor after leading the Ladyjacks to a dominant first-place team finish at the outdoor championships. The SFA women combined for 195.5 points across 18 of the championship’s 21 events, sealing their ninth outdoor title in program history. Olson has now led the Ladyjacks to a championship in three of the last five outdoor seasons.
Outdoor track & field individual awards are nominated and voted on by the league’s head coaches. Voting for oneself or one’s own athletes is not permitted. The top three finishers from each event’s final at the championship meet are automatically named All-Southland Conference.
2019 Southland Conference Outdoor Track & Field All-Conference Teams
|Event||First Team||Second Team||Third Team|
|Women’s 100m||Deja Keys, UIW||Aleyah Donald, MCN||Ajah Criner, UCA|
|Men’s 100m||Chris Jefferson, SHSU||Tyler Smith, MCN||Jo’vaughn Martin, SHSU|
|Women’s 200m||Natashia Jackson, NSU||Deja Keys, UIW||Ajah Criner, UCA|
|Men’s 200m||Chris Jefferson, SHSU||Jo’vaughn Martin, SHSU||Tyler Smith, MCN|
|Women’s 400m||Natashia Jackson, NSU||Cayla Burch, SFA||Imani Nave, SFA|
|Men’s 400m||Jared Williams, ACU||Donovan Storr, SLU||Webster Slaughter, LU|
|Women’s 800m||Dominique Allen, UIW||LaSean Davis, SFA||Jamie Eckford, SHSU|
|Men’s 800m||Drake Murphy, SFA||Deion Hardy, UIW||Jorge Quintero, UIW|
|Women’s 1,500m||Kelsey Ramirez, SFA||Itzel Alcantar, UIW||Alia Henderson, UIW|
|Men’s 1,500m||Garett Cortez, UIW||Deion Hardy, UIW||Ryan Cleary, ACU|
|Women’s 5,000m||Gracie Hyde, UCA||Brittany Innis, SFA||Taryn Surratt, SFA|
|Men’s 5,000m||Jamie Crowe, LU||Jordan Rowe, LU||Matthew Arnold, LU|
|Women’s 10,000m||Valentina Campos, AMCC||Gladys Jerotich, MCN||Taryn Surratt, SFA|
|Men’s 10,000m||Markus Schweikert, UCA||Jamie Crowe, LU||Aaron Albert, UNO|
|Women’s 100m hurdles||Jerica Love, UIW||Jillian Turner, SFA||Irene Akwitti, ACU|
|Men’s 110m hurdles||Tremayne Flagler, NSU||Joshua Smith, SHSU||Ketavion Humber, AMCC|
|Women’s 400m hurdles||Dominique Jackson, SFA||Daijia Carr, SFA||Kendall Rodriguez, AMCC|
|Men’s 400m hurdles||Garrett Gibson, HBU||Joshua Smith, SHSU||Ketavion Humber, AMCC|
|Women’s 3,000m steeplechase||Gracie Hyde, UCA||Brittany Innis, SFA||Taryn Surratt, SFA|
|Men’s 3,000m steeplechase||Ryan Cleary, ACU||Matthew Arnold, LU||Jaron Hamilton, UCA|
|Women’s 4x100m relay||D. Jackson, C. Burch, I. Nave, A. Teel – SFA||D. Moore, K. Evans, O. Giles, N. Jackson – NSU||J. Love, T. Mays, B. Ransom, D. Keys – UIW|
|Men’s 4x100m relay||F. McCall, J. Martin, B. Henderson, C. Jefferson – SHSU||E. Clarke, M. Larkins, J. Arrington, T. Carr – NSU||W. Williams, T. Smith, G. Brown, T. Syrie – MCN|
|Women’s 4x400m||I. Nave, A. Teel, D. Jackson, C. Burch – SFA||D. Granados, N. Jackson, K. Evans, C. Willis – NSU||E. Sebastion, D. Allen, D. Keys, T. Mays – UIW|
|Men’s 4x400m||J. Williams, B. Brownlow, R. Linton, A. Williams – ACU||A. Ruiz, A. Bennett, D. Murphy, I. Pittman – SFA||T. Jones, G. Coleman, J. Benson, D. Storr – SLU|
|Women’s High Jump||Sashane Hanson, AMCC||Jasmyn Steels, NSU||Kadejah Wilson, SFA|
|Men’s High Jump||Tyler Adams, SHSU||Iyanu Adeyeye, HBU||Noah Berney, SFA|
|Women’s Pole Vault||Nastassja Campbell, SFA||Madison Pecot, SFA||Kaylee Bizzell, SFA|
|Men’s Pole Vault||Branson Ellis, SFA||Clayton Fritsch, SHSU||Carter Scott, SFA|
|Women’s Long Jump||Sarea Alexander, UIW||Jasmyn Steels, NSU||Chelsea Harrington, NICH|
|Men’s Long Jump||Jacorious Jeter, NSU||Markeit Steverson, NSU||Isaiah Pittman, SFA|
|Women’s Triple Jump||Sarea Alexander, UIW||Natayla Nance, HBU||Jasmyn Steels, NSU|
|Men’s Triple Jump||Chris Welch, HBU||Quindarrius Thompson, NSU||Javon McCray, LU|
|Women’s Shot Put||Kayla Melgar, ACU||Ashley Davis, SLU||Annina Brandenburg, ACU|
|Men’s Shot Put||Kai Schmidt, ACU||Michael Nichols, SHSU||Morgan Knight, ACU|
|Women’s Discus||Annina Brandenburg, ACU||Kayla Melgar, ACU||Lauryn Caldwell, SHSU|
|Men’s Discus||Aaron Akens, SHSU||Morgan Knight, ACU||Ryan Simmons, ACU|
|Women’s Hammer Throw||Lonnie Smith, ACU||Kayla Melgar, ACU||Lauryn Caldwell, SHSU|
|Men’s Hammer Throw||Joshua Hernandez, SHSU||Aaron Akens, SHSU||Vojislav Gvero, UNO|
|Women’s Javelin Throw||Kelsey Frank, NSU||Annina Brandenburg, ACU||Amber Bruce, NSU|
|Men’s Javelin Throw||Cord Neal, SFA||Logan Robinson, AMCC||Ryan Simmons, ACU|
|Women’s Heptathlon||Migle Muraskaite, LU||Sashane Hanson, AMCC||Jillian Turner, SFA|
|Men’s Decathlon||Rodney Littlejohn, UIW||Scott Boon, HBU||Bjoern Adden, AMCC|
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