SFA Women, Southeastern Louisiana Men capture Southland Indoor titles

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Northwestern State’s Natashia Jackson, Lamar’s Jordan Rowe claim Most Valuable Performer honors

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The 2020 Southland Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships came to a close Monday afternoon at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Ala.

Stephen F. Austin captured its second-consecutive women’s team championship and its third since 2015 after registering 138.75 points in the final team standings. Southeastern Louisiana took over on the men’s side, grabbing the 99 points and its first Southland team championship since the 2014 season.

The Ladyjacks secured their triple-digit performance after capturing first-place finishes in six of the meet’s 17 events. Kelsey Ramirez paved the way for the Ladyjacks’ title, earning 22.5 points on her own to go along with individual gold medals in the mile and 3,000-meter races. Ramirez also anchored SFA’s distance medley relay (DMR) team to first place, beating the rest of the field by nine seconds.

Northwestern State concluded the meet in second place, scoring 117.5 points. Abilene Christian occupied third place, while McNeese finished in fourth place. Central Arkansas, UIW, Southeastern Louisiana, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Houston Baptist occupied the fifth through ninth-place positions. Sam Houston State took 10th place, leading Lamar’s 11th-place finish. New Orleans and Nicholls state rounded out the standings.

Southeastern Louisiana’s men scored 99 points and a trio of gold medals to claim the Southland title. At the conclusion of day one, the Lions were poised in second place with 33 points but exploded with 66 points on Monday to seal the championship. Slavko Stevic and Johnathon Sawyer topped the podium in the high jump and 400m events, respectively, while the DMR team took first place to conclude day one. Sawyer’s 400m time of 46.23 stands as a meet record, beating the previous mark of 46.49 set by SFA’s Cass Brown-Stewart in 2015.

Sam Houston State took runner-up honors with 87 points followed by Abilene Christian’s 64-point performance. Stephen F. Austin finished in fourth place, while McNeese claimed the fifth-place position. Lamar finished in sixth overall, just in front of Northwestern State and Central Arkansas who tied for seventh place. Houston Baptist, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and UIW occupied the ninth through 11th place spots. New Orleans finished in 12th place, just ahead of Nicholls.

Northwestern State’s Natashia Jackson was named the women’s Most Valuable Performer (MVP) for the third-straight year after leading the meet with 27.5 points. Jackson anchored the Lady Demons to a first-place finish in the 4x400m relay and broke a pair of meet records in the 200m (23.50) and 400m (53.25) races.

Lamar’s Jordan Rowe earned MVP honors on the men’s side with 22 points, following a pair of first-place performances in the mile (4:12.52) and the 3,000m (8:26.46) events. He also anchored the Cardinals to second place in the DMR on day one.

The top three finishers in each event final are recognized as First, Second and Third Team All-Conference, respectively. Individual men’s and women’s awards for Coach of the Year, Outstanding Running Events Performer, Outstanding Field Events Performer, Freshman of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Athlete of the Year will be nominated and voted upon by head coaches in the coming week.

For athletes that achieved qualifying marks this season, the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships will be hosted at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, N.M., March 12-14.

The 2020 Southland Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships are set for May 15-17 in Abilene, Texas, with Abilene Christian serving as the host institution.

Women’s Final Team Standings

Pl. School Points
1. Stephen F. Austin 138.75
2. Northwestern State 117.5
3. Abilene Christian 63
4. McNeese 50.75
5. Central Arkansas 50
6. UIW 47.75
7. Southeastern Louisiana 44.75
8. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 31
9. Houston Baptist 29
10. Sam Houston State 26.5
11. Lamar 24
12. New Orleans 22
13. Nicholls 18

Men’s Final Team Standings

Pl. School Points
1. Southeastern Louisiana 99
2. Sam Houston State 87
3. Abilene Christian 64
4. Stephen F. Austin 63
5. McNeese 59
6. Lamar 58
T7. Northwestern State 47
T7. Central Arkansas 47
9. Houston Baptist 45
10. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 41
11. UIW 31
12. New Orleans 20
13. Nicholls 0

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