Feb. 15, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Aaron Bennett was the top collegiate finisher in the 800 meter run for a third consecutive race and Johnathon Reece took home his second straight high jump crown on Friday as the Lamar track and field teams competed at the Southern Miss Cupid Classic at Birmingham Crossplex Arena.
Bennett, a graduate student out of Southampton, England, recorded a season-best time of 1:52.34 in the event, maintaining his third-place ranking on the Southland Conference leaderboard. Bennett, who won 800 crowns at both Houston and Texas A&M earlier this season, finished second to Shawn Roberts, who was running unattached.
Reece also maintained his No. 3 spot on the Southland list, clearing six feet, 8.75 inches. The sophomore cleared the same height earlier this season to win the high jump at Texas A&M.
Kayla de Bondt also had a strong day, completing the 800 meter run in 2:13.74 and the mile in 4:55.39, placing fifth and third, respectively, among collegiate competitors. The Tarwin Lower, Australia, native set season-bests in both events and now trails just teammate Louise Webb in the conference rankings. Her 800 time also moved her to second on LU's all-time performance list.
Leigh Lattimore and Webb also ran in the mile, ending seventh and 20th, respectively, with times of 5:04.54 and 5:17.02.
Claire Arnold ran a season-best 10:01.21 in the 3,000 meter run, missing out on the event crown by .56 seconds to Middle Tennessee's Lucy Kapkiai. Belinda Aguilar also ran in the event, ending in 10:10.19. The duo now ranks fourth and sixth, respectively, in the conference.
Nora-Beth Saunders ran the 5,000 in 19:11.45 to place sixth.
On the men's side, Michael Kershaw and Ryan Creech each had top five finishes in their respective events. Kershaw ended the mile in 4:16.88 to place fifth, and Creech completed the 3K in 8:33.08, which was good enough for third. The marks move them sixth and fifth in the Southland this season.
Sean Chalmers also ran the mile, ending ninth in 4:19.32.
In the field, Erin Brown stood out on the women's side, leaping 36 feet, 10.5 inches to finish 19th and move up to ninth in the conference rankings.
The 4x400 meter teams closed out the day with a pair of fourth place finishes. The men's squad of Chance Williams, TaMar Hicks, Bennett and Trevon Davis finished in 3:19.39. On the women's side, the quartet of Nia Davis, Sarah Shim, Elzbieta Gawron and Saschelle Slaughter posted a time of 3:59.85.
The LU track teams will return to Birmingham in a week and a half for the Southland Indoor Championships, which are set to kick off on February 26.