April 27, 2014
HOUSTON - With the Southland Conference Outdoor Championships on the horizon, the Lamar men's and women's track teams put on an impressive display at the J. Fred Duckett Twilight Meet on Saturday as three Cardinals put up Southland-best performances at Rice's Holloway Field and Ley Track.
After putting up one of the best 5,000 meter times in the history of the Southland last week, Sam Stabler continued his outstanding outdoor season with the nation's eighth-best 1,500 meter time. The Queniborough, England, native completed the race in 3:42.18, which is the second-fastest in conference history, trailing just former Cardinal Francis Kasagule's time of 3:40.89, which was recorded in 2010.
"Every time Sam steps on the track, there's potential for him to do something special," head coach Trey Clark said. "The conditions were just right for him, and he ran the race well. I can't really say much more about him. He's just having a phenomenal season."
Aaron Bennett, who played the role of pacemaker in Stabler's run on Saturday night, had a night to remember as well, putting up a career-best time of 1:49.21 in the 800, finishing fourth overall and second among collegians. It was the fastest time for a Card since 1986, and he moved up to 31st nationally and third in school history.
"As an 800 runner, going under 1:50 is one of those big milestones," Clark explained. "It was good to see that for Aaron, and I think he probably could have run even a bit faster. It was a great performance."
Beatrice Douglas also put up a conference-best mark, leading a strong quartet of Lady Cards in the long jump. The Silsbee native was fourth overall and first among college athletes with a leap of 19 feet, six inches, which is tied for the top overall in the Southland this season. Carissa Hill and Nicole Alozie were third and fifth, respectively, among collegians with distances of 19 feet and 18 feet, 6.5 inches.
"Beatrice has worked very hard to get back to where she was a couple years ago," Clark said. "It was really good to see her have that kind of performance, and it gives her a real legitimate shot at going back to the NCAAs."
Louise Webb also earned a top collegiate finish in the 1,500, clocking in at 4:28.39, which ranks No. 3 in the Southland this season and No. 3 on the LU all-time performance list. It was the fastest race for a Lady Card since Clerc Koenck in 2008.
"Louise had a great steeplechase performance last week, so it's impressive to see her turn around a week later and have another quality performance," Clark said. "I suspect she may have a lot left in the tank as we start to close out the season."
Saschelle Slaughter rounded out the top college finishers for the Red and White as she placed sixth overall with a personal best time of 54.51 in the 400 meter dash, a time that ranks third all-time for LU. She was joined in the top four among collegians by Sarah Shim, who put up a time of 55.76. They currently rank second and eighth, respectively, in the Southland.
"That was a pretty fun race to watch for me," Clark said. "Saschelle has done the work, and this may have been the first opportunity for her to put up a time like that. Sarah's overcome a car accident earlier this year, and this was her first race in three weeks. I expect both to continue to run well when we get to the Southland Championships."
Both joined Nia Davis and Elzbieta Gawron for the 4x400 meter relay, which finished third with a time of 3:46.51.
Dominique Taylor rounded out the major contributors for the women, coming in second in the 100 meter hurdles at 14.74 seconds.
Both Ryan Creech and Robert Badillo picked up third-place finishes in their respective events. Creech, a junior out of Cork, Ireland, completed the 5,000 in 15:06.13, and Badillo was the top field performer on the day with a mark of 47 feet, 3.75 inches, in the triple jump.
On the track, Michael Lester was eighth among college athletes with a 100 meter time of 11.53 seconds, and Jared Benford finished fourth among his peers in the 200, clocking in at 21.90 seconds.