May 11, 2014
CONWAY, Ark. – Sam Stabler continued his fantastic penultimate season on Sunday, winning a pair of Southland Conference individual championships and Leigh Lattimore grabbed one of her own as the Lamar track and field program closed out the Southland Championships at Bill Stephens Track on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas.
Stabler, who was a part of three individual titles during the indoor campaign, started the day off with a wire-to-wire showing in the 1,500 meter run, posting a time of 3:51.97. The junior out of Queniborough, England, followed up a few hours later in the 5,000, posting a time of 14:55.29. Stabler, also a member of LU’s Southland-winning cross country team, won every conference track event in which he participated in 2014.
“Sam went out and did his job,” head coach Trey Clark said. “It’s what we’ve come to expect out of him this season. His goal coming into this meet was to win two titles, and that’s exactly what he did. He went out and got us 20 points, and you can’t ask for much more than that.”
Lattimore, who was LU’s top performer for the women’s cross country championship team in the fall, grabbed her first track title, beating out defending champion Brooke Cassar with a time of 17:30.15.
“Leigh’s been working all year to get an individual conference title,” Clark said. “She was able to do that today, and I couldn’t be happier for her.”
Both women’s relay teams featured on the day, beginning with the 4x400 squad of Nia Davis, Sarah Shim, Elzbieta Gawron and Saschelle Slaughter. The group came .66 seconds shy of setting a new school record, finishing second with a time of 3:42.43, the second-best mark in LU history. However, the 4x100 team put itself at the top of the school list as Shim and Slaughter teamed up with Sydney Wandix and Dominique Taylor to finish fourth with a time of 46.04 seconds.
“Any time you set a school record, you’re obviously doing something right,” Clark said. “Both teams had great chemistry, and I really enjoyed watching them put it all together. They’ve worked hard all year to get to this point, and it was a nice way to end the season for them.”
Aaron Bennett and Michael Kershaw also made trips to the medal stand on Sunday. Bennett, a graduate student from Southampton, England, was unable to chase down defending champion De’Quad Binder of Sam Houston State, finishing with a time of 1:51.43. It was a half-second slower than Binder, and the top seven finishers in this year’s event bettered Binder’s winning time from a year ago.
Kershaw finished third in the 5,000, recording a time of 15:03.13.
In all, LU had eight individuals and one relay team medal over the meet’s three days. As a team, the Cards finished in a tie for fifth on the men’s side with 57 points, and the women were seventh with 53. Sam Houston State was the women’s champions, and Southeastern Louisiana claimed the men’s crown.
Other scorers for the Cards included Slaughter, who finished fifth in the 400 meter dash with a time of 55.43 seconds. Webb, who picked up a foot injury in Saturday night’s 3,000 meter steeplechase, ran fifth in the 1,500 on Sunday with a time of 4:34.57. Robert Badillo rounded out the individual scorers, finishing fifth in the triple jump with a mark of 48 feet, 4.5 inches.
The top five times in the 4x400 meter relay beat out last year’s winning time, and the LU quartet of TaMar Hicks, Chance Williams, Bennett and Trevon Davis posted a time of 3:13.79.
For the majority of the team, this weekend represented the last of the season, but a select few will return to action next week at Georgia Tech and in three weeks at the NCAA West Regional in Arkansas.