May 9, 2013
BEAUMONT – Ashley Idunoba and Joe Wade are certain to be in the mix for Lamar this weekend as the duo will look to repeat as conference champions in their respective events at the Southland Conference Outdoor Championships at Cameron Communications Track and Field Complex on the campus of McNeese State.
Idunoba, who is currently rated second in the Southland in the 200 meter dash, is seeking to become just the third athlete to take home three consecutive titles in the event. She won in 2011 with a time of 23.80 seconds, and bettered it to 23.44 in 2012. The senior out of Houston will also participate in the 100 meter dash, and she is coming off an indoor season that saw her earn runner-up finishes in both the 60 and 200.
Wade, who took home the indoor mile title in February, is looking to repeat in the 3,000 meter steeplecheese. With a time of 8:54.70, it was the fastest for the event since former Cardinal standout Rafael Colemanares finished in 8:54.12 in 1985. Wade, the twin brother of former LU All-American Tom Wade, is also slated to compete in the 1,500, and he enters the weekend with the conference’s best marks in both events as well as the 5,000 meter run.
Becky Gough also enters with championship pedigree on the heels of taking home the indoor championship in the 3,000 meter run earlier this year. She’ll be competing in both the 1,500 and 3,000 meter runs and currently ranks fourth and second, respectively, in the events.
After coming up just short during indoor season, SLC Indoor Freshman of the Year Johnathon Reece and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s Roger De La Cruz will duel once again in the high jump. De La Cruz’s SLC-best mark of 6 feet, 10.75 inches is just one inch better than Reece’s best mark this season.
Also hailing from the jumps group, the trio of Erin Brown
, Beatrice Douglas
and Carissa Hill
will look for a strong showing. Douglas, a two-time Southland Field Athlete of the Week this season, currently holds the second-best mark in school history in the long jump, and she’s also slated to compete in the high jump. Brown had a career day at the indoor championships, becoming the third-best long jumper in school history, and Hill will be looking to continue a solid first outdoor campaign.
Other field performers to watch include pole vaulters Leslie Beard and Jared Parker, thrower Denisha Nichols and jumper Robert Badillo.
Back on the track, Matt Johnsen will look to get things started off well when he leads the 10,000 meter group on Friday morning. Johnsen will be joined by Ryan Creech, Ash Harrell and Ryan Kelly, and Claire Miles is slated to be the lone Lady Card performer in the event. The trio of Johnsen, Creech and Harrell currently rank second, third and fourth, respectively in the Southland.
Each of the 10K runners will also participate in the 5,000, with the English duo of Sam Stabler and Sam Bradley joining in on the party for the men. Stabler, a native of Queniborough, is the top-rated participant in the race with a time of 14:22.25. Johnsen and Creech aren’t far behind him, ranking fourth and sixth, respectively.
Stabler is also the second-ranked competitor in the 1,500, where he’s slated to do battle with Wade.
Zach Hicks will look to lead the men’s sprint contingent after an impressive opening campaign in the Red and White. He enters ranked fifth in the 200 with a time of 21.27, and he’s also scheduled to run in the 100.
Also sprinting for the men will be Trevon Davis, Trey Finnex and Ronnie Whitty.
Joining Idunoba on the women’s side will be Elzbieta Gawron, Chasity Peters, Sarah Shim and Saschelle Slaughter. Slaughter, a junior from Missouri City, is set to headline the 400 meter dash group after posting a time of 56.14, the sixth-best mark in the conference.
Other performers to watch include Kim Campbell, TaMar Hicks and Idara Effiong in the 800 as well as hurdlers Le’Trey Burton and Wesley Williams.
Historically, the Lamar men have been the kings of the annual conference championships, taking home 10 titles with a jaw-dropping 126 individual champions, which is 64 more than any other active conference school.
Only 16 Lady Cards have earned titles on the women’s side, and Lamar is still seeking its first-ever title.
The 2013 Southland Outdoor Championships will begin with the 10,000 meter run on Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. Following the completion of both the men’s and women’s races, the rest of the team will get started on Saturday at 1 p.m.