MOBILE, Ala. — Through one day of action at the Sun Belt Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Troy leads the men’s side with 28 points and South Alabama paces the women with 37.
South Alabama’s Autavia Fluker won the hammer throw, broke a Sun Belt record and qualified for the Olympic Trials with a mark of 68.17m (223′ 8″). ULM’s Hannah Blood (56.67, 185′ 11″) and Hayden Holloway (56.12, 184 1″) finished second and third in the event.
Louisiana’s Juliette Smith leads the heptathlon field with 3,348 points through four events. Completed heptathlon events include the 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, and 200m dash. Hanna-Mai Vaikla of South Alabama sits in second place with 3,199 points, and Arkansas State’s Allie Hensley is in third with 3,158 points.
Texas State’s Ben Collerton leads the decathlon with 3,814 points through five events (100m dash, long jump, shot put, high jump, and 400m). UTA’s Lucas Van Klaveran is in second with 3,811 points, and USA’s Graham Collins is in third with 3,434.
Michael Alvernaz of Troy claimed his fifth gold medal of the 2021 campaign with a 60.08m (210′ 3″) mark in the hammer throw. A-State’s Amiar Palmo Simo earned silver with a 63.74m (209′ 1″), and Texas State’s Brandon Busby collected bronze with a 61.24m (198′ 0″) throw.
UTA freshman Arthur Peterson claimed first place in the javelin with throw of 71.79 (233’ 10”). Callan Saldutto of ULM and Cole Strewert of Troy earned joined him on the podium. Louisiana’s Claire Meyers (51.22m, 168′ 0″) and Maria Bienvenu (49.05m, 160′ 11″) took home gold and silver in the women’s javelin. Liv Cantby earned a third-place finish in the event with mark of 48.64m (159′ 7″).
Ariana Ealy-Pulido of Texas State, Kattiana Ealy-Pulido of Texas State, Shelby West of UTA, Shani’a Bellamy of Coastal Carolina, KaNeisha Jackson of Little Rock, Jade Bontke of UTA, Jasmine Williams of ULM and Lauren Gordon of Coastal Carolina all advanced to the 400m hurdles finals.
Darrian Lockett of A-State led the men’s 400m hurdles with a time of 52.24, earning a place in the finals. Nathan Ferguson of Louisiana, Daidren Davis of Arkansas State, Dylan Blankenship of App State, Jabari Dalton of App State, Hunter Appling of South Alabama, Joey Zayszly of South Alabama and Latrell Murray of Troy will also compete in the final event.
A-State’s Pauline Meyer paced the 1500m and qualified for Saturday’s finals after clocking a time of 4:33.57. Texas State’s Lee-Anne Blake (4:33.57) finished with the second-best preliminary time and UTA’s Madeline Rowe (4:35.19) finished third. Among others qualifying for the 1500m finals are Elizabeth Martin of A-State, Jasmine Donohue of App State, Lauren Locke of Troy, Cadi Rowe of Troy and Izzy Evely of App State.
Red Wolves Gregoire Saury (3:51.06), Bennett Pascoe (3:51.14) and Seth Waters (3:54.20) earned spots in the men’s 1500m finals. The 1500m finals race will also feature three Texas State runners—Pedro Osorio Lopez (3:54.49), Justin Botello (3:51.49) and AJ Tyler (3:55.95). UTA’s Connor Butterfield (3:53.29) and Marquentin Barnes (3:51.35) also advacned to the 1500m finals.
Red Wolves’ Lauren Beauchamp claimed gold in the pole vault with a mark of 3.93m (12′ 10¾”). Abigail Kelly-Salo of UTA finished second with a 3.93m (12′ 10¾”) mark and Tricia Pierce of Little Rock finished third with a 3.83m (12′ 6¾”) vault.
The women’s 200m finals will feature Melissa Jefferson of Coastal Carolina, Kiana Foster of Louisiana, Jermaisha Arnold of Coastal Carolina, Kayla Sweeney of Coastal Carolina, Zykeria Williams of Georgia Southern, Jasmine Riley of Troy, Aris Hubbard of Georgia Southern and Scovia Ayikoru of Georgia Southern.
A-State’s Jeremie Walker ran a 20.96 time in the men’s 200m dash, advancing to the finals. The men’s 200m finals will also feature Brock Appiah of Louisiana, Matthew Likely of Troy, Bervensky Pierre of Texas State, Alex Robinson of Troy, Jeremiah Talbert of Coastal Carolina, Tydarius Floyd of Coastal Carolina and Jaylen Allen of Texas State.
Sophie Leathers of A-State earned gold in the 10,000 with a time of 35:37.07. Grace Booher of Troy claimed second (35:43.63) and Sarah Trammel of A-State finished third (35:59.89).
Kwanele Mthembu of Texas State claimed the men’s 10,000 with a time of 28:48.33. Arkansas State’s Lexington Hilton finished second with a time of 29:20.01 and UTA’s Justin Domangue finished third (29:40.47).
Friday’s competition will start with finals of the men’s decathlon (9 a.m.), followed by the women’s heptathlon at 9:30 a.m. Finals in field events will begin at 12:30 p.m. with the women’s long jump. Field event finals will continue with the women’s shot put (2 p.m.), women’s high jump (2 p.m.), men’s long jump (3 p.m.) and will conclude with the men’s shot put at 5 p.m., before Friday evening’s running events.