BIRMINGHAM - A photo finish ended an exciting weekend at the Southwestern Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Birmingham Crossplex.
A new men's champion was crowned as Prairie View A&M dethroned two-time defending champion Grambling State. PVAM finished with a total of 132 points. Grambling was second with 89 points, followed by third place Texas Southern who edged Jackson State by a half a point with 80. JSU was fourth with 79.5, Mississippi Valley was close behind with 78, and Southern was sixth with 76.
Rounding out the rest of the field was Alabama State in seventh (61), Arkansas-Pine Bluff eighth (17) and Alabama A&M was ninth (10.5).
Individually, Daniel Kibet (left) of Mississippi Valley State earned meet Top Male Runner honors after winning the 3000m, 5000m and Mile Run, tallying 30 points.D'Wayne Houston of Southern took Top Field Performer honors, scoring 20 points. He won the Shot Put and Weight Throw.
Head Coach Chris Clay (right) was named Men's Coach of theYear after guiding the Panthers to their first SWAC title since 2008 and fifth overall.
D'Wayne Houston of Southern began the day by taking the crown in the Weight Throw. He won the event with a toss of 17.88m (58-08.00). Lee Thrasher of Alabama State was second with a throw of 17.50m (57-05.00), while Reginald Redding of Southern claimed third at 16.65m (54-07.50).
Bentrell McGee of Jackson State narrowly missed the meet record in the 60 meter hurdles. He won the event with a time of 7.92, missing the record of 7.91 by the slimmest of margins. Sylvester Baisden of Grambling finished second with a time of 8.11 and Harold Fluellen third at 8.16.
Jackson State duo Brent Lee and Anaso Jobodwana had a photo finish in the 60 meter dash. When they crossed the line, both had broken Lee's record of 6.71 in the event. After officials reviewed the tape, Lee would again stand as champion by a fraction of a second. His official time was 6.66.654, while Jobodwana settled for second place at 6.66.659. Finishing third, just off the record pace with Devin Jenkins of Southern, who crossed the line with a time of 6.72.
1 Mile Run
Daniel Kibet of Mississippi Valley ran down Brandon Coombs of Alabama State in the final 60 meters of the Mile Run to take the title. Kibet crossed the finish line with a time of 4:24.53 to claim his second title of the meet. Coombs held on for second with a time of 4:25.71, while Dinaoli Adam of Prairie View was third at 4:26.04.
Akeem Williams of Grambling State remained king of the 400m dash winning the race with a time of 47.33. Arte' Collins of Texas Southern finished second with a time of 47.65, while Jeremy Wilson of Jackson State was third at 48.73
Sorone Batiste of Prairie View erased the year-old 800 meter run record with a sizzling first place time of 1:52.39. The previous record of 1:54.36 was set last season by Delorean Peek of Alabama State. Stephone Leaks of Grambling State also topped the previous record, finishing second with a time of 1:53.50. Third place finisher Carlos Flores of Alabama State nearly eclipsed the record himself when he crossed the line with a time of 1:54.75.
Preston Woodard of Prairie View won the Triple Jump with a leap of 15.89m (52-01.75). Travion Simpson of Mississippi Valley took second with a distance of 14.28m (46-10.25) and Demetrious Williams of Texas Southern was third at 14.27m (46-10.00).
Anaso Jobodwana of Jackson State made it even tougher for his name to be erased from the SWAC record books in the 200m. He smashed his own record in the event, taking first place with a time of 20.75. Teammate Tamarick Johnson of Jackson State was second with a time of 21.37 and Devin Jenkins of Southern placed third at 21.39.
Christopher Amisial of Alabama State and Henry Brown of Prairie View tied for the top spot in the Pole Vault, both clearing 3.95m (12-11.50). However Amisial claimed first place, having cleared the height more times successfully. Antonio Flores of Texas Southern finished the event third with a height of 3.75m (12-03.50).
The final event of the day summed up the entire event in one shining moment. Texas Southern appeared to be on the way to a meet closing win, leading the 4x400 meter relay race through three legs.
However, Jackson State anchor Tamarick Johnson refused to quit. When he took the baton, Johnson had a lot of ground to make up, trailing TSU anchor Jeff Lacroix. But, Johnson closed the gap over the first 200 meters. With Lacroix constantly checking over his shoulder, Johnson suddenly was right on his tail.
In the final 60 meters, Johnson was right off Lacroix's shoulder in a full sprint. Both runners dashed for the finish line and just as Lacroix was about to make his final stretch, Johnson laid out, launching himself toward victory. When he got back on his feet and took a look at the scoreboard, there it was, JSU first (3:14.43), TSU second (3:14.47). Joining Johnson on the JSU relay team was leadoff leg Jeremy Wilson, second leg Jamie McIntosh and third leg Antoine Guice.
With all of those fireworks, Grambling quietly crossed the finish line in third place with a time of 3:15.19.
It was the perfect end to a weekend of record-breaking and dramatic performances.