UCA’s Temple and Jewell earn individual championships on last day

The University of Central Arkansas men’s and women’s track & field teams wrapped up the 2020 Southland Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships on March 2. Zachary Jewell and Sierra Temple helped the Bears win the top spots in the 60m. The women finished the meet in fifth, while the men tied for seventh. 

“As a whole, we came and competed very well today,” said UCA Head Coach Richard Martin. “I am very proud of our men’s and women’s teams, they fought very hard today. We left some points that we should have gotten, but that is track and field. We had people in the finals on Monday in just about every event. You have to make it to the finals to score points and that’s what we did. 

“I am very proud of Zachary Jewell, Ajah Criner and Sierra Temple for what they accomplished today. Ajah and Zachary are seniors and I hate to see them go. I have to give a lot of credit to our men’s and women’s distance runners. They did a great job and that’s where a lot of the points came from on both sides.”

Temple got the morning started with the fastest time in UCA history in the 60m. Her time of 7.46 earned her the Southland title. Ajah Criner finished with a time of 7.53 and placed fifth. 

“It was definitely shocking,” said Temple. “I didn’t believe it at first. I didn’t realize I had won until I looked at the board. I was overwhelmed. I was jumping in excitement, Ajah was jumping and it was a humbling experience. It was amazing because I look up to her (Ajah Criner). That girl is the reason I’m doing this. She pushes me every day at practice. She’s always telling me that I can run better and I need to be giving it my all at every practice.”

Jewell tied his school record in the 60m with an effort of 6.75. His run earned him the fastest man in the SLC. He broke his own school record in the 200m with a run of 20.98 and finished in second just one tenth of a second behind first.

“I looked back and I was just filled with joy,” said Jewell. “Usually, it takes a while for the victory to set in. As I was coming to the line I looked over and saw that I was out in front. Instantly, I knew something good had to come out of that. I ran my best in the 200m and it’s been a long road since the first week when I pulled my hamstring. I’ve been working hard and I’m happy the hard work has paid off.”

Criner set the best time in UCA history in the 200m with a time of 24.00. She has broken her own record in four straight races.

Gracie Hyde was the 3,000m runner-up with her run of 9:56.94. Tamara Reeves added an 11th-place finish with a mark of 10:18.74. Erin Woodward came in 15th with an effort of 10:25.03. Casey Gore posted the 17th-best time with a run of 10:31.17. Bekah Bostian placed 27th with a run of 10:41.49 and Julia Clark came in with a 35th-place finish of 11:05.20.

Max Nores led the men in the 3,000m with a third-place time of 8:29.14, which is a new personal best. Jared Touart posted the 11th-best run with a mark of 8:39.74. Simon Schneider finished in 37th with an effort of 9:02.31. 

Reeves led UCA in the mile with a personal-best run of 5:01.15 and finished in third. Woodward placed ninth with an effort of 5:18.26. 

Tyler Rose placed eighth in the women’s 400m with a mark of 56.99 and set a new program record in the process.  

Taylor Coleman recorded the fifth-best distance in the triple jump with a leap of 12.11m (39-8.75). Teshuna Sheppard placed eighth with a jump of 11.90m (39-0.50). On the men’s side, Timquorian Johnson finished in 16th with a mark of 14.19m (46-6.75).

Jared Hamilton led the men’s mile for the Bears with a sixth-place time of 4:21.08. Hunter Henderson collected points toward the team total with his ninth-place run of 4:26.02.

In the women’s 800m, Jordan Brock placed fifth with an effort of 2:18.95. Alex Hanson led the men in the 800m with a third-place time of 1:53.54, while Jesse Applewhite came in sixth with a run of 1:54.72.

Aidan Patton placed eighth in the shot put with a throw of 14.49m (47-6.50). Malik Beasley added a hurl of 13.05m (42-9.75) and finished in 14th.

Ayana Harris placed eighth in the 60m hurdles with a run of 9.02. On the men’s side, Jordan Atkins finished with a fifth-place time of 8.08.

The women’s 4x400m relay placed 10th, as Aysha Anderson, Rose, Kayla Scott and Criner combined for a time of 3:51.44. On the men’s side, Ryan Yarde, Johnson Adegbite, Niklas Iking and Hamilton placed 12th with a group effort of 3:20.69.

Timon Dresselhaus placed second in the heptathlon 60m hurdles, while Luke Anthony and Zac Bitton placed 15th and 16th, respectively. Dresselhaus led the Bears in the pole vault with a ninth-place finish. Bitton and Anthony tied for 11th. In the final event of the heptathlon, Anthony led the way with a seventh-place finish in the 1,000m for UCA. Bitton came in 10th and Dresselhaus finished in 18th. Dresselhaus finished the heptathlon in eighth place with a combined score of 4,805. Bitton followed right behind in ninth with 4,702. Anthony placed 16th with a tally of 4,379. 

Women – Team Rankings – 17 Events Scored

1) Stephen F. Austin – 138.75

2) Northwestern St. – 117.5

3) Abilene Christian – 63

4) McNeese State – 50.75

5) Central Arkansas – 50

6) UIW – 47.75

7) SE Louisiana – 44.75

8) Texas A&M-CC – 31

9) Houston Baptist – 29

10) Sam Houston St. – 26.5

11) Lamar – 24

12) New Orleans – 22

13) Nicholls State – 18

Men – Team Rankings – 17 Events Scored

1) SE Louisiana – 99

2) Sam Houston St. – 87

3) Abilene Christian – 64

4) Stephen F. Austin – 63

5) McNeese State – 59

6) Lamar – 58

7) Northwestern St. – 47

7) Central Arkansas – 47

9) Houston Baptist – 45

10) Texas A&M-CC – 41

11) Incarnate Word – 31

12) New Orleans – 20