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History made as McNeese Cowgirls claim Southland outdoor championship

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 8:36 PM CDT
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HUMBLE, Texas - Three months after hoisting the Southland Conference Indoor Track and Field championship trophy for the first time ever, history repeated itself for the McNeese Cowgirls on Sunday when they recorded a school record 189 points to win the outdoor championship, also the first in school history.

The 189 points also ranks as the fourth-most in Southland Conference championship history, tying it with Texas-Arlington (2001) while standing as the most ever among any current league team.

And for the first time in school history, the Cowgirls scored in all 21 events while the Cowboys scored in 19 of the 21.

The Cowboys scored heavy Late, especially in the 1500-meters, to finish in third place in the men’s standings with 126 points, their highest finish since the 2018 team placed third and the 126 points is a school record, breaking the old mark of 122 in 2013.

“Both teams fought hard today under the hot and humid conditions,” said head coach Brendon Gilroy who has led his teams to three conference titles this season (men’s cross country and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field). “The one thing you can say about this crew is they are resilient.

“The women were outstanding all-around. They set themselves up well on day one and executed on the second day to make finals, and then today (Sunday), left it all out on the track.

“The men were a little behind after day one but rebounded on the second day to make some final events. The 1500m was a big swing for us.”

Incarnate Word, who finished behind the Cowgirls with 159 points, had one last chance to catch McNeese in the 5,000-meter run where it had six runners entered. All the Cowgirls had to do was to score points, and that they did when Alissa Lander placed seventh (18:45.61) and Aurelia Jepkorir in eighth place (18:47.94). That, and with UIW only having two runners score despite placing first and second, was enough to clinch the team title.

Following McNeese and UIW in the women’s team standings was Northwestern State with 124 points, New Orleans 93, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 93, Houston Baptist 84, Southeastern Louisiana 44 and Nicholls 32.

Incarnate Word won the men’s title with 157 points followed by Northwestern State with 133. The Cowboys came in with 126 followed by Southeastern Louisiana with 109, New Orleans 104, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 94, Houston Baptist 78 and Nicholls with 7.

Cowgirl Meet Notes:

  • The Cowgirls scored in every event on the final day of competition, racking up 86 points.
  • The Cowgirls got off a great start on the final day with 13 points out of the discus event. Janell Fullerton finished third at 157-1, Chloe Hernandez was fourth at 148-1, and Ane Torres placed seventh at 131-10.
  • Sakari Famous was the lone gold medal winner on the day for the Cowgirls with her high jump of 5-8.5.
  • In the first running event of the day, the Cowgirls’ 4x100 relay team won silver with a time of 46.01 behind the feet of Makayla Heath, Dreunna Washington, Malaiya Jedkins and Kayla Harrison.
  • Danna Diaz added a bronze medal in the 1500m with a run of 4:32.63.
  • In the 100m hurdles, Morgan Talley placed fourth (13.87) and Reagan West was eighth (14.37), accumulating six more points for the Cowgirls.
  • Kayla Harrison (56.57) and Kayla Warner (57.57) finished 5th and 7th respectively to add six points.
  • Washington collected four points in the 100m dash with a fifth-place finish at 11.79 and later finished fourth in the 200m at 24.32 to add five more points.
  • Diaz (8th, 2:15.59), Irene Barreiro-Lopez (5th, 2:15.60), and Ciara Gilroy (8th, 2:29.25) combined to score 10 points in the 800-meters.
  • West placed fifth in the 400m hurdles with a time of 1:05.42 to score four points.
  • In the 5000m, Alissa Lander (7th, 18:45.61) and Aurelia Jepkorir (8th, 18:47.94) clinched the championship with their three points.
  • The Cowgirls closed out the meet in the 4x400 relay, winning silver with a time of 3:47.93 behind Kayla Warner, Kayla Harrison, Malaiya Jedkins and Dreunna Washington.

Cowboy Meet Notes:

  • Scored in every event on the day.
  • High jumpers Ronnie Jackson (6th, 6-6) and Patrick Boudreaux (8th, 6-2.75) got the scoring underway for the Cowboys on the final day with four points added to the total.
  • Hayes Thompson placed seventh in the pole vault at 14-9 to add a couple more points.
  • In the discus, Garrett Dietert (7th, 149-4, 45.52m) and Marcus Francis (8th, 149-4, 45.51m) to score in the event.
  • The first running event saw the Cowboys capture a bronze medal in the 4x100 relay at 40.68 behind the squad of Richard Lee, Zac Martin, Kameron Quinn and Josh Raphael.
  • The Cowboys racked up 20 points in the 1500 meters behind a gold medal performance by Omer El-Fadl (4:00.62), silver medal from Evans Kemboi (4:00.83) and a seventh-place finish from Elias Loriposia (4:04.86).
  • Jackson added a seventh-place finish in the 110m hurdles at 14.18.
  • Jalon White won a bronze in the 400-meters with a time of 47.43 while Terrill Banks placed eighth at 48.75 to give the Cowboys seven more points.
  • Zac Martin ran a 10.38 to finish sixth in the 100m and gather three more points.
  • In the 800m, the Cowboys added nine more points behind a bronze medal performance by Evans Kemboi (1:52.82), a seventh-place finish by Elias Loriposia (1:55.04), and eighth place from Filippo Squassina (1:55.36).
  • Rodney Tookes finished sixth in the 400m hurdles at 54.21.
  • Jalon White scored three points with his sixth-place finish at 21.49 in the 200-meters.
  • In the 5000m run, Aaron Gilliam finished fourth (15:23.36), Jacob Kipkogei 6th (15:28.09) and Gilbert Kimutai 8th (15:39.25) to add nine points.
  • The Cowboys collected a silver medal in the 4x400m relay after a time of 3:10.06 behind the crew of Richard Lee, Terrill Banks, Ondray Miles and Jason White.

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