Feb. 23, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Field events and the throws got both the Auburn men and women on the board on Saturday on day two of action at the 2013 SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships. The men stand in ninth place with nine points after two days, while the women are in 12th with seven points.
"We had several athletes step up for the women and get things rolling today," Auburn head coach Ralph Spry said. "We also got people through to the finals that will give us a chance to score tomorrow. This is a tough meet. There are no easy points here. I was really impressed by a lot of the young girls, even some that didn't make finals. They showed a lot of heart and that is going to pay off down the road.
"For the men, Niklas Buhner came up big in the 3k. We got Marcus Rowland and Harry Adams through to some finals. Kane Grimster also advanced. I was also really proud of our multi-eventers. Parker Shearer did a really good job for his first SEC meet. The key now is to capitalize on our opportunities tomorrow and maximize our point chances."
Auburn's first points of the meet came in the first event of Saturday - the men's weight throw. Junior All-American Stephen Saenz placed seventh in the even with a new personal-best throw of 63-11.5 (19.49m). That mark now ranks fourth in Auburn history.
Freshman Andrew Dunkleberger also set a new PR as he finished 11th overall at his first SEC meet with a top throw of 60-5.75 (18.43m). His mark is the seventh-best throw in Auburn history.
Jessie Johnson scored Auburn's first points of the meet on the women's side with her seventh-place finish in the pole vault. The freshman set a new personal best when she cleared the bar at 13-1.5 (4.0m). Teammate Larisa Debich equaled her personal best to finish 16th with clearance at 12-1.5 (3.7m).
In the women's shot put, Valentina Muzaric scored five points for Auburn in her first career SEC indoor championships. The Croatian placed fourth with a long throw of 53-5.5 (16.29m) on her sixth attempt to jump into the top four and earn the points.
Niklas Buhner placed 4th in the men's 3000 meters in 8:02.48, a new personal best by more than 14 seconds. The mark ranks seventh in Auburn history and is 23 seconds faster than his mark at the 2012 SEC Indoor meet.
With his fourth-place performance, Buhner secured five more points for the Tigers.
Samantha Scarlett advanced to the finals of the women's 60-meter hurdles with a new personal best mark of 8.36 seconds as she finished third in heat three. Her mark was seventh fastest overall.
Parker Shearer placed seventh in the men's heptathlon in his first career SEC championships with 5107 points. He sealed the win with a second-place finish in the final event, the 1000-meter run. The freshman picked up four spots in the last two laps and crossed the finish line in a new personal-best 2:45.68 to secure the two points for Auburn.
His point total ranks second in Auburn history behind Maurice Smith's SEC record 6035 in 2005.
Shearer also recorded personal bests in the 60m hurdles (8.58) and pole vault (13-5.25) on the day.
Teammate Coren Crompton entered the final event in eighth place, but placed eighth in the 1000m run in 2:53.49 to drop into ninth, just outside the points. He finished the event with 4957 points, just four points behind eight-place Peyton Moss (4961).
Seniors Marcus Rowland and Harry Adams both advanced to Sunday's finals of the 60 meters thanks to heat wins on Saturday. Rowland recorded the top time of the day and third fastest in Division I this season by cruising to victory in 6.61 seconds. Adams took his heat in 6.65.
Rowland came back in the 200 meter preliminary heats and posted a mark of 20.93 - a season high. The mark finished as the seventh-fastest in the prelims, as eight men posted marks sub-21 seconds.
Also in the 200-meter heats, Jeremy Hardy (21.51) and Joe Fisher (22.07) both established new personal bests, but missed the event final.
Reigning SEC 60m champion Kai Selvon ensured that she would have the opportunity to defend her title by earning an automatic berth into the championship round with her heat victory in 7.34 seconds. The mark was a season high for the native of Trinidad & Tobago.
Selvon posted a season-best mark of 23.67 in the women's 200m preliminary round to sneak into the final spot of the finals on Sunday. She finished second and set her personal best of 23.15 in the finals last season.
Sophomore Kane Grimster took the first step toward avoiding a sophomore slump in 2013 by advancing to the final of the men's mile with his mark of 4:05.95 - the seventh-fastest overall. The native Australian was the runner-up in the event as a freshman in 2012.
Narrowly missing the finals of the mile was senior Jeff Sanders (4:11.96).
In the final event of the night, freshman Taylor Duncan set a new personal best in the women's 3000m with her mark of 9:52.94. The performance reflected an improvement of more than 13 seconds off her previous career mark.
The final day of action begins on Sunday at 10 a.m. with the women's weight throw. For the latest on Auburn track and field, follow @AUTrack on Twitter.