May 12, 2007
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
Auburn senior Donald Thomas became the first Auburn man to win the high jump at the SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships since 1956 to highlight Saturday's action for the Auburn men's and women's squads. Thomas set a meet record to give Auburn its second individual title of the meet.
With nine of 21 events completed, Auburn's men's team is in third place with 41 points entering Sunday's final day of competition. The women have completed just six of 21 events, and Auburn stands in 11th place with five points.
"It was another solid day," said head coach Ralph Spry. "I'm really pleased with our performance. For the most part, our key people are really stepping up and doing what they need to do."
Thomas broke the SEC record by clearing 2.29m (7-6). Thomas already had the title in hand before he set the winning mark on his second attempt. He then set out to surpass his world-leading mark of 2.34m (7-8) by moving the bar up to 2.35m (7-8.5). His final two attempts were both near misses but he bowed out at that height.
"It feels good to get the victory," said Thomas. "I felt confident coming in. I wanted to make that last jump at 2.35 - I thought that was a jump I could make, but unfortunately I didn't get. I'm not completely satisfied but I'll take the victory. I'm hoping to be able to get it together and do something big at the NCAA Championships."
Junior Cory Martin, who won the hammer throw Friday, finished second in the discus Saturday with a personal-best throw of 56.30m (184-8). Junior Edis Elkasevic scored three points for Auburn by placing sixth with a mark of 53.34m (175-0), reaching the regional qualifying mark for the first time this season.
"Cory Martin had a big performance coming from back in the pack to finish second," said Spry. "And Edis qualifying for the NCAA regionals and helping us score 11 points in that event was big."
Senior Michelle Vaughn, a two-time SEC champion in the triple jump, placed fifth in the long jump with a personal-best leap of 6.19m (20-3.75), which ranks her ninth in Auburn history.
Senior Kerron Stewart highlighted the action in the prelims, posting the fastest time in the women's 100m with a time of 11.25, which was .14 better than the second-best time. Junior Tracy Ann Rowe also reached the finals by finishing second in her heat and sixth overall with a time of 11.54.
Freshman Felix Kiboiywo won the first heat of the men's 1500m with a time of 3:49.27, giving him a spot in the finals, where he will be joined by senior Joey Giattino, who placed fourth in the first heat and ninth overall in 3:50.44.
Freshman Sabrina Fischer reached the finals of the women's 1500m, claiming the 12th and final spot with a time of 4:37.18. Junior Jessica Smith came up just short, placing 15th in 4:39.31.
Junior Ty Akins won his heat of the 110m hurdles and had the second-fastest time overall in the prelims. His time of 13.62 is a wind-legal personal best for him and left him just .08 seconds behind NCAA leader John Yarbrough of Ole Miss among finalists.
Freshman Luke Gaines reached the finals of the men's javelin, but came up just shy of scoring, finishing ninth with a personal-best mark of 60.43m (198-3).
Senior Drew Lovette cleared a season-best 4.80m (15-9) in the pole vault, but just missed scoring, finishing in ninth place.
Sophomore Katalin Mate missed reaching the finals of the shot put by one spot, placing 10th with a mark of 12.98m (42-7). Freshman Danielle Gilchrist was in position to qualify for the finals of the women's 100m hurdles, running in second place in her heat until a stumble over the next to last hurdle slowed her down, resulting in a time of 14.04 which placed her 16th.
"Donald Thomas capped off a great night and was the class of the field," said Spry. "Kerron Stewart and Ty Akins both ran extremely well and Michelle Vaughn came through, We had some people come up big in the 1500m as well, with Felix and Joey getting in to the finals for the men and Sabrina for the women, and for the two freshmen the experience they gain will be critical for their futures.
"All in all I'm really pleased with today," added Spry. "I think we'll come in tomorrow and the men will make the team race interesting and the women should be able to get into the upper half of the conference."
The competition concludes Sunday beginning at 1 p.m. with the women's discus. Track events begin at 5 p.m. with the men's 4x100m relay final.
2007 SEC Outdoor Championships
Event Winner and Auburn Finishes
Men's Discus Throw (Final)
1. Westley Stockbarger (UF), 60.78m (199-5)
2. Cory Martin, 56.30m (184-8)
6. Edis Elkasevic, 53.34m (175-0)
Men's Long Jump (Final)
1. Charles Bailey (UM), 7.81m (25-7.5)
Women's Long Jump (Final)
1. Brittney Reese (UM), 6.70m (21-11.75)
5. Michelle Vaughn, 6.19m (20-3.75)
Men's Javelin (Final)
1. Chad Radgowski (LSU), 73.06m (239-8)
9. Luke Gaines, 60.43 (198-3)
Women's Shot Put (Final)
1. Mariam Kevkhishvili (UF), 17.05m (55-11.25)
10. Katalin Mate, 12.98m (42-7)
Men's Pole Vault (Final)
1. Michael Hogue (UT), 5.23m (17-1.75)
9. Drew Lovette, 4.80m (15-9)
Men's High Jump (Final)
1. Donald Thomas, 2.29m (7-6)
T11. Luke Robinson, 1.95m (6-4.75)
Men's 3000m Steeplechase (Final)
1. Barnabas Kirui (UM), 8:33.59
Women's 3000m Steeplechase (Final)
1. Sarah Madebach (UGA), 10:13.73
Men's 1500m (Prelims)
1. Emmanuel Bor (UA), 3:47.61
4. Felix Kiboiywo, 3:49.27
9. Joey Giattino, 3:50.44
20. Scot Novack, 3:58.23
26. Simon Nyang, 4:06.68
Women's 1500m (Prelims)
1. Lorain McKenzie (UF), 2:06.36
12. Sabrina Fischer, 4:37.18
15. Jessica Smith, 4:39.31
Men's 110m Hurdles (Prelims)
1. John Yarbrough (UM), 13.54
2. Ty Akins, 13.62
Women's 100m Hurdles (Prelims)
1. Shalonda Solomon (USC), 22.74
16. Danielle Gilchrist, 14.04
Men's 400m (Prelims)
1. Calvin Smith (UF), 46.04
Women's 400m (Prelims)
1. Natasha Hastings (USC), 51.10
Men's 100m (Prelims)
1. Trindon Holliday (LSU), 10.14
14. Hailey Foster, 10.65
21. Gregory Rogers, 10.85
Women's 100m (Prelims)
1. Kerron Stewart, 11.25
6. Tracy Ann Rowe, 11.54
19. Shaquela Williams, 12.15