May 17, 2008
AUBURN, Ala. -
Raevan Harris won the women's high jump to highlight the third day of competition for Auburn at the SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hutsell-Rosen Track. The Auburn men are in second place through six events with 39 points, trailing Arkansas with 45 points. The Tiger women are currently in sixth place through nine events with 26 points.
Harris earned her first career SEC title by winning the high jump with a mark of 1.83m (6-0). Harris tied her own facility record while clearing 6-0 for the third time this season. She was perfect until only her and Ole Miss' Brittney Reese reached 6-0. After missing once, Harris cleared 6-0, while Reese bowed out at that height, giving Harris the title.
"It went well today," said Harris. "I made some progress. The past couple of weeks I haven't been able to hold my lean and I ended up pulling it all together today. It feels good to be a champion. This is my first championship and it's a good feeling."
"I'm very pleased with Raevan," said Spry. "We talked the other day about how this is our house and we can't go down without a fight, and Raevan came in, was consistent, and I'm glad for her to be SEC champ, because not a lot of people can claim that title."
Auburn's men scored 15 points in the shot put, taking second, fifth and sixth place. Cory Martin, who won the hammer throw Friday, finished second in the discus for the second straight year at the SEC meet, posting a personal-best mark of 58.59m (192-3) that ranks 14th in the NCAA this season and fourth in Auburn history.
Edis Elkasevic had a season-best throw of 56.52m (185-5) to finish fifth, while Zach Clayton missed a season best by one inch with a mark of 55.97m (183-7) for sixth. Eric Werskey just missed making the finals, finishing 11th with a throw of 50.49m (165-8).
"Our throwers came up big again," said Spry. "We're in a situation where we have to get every break we can get. We came out of the discus with 15 points, and that was a great job and was a really big boost for us."
Also scoring for Auburn on Saturday was Scott Novack, who finished sixth in the men's 3,000m steeplechase with a personal-best time of 9:00.39, improving his regional qualifying mark.
The first portion of the running events Saturday consisted of men's and women's prelims in the 100m, 400m, 1500m and high hurdles.
Felix Kiboiywo reached the finals of the men's 1500m by winning his heat and posting the fastest time in the prelims of 3:43.96, which is just six tenths of a second off his season best. Sabrina Fischer grabbed the 12th and final qualifying spot in the women's 1500m prelims with a time of 4:39.81.
Ty Akins, the defending SEC and NCAA champion in the 110m hurdles, won his heat in that event with a time of 13.56, which ranked second overall behind current NCAA leader Jason Richardson of South Carolina, who won the other heat in 13.33 seconds.
Danielle Gilchrist, who qualified on Friday for the finals of the 400m hurdles, reached the finals of the 100m hurdles Saturday with a time of 13.49, which ranked seventh best.
"We're still grinding it out, and our key people are doing what we need them to do," said Spry. "We don't have a lot of opportunities to score, so we have to take advantage of the opportunities we do have. For the most part I feel good about the way we're lining up, and hopefully we'll get some help from some other teams that will give us a chance to be a factor Sunday night."
Following Arkansas and Auburn in the men's standings is Alabama with 28 points, followed by Kentucky (27), Florida (22), Tennessee (21), Ole Miss (17), LSU (16), Georgia (12), Mississippi State (6) and South Carolina (1).
Florida leads the women's competition through nine of 21 events with 70 points, followed by Arkansas (52.5), Kentucky (46.5), Ole Miss (30), LSU (26.5), Auburn, Alabama (23), Tennessee (21), Mississippi State (20), Georgia (18), South Carolina (10.5) and Vanderbilt (7).
Competition at the SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships will conclude Sunday with finals in 27 of the 42 total events. Field events begin at 12:30 p.m., with running events slated to start at 5 p.m.