Lion track teams compete in Lone Star Conference Indoor Championships

DJ Spencer, Sports Editor

The Texas A&M University-Commerce track teams competed in the Lone Star Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships Feb. 20-21. 

The men’s team finished second overall, behind West Texas A&M, while the women’s team finished third overall, behind Angelo State and West Texas A&M. 

Head coach George Pincock stated that he was proud that both teams competed hard and were not worried about the training they had missed due to the Texas winter storm.

“Mother Nature was not kind to Texas the week leading up to the championship,” Pincock said. “I am proud that our kids were able to put that behind them and focus on the task at hand.”

During the first day of the meet, Ushan Perera set a new school record in the high jump event, clearing 2.25 meters. That also set a new Sri Lanken national record, and is the sixth highest bar cleared in indoor Division II history.

Mickey Ferdinand placed second in the high jump and fourth in the pole vault. Trayveon Franklin won the silver medal in the long jump, while Hank Lemons finished third. 

The distance medley relay team consisting of Cooper Miller, Axel Paolucci, Nicodemus Rotich and Joshua Schutter finished in third place. Rotich placed fifth in the 5,000-meter run. 

Monta Davis finished fifth in the high jump, with Steven Sanchez finishing sixth in the weight throw.

The men’s team had five podium finishes by the second day of the meet. The 4×400 relay team, consisting of Lamarion Arnold, Ian Colbert, Gage Marshall and Conner Stockeri won the gold medal with a time of 3:16:16. This was the men’s fifth 4×400 relay title in the last eight LSC indoor meets the Lions have competed in.

Arnold won the silver medal in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.02 seconds, setting a new school record for the event. The previous record was set by Rashard Clark at the 2019 LSC Indoor Championships.

Franklin won the silver medal in the triple jump while Rotich finished second in the mile run and Dorian Andrews won the bronze medal in the 60-meter hurdles.

On the women’s side, during the first day, Imani Taylor finished fourth in the long jump, while Keeley Norris finished right behind her in fifth place. 

Iniuto Ukpong finished fifth in the weight throw. The distance medley relay team consisting of Evelyn Brown, Mallory Morgan, Brianda Rosales-Ramirez and Dajanee Washington finished in seventh place.

During the second day, Minna Svaerd won two individual gold medals in the 400-meter dash and pole vault events, while also earning another gold medal as a member of the 4×400 relay team, which also consists of Atiana Alexander, Danielle Nicholson and Dajanee Washington. Svaerd’s pole vault finish marked her fourth consecutive win. 

Svaerd has won nine LSC indoor gold medals, the most in the event’s nine-year history. 

The track teams will now focus on the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships, which will run March 11-13 at the Birmingham Crossplex in Birmingham, Alabama. 

Pincock stated that both teams will be regrouping in the weeks leading up to the National Championships.

“We need to get everyone on the same page, share love, share support and also share expectations,” Pincock said. “I believe we’re taking a good team to Birmingham.”