It was all in the family as Benedict College swept the men’s and women’s conference outdoor track and field championship on Saturday at Morehouse College’s Edwin C. Moses Track. The win was the third consecutive title for the men’s team and the second for the women’s team.
Benedict College’s men scored 215.5 points to runner-up Morehouse College’s 184.5 points. The Tigers scored 226.5 points, winning five gold medals during the three days of events.
The Tigers got off to a great start on opening day as Donald Kibet and Nelson Kipkemboi finished first and third in the men’s 10,000 meters and Purity Kibet and Floma Okumu finished first and second in the women’s race. By the end of the competition, each squad walked away with eight gold medals.
Kayla Chance (Savannah State) and Donald Kibet (Benedict) each earned four individual titles and walked away with the Cleve Abbott award for most points scored in the championship. Chance won gold in the 800 m, 1500 m, 3000 m steeplechase, and the 5,000 meter run. The win by Chance was impressive considering she won three of the races on the last day of competition. Kibet won the 10,000 m, 5,000 m, 3,000 m steeplechase, and placed fifth in the 1,500 m.
Albany State Men’s Relay Team and Benedict Women’s Relay Team started the final day of competition on the track with a bang winning gold in the 4 x 100 Meter Relay.
The men’s 4 x 100 Meter Relay race was a nail-biting finish, with Albany State crossing the finish line first in 40.60 seconds, followed by Central State at 41.34 seconds and Savannah State at 41.53 seconds. Kibren Moore of Albany State also won the 100 Meter Dash, clocking a time of 10.65 seconds, while Ed Gilbert of Albany State finished second in 10.69 seconds.
In the women’s 4 x 100 Meter Relay, Benedict took home the gold medal with a time of 47.03 seconds, followed by Central State at 47.26 seconds and Fort Valley State at 47.48 seconds. Santiona Freeman of Benedict won the 100 Meter Hurdles, finishing in 14.36 seconds, while Kaciann Cowan of Benedict finished second in 14.69 seconds.
The day’s field events saw impressive performances as well. In the men’s Discus event, Rodney Gross of Morehouse College took home the gold medal with a throw of 44.91m, followed by Morris Walker of Benedict at 41.65m and Xavier Heard of Lane College at 41.64m. Sydney Blackburn of Albany State won the women’s Discus event with a throw of 45.47m and Tylar Lightbourn of Central State won the Javelin Throw event with a throw of 36.68m.
There were more than a few entertaining competitions but none more than the high jump courtesy of Ras Delancey. The 6’9” volleyball player scissor-kicked every height up to 1.90 m (6′-2.75”). Delancey’s casual relationship with the sport makes his win even more spectacular. While he was unable to clear 2.12 m (6′-11.5), the junior walked away with yet another gold medal for the Tigers.
Amarianna Lofton of Central State won the women’s High Jump event, clearing a height of 1.70m. In the Javelin Throw event for men, Rodney Gross of Morehouse College took home another gold medal with a throw of 53.82m.
In the track events, Johndell Cumberbatch of Morehouse College won the 1,500 Meter Run for men, finishing in 4:01.31 and Kayla Chance of Savannah State won the 1,500 Meter Run for women, finishing in 4:57.18. Terrell Williams of Fort Valley State won the men’s 800 Meter Run, finishing in 1:52.29, while Chance added the women’s 800 Meter Run to her collection of conference titles.
Jordan Smith of Albany State won the men’s 400 Meter Hurdles event, finishing in 53.26 seconds, while Nathalia Rowe of Albany State won the women’s 400 Meter Hurdles event, finishing in 1:01.51.
The SIAC Track and Field Championship showcased some of the best athletes in the conference, and the performances delivered did not disappoint. Congratulations to all the winners and participants for their impressive displays of skill and sportsmanship.
|Men’s Champion: Benedict College (215.5)
Men’s Runner-Up: Morehouse College (184.5)
Men’s Third Place: Albany State University (121)
|Women’s Champion: Benedict College (190)
Women’s Runner-Up: Clark Atlanta University (113)
Women’s Third Place: Savannah State University (102)
|Women’s Coach of the Year
Danny Brooks, Benedict CollegeWomen’s Outstanding Track Performer of the Year
Aliyah Jackson, Clark AtlantaWomen’s Outstanding Field Performer of the Year
Diamond Richardson, LaneWomen’s Cleve Abbott Award
Kayla Chance, Savannah State
|Men’s Coach of the Year
Danny Brooks, Benedict CollegeMen’s Outstanding Track Performer of the Year
Ed Gilbert, Albany StateMen’s Outstanding Field Performer of the Year
Rajaun Ricketts, BenedictMen’s Cleve Abbott Award
Donald Kibet, Benedict
All Images copyright Jason McDonald, JM Photography for CORE360 Sports