Lions track and field blow through indoor school records, Stevic advances to nationals


Haley Dupre'

Junior athlete Slavko Stevic adds to his illustrious SLU career by placing first in the conference for the High Jump event earning himself a trip to the NCAA Indoor Championships. Stefic took home his third successive SLC title with the latest one coming in Birmingham, Ala. (Feb. 27, 2023)

Lions Indoor Track and Field season came to a close in Birmingham, Ala. on Monday. After a two-day long competition, the Lions walked away scoring fourth in the men’s contest, with the women finishing eighth. 

On day one, field events opened strong with a back-to-back bronze finish from pole vaulter Lara Zupanc, and weight throw seniors Kristian Jackson and Terrell Webb. 

Track and Field Head Coach Mike Rheams said, “I am historically proud of the team and the skill of how we executed as a team. We’re still small, we’re still rebuilding in my first year. But all of the gold medals, all of the placements, and through any adversity, the team was just classy.” 

The Lions broke their first record of the meet with high jumper Slavko Stevic clearing 2.21m, placing him ninth in the nation. With another conference championship win under his belt, Stevic will compete on March 11 at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. for a chance at the national title. 

“There are two feelings that one is connected to my country, Serbia, clearing the heights puts me in a better position to get more support and to be able to compete for my country. 

On the other side, here in the US, I’m very respected for what I do and how I do it,” Stevic said. 

Track and field continued through Monday with six podium finishes. Eugene Omalla was on the top of the podium in the men’s 400m, along with Noah Kiprotich in the 800m while the men’s 4x4m relay walked away with gold. 

Claiming two more school records, Olu Ogunyemi took down the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.04, and high jumper Katrine Olsen broke the 18-year-old record she conquered last week at the LSU Twilight Meet. 

Along with the success and new personal bests across the board, track and field experienced multiple injuries over the weekend, costing the men’s team a ring. 

“Anytime I don’t get a trophy, I’m sad but the team didn’t lay down. We had a lot of injuries and it got to the place where we just couldn’t overcome the injuries to get into a position to get a trophy. We never surrender on our knees; we will go out fighting every time. We will be champions next year, they will have to come and answer to us,” Rheam added. 

As the Lions lick their wounds, training will continue in preparation for the outdoor season. In conference, the indoor season has come to a close for the team. Stevic is advancing to the national stage, however. 

“Regarding the nationals, I’m excited about the experience. I’m glad I can take my trainer, my coach, and my favorite photographer with me to nationals for support, and not only will I have that experience, but also the other three people of the team, my team,” Stevic added. 

To follow along with Stevic’s journey, check out for additional information.