Shiff, Jackson earn Conference Outdoor Athletes of the Week as Lions prepare for Texas Relays


Haley Dupre'

Junior 400m runner Eugene Omalla takes silver as he competed on March 25 at LSU’s Battle on the Bayou.

The Lions had a strong season opener in outdoor track, walking away with five podium finishes. 

On Saturday March 18, the Green and Gold competed in the Louisiana Classics in Lafayette. Due to chilling weather, the Lions only competed with throwers and distance runners. 

Hammer thrower Terrell Webb kicked off the day for the field by shattering his own personal best of 54.41m with a throw of 60.02m. Webb was the only athlete to walk away winning a gold medal.

As the temperatures dropped throughout the day, the Lions did not falter. Graduate student Thomas Nedow claimed second in the shot put with a 15.57m throw. 

The Lions field wrapped up the day with Katrine Olsen’s third-place finish in the hammer throw at 49.39 m. Nedow also came back for discus to take silver for his second medal of the day. Following right behind, freshman Micah Miller took bronze in discus with a throw of 43.15m. 

On the track, sophomore Noah Kiprotich led the Green and Gold distance runners, taking home a silver finish with a personal best time of 3:57.48 in the 1,500m. 

With a strong start, the Lions carried that energy into the following weekend as the outdoor track and field team competed Saturday, March 25, for the Battle on the Bayou at LSU. 

At Bernie Moore Track Stadium, the Lions took home six podium finishes and three gold performances. 

Webb continued his winning streak as he beat his personal best from the previous meet with a new throw of 60.49m. 

As a graduate student, Kristian Jackson competed in her first meet of the outdoor season, scoring an all-around podium performance. She placed third in the shot put with a personal best of 15.42m followed by a 51.24m throw in the discus which earned her a gold medal. Due to her outstanding performance, Jackson was named the Southland’s Women’s Field Athlete of the Week. 

Head Coach Michael Rheams said, “It just goes to show for those that are willing to put in the work, they will get results.”

The competition continued with a new personal best set across the board and a silver finish from junior Eugene Omalla in the 400m. 

“I think the team is showing up and performing well in their pre-meet before Texas relays. We are still under a heavy load as we transition from indoors to outdoors. We went back into practice mode for a little bit. We took some rest and recovered. There are some things that we still need to work on, but for the most part, I am very pleased with everyone’s performances,” Rheams said. 

The Lions finished up the day with a gold finish and a new fastest time in all of NCAA Division I from a top performance by 400m hurdler, Omri Shiff. Shiff’s achievement earned him Southland’s Men’s Track Athlete of the Week. 

“I was not that satisfied, because I know I run much faster. The race didn’t go like I wanted it to go, but overall I’m happy to be nationally ranked. I don’t really like to set goals because I don’t want to limit myself. So whatever comes, I’m happy and I’ll try my best to run as fast as I can,” Shiff said.

Outdoor track and field is continuing to practice and train in preparation for the 95th edition of the invite-only Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin, Texas at Myers Stadium, which will also be the site for the NCAA Outdoor National Championships.

This major-league event started on Wednesday, March 29th and concludes tomorrow, April 1. Due to the selective invitation, only 11 SLU athletes traveled and are set to compete. 

“Good work, good job. Let’s keep our heads down and continue to work hard. Hard work will pay off in the long run. The things that we sacrifice for starting in September… you start to see those gains actually in the month of May and for Texas relays, I’m expecting everyone to win,” Rheams added.