Track makes home debut

Lion alumni and students alike filled the stands on Friday, April 20 as the track team hosted the first ever Southeastern Lion Invitational and the first track meet at Southeastern in over a decade. Teams from state wide and neighboring states competed, including Jackson State, Lamar, Southern, Tulane and UL-Lafayette.

Competing on their track for the first time, the Lions put together a superb outing as seven athletes claimed individual titles along with the men’s 4×100 meter team earning a victory over 11 other teams. The 4×100 event will go down as the first event ever won by the Lions on the track.

“We had a couple of PR’s and a few season-bests. Our young men and women stepped up and really competed well,” said Southeastern head coach Sean Brady. “It’s always a little bit more when you’re at your place, in front of your people and your fans, and they showed that today. The kids that are low on our depth chart stepped up for us and made some things happen.”

On the women’s side of competition, four Lady Lions earned individual titles. Junior Brittany Pfantz won the pole vault with a mark of 12-11.5. Senior Michelle Ogashi continues her stellar play claiming the triple jump title with a jump of 42-00.75. Freshman Ikea Kaufman jumped a season best mark 5 feet, 6 inches as she claimed the high jump title and junior Jessica Fekete captured the hammer throw title launching a mark of 175-9.

Other Lady Lions who competed well included sophomore Tess Cummings, who claimed second place in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 14.39 seconds, and fellow sophomore Ashley Pfantz, who claimed second in the pole vault with a mark of 11-11.70.

The men’s side of competition claimed three individual titles in the discus, triple jump and pole vault. Sophomore Phillippe Moore claimed a title and reached a personal best in the triple jump with a mark of 47-3.75. Moore also finished second in the long jump. Jeff Milliron earned a victory in the discus throw with a throw of 177-3 and All-American Kovey Simmons place first in the pole vault with a mark of 17-00.75.

After a historic and exciting day of competition at the new track and field complex, Brady had this to say about the evening and dedication of the track.

“I was really happy to see this. It was not just a track meet for me … it was a lot more sentimental. My former [collegiate] coach [Andy Thiel] was here. I saw scores of [former] athletes that I have coached over the years that came back and supported our group, worked the meet and have supported us over the years. It was an opportunity for us to get back to our alumni, to let them know that they have a home and they have a stake in this and their blood, sweat and tears is not in vain.”

Southeastern returns to action on Saturday in Hattiesburg, Miss., where they will be competing in the Golden Eagle Classic hosted by Southern Miss.