BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – It was a historic day for the Louisiana track and field team on the Final Day of the Sun Belt Conference Indoor Championships at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Alabama.  The men’s squad finished second, their highest finish since 2004, and scored 126.5 points, their most in the indoor championships since 1996. 

The women broke a pair of school records on Tuesday, ending the event sixth with 55.5 points.  Ta’La Spates etched her name in the record books with a time of 54.63 in the women’s 400-meter.  Spates finished second only behind Scovia Ayikoru of Georgia Southern who broke the meet record with a time 53.17. 

In the final event of the day, Spates helped break the program’s 4 x 400-meter relay with a time of 3:43.28.  Spates and teammates Kayla McCrayMoseisha Bridgen, and Alexandra Johnson finished second and would have broken the meet record if not for Georgia Southern.

In the women’s 400-meter, Bridgen finished right behind Spates with a time of 54.92, a personal best.  Haley Salsbury had two strong showings in the 800-meter, sixth place, and the 1-mile, fourth place, to earn points for Louisiana. 

Trejun Jones got things going for the Ragin’ Cajun men in the 60-meter, placing fourth, and fifth in the 200-meter.  Kashie Crockett shined in the men’s 200-meter with a second-place finish, only bested by Dominick Yancy who set the SBC record.

The men’s 400-meter was another two-three finish for the Cajuns.  Nathan Fergusson placed second with a time of 47.59 right ahead of Javed Jones by 0.1 seconds.  The men continued to roll with Joseph Patterson’s fourth-place finish in the men’s 800-meter.  Peyton Chaisson closed the running with another fourth-place finish for Louisiana, this time in the 1-mile.

Jeremy Nelson and Rylan Theyard went back-to-back to claim the top-two spots in the men’s triple jump.  Nelson’s jump of 15.52 meters and Theyard’s 15.02-meter jump were the only two competitors to clear 15 meters. 

A day after breaking the school women’s long jump record, Jacqueline Pokuaah placed third in the triple jump with 12.62 meters.  Luke Benoit finished seventh overall in the men’s heptathlon, but took first in the 1000-meter with a personal best.

The men closed the day with a second-place finish in the 4 x 400-meter to hold off South Alabama for second place.  Arkansas State defended their titles on both the men’s and women’s side.

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