SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Furman’s Frank Lara and Samford’s Tray Oates were named the Southern Conference men’s indoor track and field athletes of the week, respectively, while ETSU’s Kyra Atkins and Western Carolina’s Simone Williams earned those honors on the women’s side for competition that took place Feb. 8-10.
Selections were made by panels of the league’s men’s and women’s track and field coaches.
Lara earned the award for the first time this season, while Oates, Atkins and Williams are each two-time winners.
Furman’s Lara finished fifth in the 5,000-meter run at the Iowa State Classic on Friday in a school-record time of 13:56.17. That mark leads the Southern Conference this season by a full 19 seconds and is good for 28th on the NCAA Division I performance list. The senior from Houston, Texas, shattered the previous school record of 14:13.42 set by teammate Tanner Hinkle at the same meet last season.
Samford’s Oates cleared a height of 5.51 meters (18 feet, 1 inch) to win the pole vault and set a meet record at the Samford Open on Friday. The senior from Acworth, Georgia, also upped his SoCon-leading mark, which now stands more than half a meter higher than that of second-place teammate Gavin Geutreau. Oates, who cleared 5.58 meters (18 feet, 4 inches) at the National Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nevada, in January, ranks eighth on the NCAA performance list this season.
ETSU’s Atkins claimed first place in the 60-meter hurdles at the Liberty Elite Invitational on Saturday, turning in a meet-record and SoCon-leading time of 8.33 seconds to miss her personal record by a hundredth of a second. She also won her preliminary heat in 8.45 seconds to remain undefeated this season in the event. The Greer, South Carolina, junior posted a third-place finish in the 200-meter dash, stopping the clock in 24.78, the third-best time in the league this year. Her 60mH time is good for 44th on the NCAA performance list.
Western Carolina’s Williams repeated as field athlete of the week, netting two runner-up finishes and setting a pair of personal records at the Dunamis Super Meet in Atlanta, Georgia, on Friday. The junior from Charlotte, North Carolina, took second in the shot put with a heave of 13.63 meters (44 feet, 8.75 inches), a PR by more than a foot, and added nearly a meter to her previous career best with a SoCon-leading toss of 17.69 meters (58 feet, 0.5 inches) in the weight throw.
Also nominated for men’s track athlete of the week: Karon Delince (ETSU), Emmanuel Tait (Samford) and Lee Warren (VMI).
Also nominated for men’s field athlete of the week: Drae Butts (ETSU), Dakota Wright (Western Carolina) and Austin Lufkin (Wofford).
Also nominated for women’s track athlete of the week: Kristlin Gear (Furman), Kerisha Goode (VMI) and Ty-Leah Hampton (Western Carolina).
Also nominated for women’s field athlete of the week: Julia Logan (VMI).
2017-18 Southern Conference Indoor Track and Field Athletes of the Week
Jan. 17 Dakota Lamont, Western Carolina
Jan. 24 Arsène Guillorel, Samford
Jan. 31 Dakota Lamont, Western Carolina
Feb. 6 Aaron Templeton, Furman
Feb. 14 Frank Lara, Furman
Jan. 17 Tray Oates, Samford
Jan. 24 Keyth Fightmaster, Samford
Jan. 31 Ben Johnson, ETSU
Feb. 6 Ben Johnson, ETSU
Feb. 14 Tray Oates, Samford
Jan. 17 Ty-Leah Hampton, Western Carolina
Jan. 24 Karisa Nelson, Samford
Jan. 31 Kyra Atkins, ETSU
Feb. 7 Savannah Carnahan, Furman
Feb. 14 Kyra Atkins, ETSU
Jan. 17 Erin Hines, Samford
Jan. 24 Selena Popp, Samford
Jan. 31 Autumn James, Western Carolina
Feb. 6 Simone Williams, Western Carolina
Feb. 14 Simone Williams, Western Carolina