SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Citadel’s Malik Diggs and Samford’s Tray Oates were named the Southern Conference men’s indoor track and field athletes of the week, respectively, while Furman’s Kristlin Gear and VMI’s Bria Anderson earned those honors on the women’s side for competition that took place Feb. 16-17.
Selections were made by panels of the league’s men’s and women’s track and field coaches.
The Citadel’s Diggs took second place in the 60-meter hurdles at the UCS Invitational at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on Saturday. After finishing third in the prelims with a time of 8.25 seconds, the graduate student from Laurinburg, North Carolina, turned in a personal- and school-record time of 8.15 seconds to claim second place in the final. Diggs’ time is good for second on the SoCon performance list this season. The weekly award is second of Diggs’ career.
Samford’s Oates competed at the USA Track & Field Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Saturday, trying for fourth in the pole vault. The Acworth, Georgia, senior cleared a height of 5.63 meters (18 feet, 5.5 inches) for a new season-best mark. His height leads the SoCon this year by 0.63 meters, or more than two feet, and is third on the NCAA Division I performance list. Oates’ athlete of the week selection is his indoor-record seventh, and he becomes just the second student-athlete in SoCon indoor history to earn weekly honors three times in a season, joining former teammate Brandon Hazouri, who was the previous overall record-holder with five career selections.
Furman’s Gear set a school record in the mile at the UCS Invitational on Saturday, finishing fifth overall in a time of 4:44.26, which converts to 4:41.48. The freshman from Fort Myers, Florida, took more than four seconds off of the previous Furman record and leads the SoCon this season by four and a half seconds in the event. Gear’s time is good for 42nd on the NCAA DI performance list, and she is one of just two freshmen in the top 50.
VMI’s Anderson claimed third place in the long jump at the Kent State Tune Up on Saturday, turning in a leap of 5.74 meters (18 feet, 10 inches) to vault from 10th on the SoCon performance list to second. Her mark, which qualifies her for the ECAC Championships, is just two inches back of the top mark in the league this year. The indoor weekly award is the fourth in the career of the Richmond, Virginia, senior, who was the 2016 SoCon indoor long jump champion and 2015 outdoor champion.
The league’s teams now turn their attention the Southern Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships, which will be held Saturday and Sunday at VMI’s Corps Physical Training Facility in Lexington, Virginia.
Also nominated for men’s track athlete of the week: Juan Rodriguez (UNCG).
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
Feb. 21 Malik Diggs, The Citadel
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
Feb. 21 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
Feb. 21 Kristlin Gear, Furman
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
Feb. 21 Bria Anderson, VMI