Indoor track and field athletes of the week announced
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 02/20/2019
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VMI's Ariana Ruffin
Courtesy: Chuck Steenburgh/VMI

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – VMI’s Johnnie Walker and The Citadel’s Sam Blumer have been named the Southern Conference men’s indoor track and field athletes of the week, respectively, while VMI’s Ariana Ruffin was named the women’s indoor track athlete of the week, the conference office announced Wednesday. There was no women’s field athlete nominated this week.

Selections were made by panels of the league’s track and field coaches and included competition held Feb. 15-16. They are the final selections of the indoor season, as the league squads turn their attention to the SoCon Indoor Track Championships at VMI’s Corps Physical Training Facility in Lexington, Virginia, this Saturday and Sunday.

VMI’s Walker competed at the Virginia Tech Challenge in Blacksburg, Virginia, winning the 400-meter run and finishing seventh in the 200-meter dash. The freshman from Stafford, Virginia, posted a season-best time of 49.82 seconds to win the 400m on Saturday, good for fifth on the SoCon performance list this season entering the SoCon Championship. On Friday, Walker turned in a time of 23.13 seconds in the 200m.

The Citadel’s Blumer broke the school record in the pole vault Saturday at the USC Indoor Open in Columbia, South Carolina. The sophomore from Greenville, South Carolina, took fourth overall and was second among collegians in the event with a jump of 4.76 meters (15 feet, 7 1/4 inches), erasing the program mark that had stood since 2013. Blumer’s mark is good for second on the SoCon performance list.

Like Walker, VMI’s Ruffin competed in the 200m and 400m at the Virginia Tech Challenge. The sophomore from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, posted a lifetime-best time in the 200m on Friday, finishing sixth in the event in 25.26 seconds. Ruffin also finished sixth in the 400m, turning in a time of 58.00 seconds. Her 200m time was good for seventh on the SoCon performance list, while her 400m effort ranks fifth in the league so far this season.

2018-19 Southern Conference Indoor Track and Field Athletes of the Week
Men’s track
Jan. 17 Ben Varghese, ETSU
Jan. 23 Owen Bailey, Samford
Jan. 30 Chace Washington-Saunders, Western Carolina
Feb. 6 Ben Varghese, ETSU
Feb. 13 Frank Lara, Furman
Feb. 20 Johnnie Walker, VMI

Men’s field
Jan. 17 Longinus Nnodim, Wofford
Jan. 23 Ben Johnson, ETSU
Jan. 30 Trini Feggett, Western Carolina
Feb. 6 Conrad Heinrich, Wofford
Feb. 13 Ben Johnson, ETSU
Feb. 20 Sam Blumer, The Citadel

Women’s track
Jan. 17 Karisa Nelson, Samford
Jan. 23 Karisa Nelson, Samford
Jan. 30 Karisa Nelson, Samford
Feb. 6 Hannah Steelman, Wofford
Feb. 13 Savannah Carnahan, Furman
Feb. 20 Ariana Ruffin, VMI

Women’s field
Jan. 17 Jackie Barnes, Samford
Jan. 23 Sarah Leckman, VMI
Jan. 23 Victoria Solheim, Western Carolina
Feb. 6 Maggie Johnston, Samford
Feb. 13 Mekayla Brown, ETSU
Feb. 20 No nominees

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