Men, women record victories in conference championship


Sports Reporter

Coach Dana Boone’s plan for the Texas State track and field team was for everything to come together in the Sun Belt Indoor Conference Championships. 

The women took first place while the men finished in third place, coming in 13 points behind Sun Belt Conference champion Arkansas State. 

The Bobcats won five events on the first day and seven on the final day.

"This team was well-prepared across the board," Boone said. "The one thing that you know as a coach (is) that you can't get out there and run the race for them. You can't compete for them. All you can do is put them in a position where they're physically ready to perform at a high level, and I feel like as a coaching staff we have done that." 

Talore Kelly, junior thrower, and Allie Saunders, senior jumper, combined for four wins in the meet. Kelly won the women's shot put and weight throw. Saunders placed first in the women's triple jump and long jump.  

Saunders’ 13.08-meter mark in the triple jump set a new school record and moved her into national contention. She holds 10th place nationwide.  

Aaron George, sophomore jumper, recorded 7.87 meters in the long jump. George is within the national top five after breaking school and Sun Belt Conference records.  

Boone was encouraged during the conference championships when Sydni Willis, freshman hurdler, and Chelsie Decoud, freshman jumper, tallied wins. Willis won the women's 400-meter with a 55.32-second time. Decoud won the women's high jump with a distance of 1.75 meters.  

Seth Arnold, junior pole vaulter, headed into the championships leading the conference in men's pole vault. Arnold remained in first place with a winning mark of 5.05 meters. 

Darian Brown, senior thrower, Saunders and George qualified to compete at the March 13 NCCA Indoor Championships. 

"I hope both of my teams will be more confident in their abilities," Boone said.  "I hope that they will be hungrier. I hope that they will raise their level of expectations, and I hope that they know that they're a very good team on both sides and that they can get this done and we can be champions again."

Follow Jose Campos on Twitter @josewithaj.