May 11, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas - Louisiana Tech claimed eight gold medals including two dramatic 4x400m relay finishes as both the men's and women's teams finished fifth at the 2013 Western Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships Saturday at Maverick Stadium in Arlington.
Trey Hadnot was appropriately named the WAC Male Track Athlete of the Year after winning four gold medals, including anchoring the 4x400m relay and racing back from a 50m deficit to claim the lead and the win in 3:10.64. The Ruston, La. native also won gold medals in the 4x100m relay, the 200m and the 400m.
Hadnot, a junior, was spectacular all day as he started off running the second leg of the 4x100m relay that won gold with a time of 39.87 (joined by Devin Henderson, Niko Richey and Kyonz Smith). Less than two hours later he ran the sixth-fastest time in school history with a mark of 46.52 in the 400m to win gold.
Less than an hour after winning the 400m, Hadnot ran 20.49 to win the 200m, marking the eighth straight year a Bulldog sprinter has won gold in the 200m. That time currently ranks fifth in the nation and fifth in school history. An hour after winning that gold medal, Hadnot ran the dramatic anchor leg of the 4x400m relay.
Aldresha Bailey anchored the 4x400m relay and regained the lead from New Mexico State's Brianna Cromartie in the final 20m of the race to claim gold in Bailey's hometown. Bailey, who graduated from nearby Mansfield Timberview High School in Arlington, relinquished the lead to Cromartie before retaking the lead at the end as the quartet of Charla Craddock, Taneka Henderson and Diamond Every became WAC Champions. The win marked the eighth time in the last 10 years the Lady Techsters have won gold in the event.
Craddock also joined Bianca Jackson, Kim Francis and Victoria Wade in the 4x100m relay as the quartet won gold with a time of 44.99 marking the 10th time in 11 years the Techsters have won gold in the event at the WAC Championships. The only time Tech did not win gold was in 2011 when the relay dropped the baton in the first exchange zone. Craddock claimed a third All-WAC first team honor as she finished third in the 200m, running 23.95.
Francis claimed another gold medal for herself when she ran the first sub-13 second 100m hurdles time in school history. The Lafayette, La. native set a school record and is ranked fifth in the nation this year as she ran 12.95. Her dominating victory was more than half a second better than Jackson's time of 13.56 in the runaway win.
Yusuf Muhammad became the first Louisiana Tech hurdler to win gold in the 400m hurdles since Billy Threets in 2003 as he ran a personal best time of 50.75 to claim the win. Muhammad entered the meet leading the league and never relinquished that lead in either the prelims or the finals. His time now ranks him second in the NCAA East Preliminary qualifying list.
Two seniors in the women's shot put claimed a pair of All-WAC first team honors. Marcella LeBlanc threw a personal best 52-3.75 (15.94m) to finish second while Micara Vassell placed third with a throw of 50-10.75 (15.51m).
In the women's 100m dash, Wade received a bronze medal as she finished third with a time of 11.70 while Kim Francis placed fourth, running 11.81. On the men's side, Richey received silver after running 10.40 while Dennis Richardseon edged out Utah State's Will Henry by two-thousandths of a second (0.002) to claim the bronze medal.
Henderson, who won gold on the men's 4x100m relay, received a silver medal in the men's triple jump with a mark of 50-2.5 (15.30m) while Adairius Barnes, who entered the meet ranked atop the WAC leaderboard, finished sixth with a jump of 48-6.75.
While Saturday's action wrapped up Louisiana Tech's final WAC Championship meet, the season for qualifying athletes will continue on May 23-25 in Greensboro, N.C. as Tech will head to the NCAA East Preliminary Championships.
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