May 17, 2014
HOUSTON - In February Charla Craddock became the first athlete at Louisiana Tech to win a Conference USA Championship by winning gold in the long jump. On Saturday Craddock claimed gold again, sweeping the long jump by winning the outdoor title with a personal record mark.
Craddock jumped 20-10.75 (6.37m) to win gold and claim first team all-conference honors. Her mark ranks tied for 8th in school history and ties for ninth in the nation this year while also tying for 36th in the world this year. The upset victory came as she entered the meet ranked fifth in the league.
"I knew it was a big jump but I didn't realize it was that big," Craddock said after a busy day where she also ran in the 100m and 200m prelims.
The Farmerville native's mark Saturday tied Chelsea Hayes Olympic performance mark of 20-10.75 (7.36m) set at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Craddock advanced to Sunday's 200m finals with a prelims time of 24.17. Marlesia Carey also scored in the long jump, finishing eighth with a mark of 19-4.25 (5.90m).
Louisiana Tech was strong in the women's jumps Saturday as freshman Chloe Lautric won the silver medal with a second place finish in the high jump. Lautric, who joined the Lady Techsters this spring from her native France, jumped 5-9.25 (1.76m) to claim silver in her first collegiate postseason meet after entering the week ranked third in C-USA. Pamela Lee, who was not projected to score entering the week ranked ninth, added two points for the Lady Techsters with a seventh place finish as she jumped 5-7.25 (1.71m).
In the men's long jump, Jarvis Gotch stumbled at the start, barely advancing to the finals but made up for it with a fifth-place finish as he jumped 25-0 (7.62m).
The Bulldogs dominated the 100m dash prelims and will make up half of the field in the finals as four runners advanced to Sunday's round. Trey Hadnot led the way by matching a season-best time of 10.36, marking the second-best time in the prelims. Hadnot and three others are still looking for a way to catch league leader Bryce Robinson of Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane sprinter led the way with a time of 10.22.
Also advancing to Sunday's 100m finals are Dennis Richardson (10.43), Jermey Hicks (10.46) and Gotch, who claimed the eighth and final spot in tomorrow's race with a time of 10.74. Hadnot also advanced in the 200m as he was the only sprinter in the field to run a sub-21.00 time with a clip of 20.73.
While the 100m dash was good for the Bulldogs, it was the opposite for the Lady Techsters. In a stunning upset, no Tech sprinter advanced to the women's 100m finals despite Kim Francis (2nd) and Victoria Wade (4th) ranked in the top five entering the week.
Francis did, however, advance in the 100m hurdles with a prelims-leading time of 13.31. All eyes will be turned towards that finals race as she and UTEP's Janice Jackson extend their rivalry at least one more race. The two have continued to battle for the top hurdles time in the conference all season long with Francis edging out Jackson for the top time in the prelims (Jackson ran 13.37).
The Bulldogs got a scare in the 400m hurdles as Yusuf Muhammad - gold medalist in the event at last year's Western Athletic Conference Championships - was initially disqualified for allegedly clipping a hurdle. However that disqualification was overturned on appeal and he will take his prelims time of 51.97 into the finals attempting to win back-to-back gold medals in two different conferences.
On the women's side of the 400m hurdles, Taneka Henderson was impressive with a personal best time of 1:00.77. She also advances to Sunday's finals race after entering the week ranked ninth in the league.
In all, Louisiana Tech advanced nine marks to the various finals races on Sunday while scoring in three of the eight finals competitions held Saturday.
The women's team enters the final day ranked fifth out of 15 teams with 21 points while heavy favorite East Carolina is in the lead with 50 points. On the men's side UTSA has a slight two-point lead over East Carolina with 61 points while the Bulldogs are in eighth having scored nine points.
The action on Sunday begins in the field at 2:30 p.m. with the men's triple jump while action on the track starts at 4:30 p.m. with the men's 4x100m relay.
Live results for Sunday's action can be found at LATechSports.com.
For complete coverage of Tech Track and Field and Cross Country, please follow @LATechTandF on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.