Bears Finish Fourth at MVC Outdoor Track Championship
May 18, 2014
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Missouri State won three events on the final day of the 2014 Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championship Sunday to finish fourth overall.
The Bears received victories from sophomore Robiann Broomfield in the triple jump, junior Althia Maximilien in the 400-meter dash and the 4x100-meter relay team of junior Chelsey Borders, senior Pernell Joseph Maximilien and sophomore Shavonne Husbands on the day.
Missouri State scored 86 points to finish behind Wichita State (160.5 points), Indiana State (145.5) and Southern Illinois (111). The Shockers won the team title for the third time in four years.
"The group's performance was awesome," said MSU Director of Track & Field Ronald Boyce. "The ladies did a great job all year of preparing for the meet, and did an even better job of executing the task at hand. I'm very proud of the way we fought and we finished."
The Bears began the day taking the 4x100-meter relay in a Lew Hartzog Track & Field Complex record time of 45.21, a mark that was less than a second off the school record of 44.36 from 1997. The time topped MSU's season best of 45.28, set at the Arkansas Spring Invitational on April 5.
The victory marked the first time since 2012 the Bears won the event and 10th time in school history, which has included a run of seven straight wins from 1996-2002.
Broomfield followed earning her first career win in the MVC outdoor triple jump with a top leap of 12.95 meters (42 feet, six inches) to sweep both the triple and long jumps. It is the second consecutive season the Bears have accomplished the feat, as Kimsue Grant also won both jumps in 2013. Broomfield entered the championship No. 8 in the NCAA west region at 12.83 meters (42 feet, 1.25 inches).
"Robiann works extremely hard, and competes very well also," Boyce said. "It's not easy to win the double in any event in the MVC, so her performance was special."
The Bears scored big points in the triple jump as junior Gemma Smith placed fifth overall with a mark of 11.87 meters (38 feet, 11.5 inches) for four points and classmate Haley Scott was seventh with a jump of 11.83 meters (38 feet, 9.75 inches) for two more, giving MSU 16 for the event.
Maximilien claimed the 400 meters in a facility-record time of 54.12 to earn an MVC indoor-outdoor double championship in the event for the season. The Bridgetown, Barbados, native won the 400 meters at the indoor championship in 54.47 on March 2, in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
"Althia will not be out worked, and hardly ever outperformed," said Boyce. "She is putting together an awesome string of top performances in the MVC, and with one more year to go, I can hardly wait to see what she does in the future."
Coming off of her Botswana-national-record time in the 100-meter hurdles prelims on Saturday, sophomore Oarabile Babolayi ran sixth in the final in 13.96 to pick up three points for Missouri State. Babolayi finished second in the 400-meter hurdles in a career-best 59.24 for eight points.
Husbands posted a second-place finish in the 100 meter dash, setting a season best of 11.67 in the process, to score eight points for the Bears Indiana State's Katie Wise - the MVC Most Outstanding Track Athlete - won the event in a facility-record 11.23.
Husbands and Maximilien combined for 13 points in the 200-meter final, vaulting their team into fourth in the standings by just one point over Northern Iowa with just the 4x400-meter relay remaining for both schools. Husbands was second in the 200 with a personal-best 23.48, while Maximilien was fourth in 23.97.
Missouri State cemented its spot in the standings with a second-place showing from sophomore Chelsie Horton, Babolayi, Husbands and Maximilien in the 4x400. The group ran 3:42.41 to close the meet strong.
UNI finished fifth overall with 83 points, followed by Illinois State (81), Loyola (74), Bradley (44) and Drake (33).
A total of seven Missouri State student-athletes earned all-MVC recognition, including Husbands (100, 200 4x100, 4x400), Maximilien (400, 4x100, 4x400), Babolayi (400 hurdles, 4x400), Broomfield (long jump, triple jump), Borders (4x100), Horton (4x400) and Joseph (4x100).
Selections for the NCAA West Regional Championships, held in Fayetteville, Ark., May 29-31, will be announced Thursday.