Roach, Thomas earn SWAC top field awards


NEW ORLEANS — Arkansas-Pine Bluff finished the SWAC outdoor track and field meet with four event victories and the Most Outstanding Field Athletes in both men’s and women’s competition.

Senior Erick Thomas, who won the discus throw and javelin, and sophomore Sireta Roach, the women’s shot put champion, clinched the respective honors Sunday. UAPB also won the men’s 1,600-meter relay in the final event of the meet to finish with 72 points as a team.

Thomas, of Lake Providence, La., added to his productive weekend with a 163-foot, 2-inch (49.73-meter) throw in the discus. He scored 30 of UAPB’s 72 points in the meet, scoring 10 with a win in the javelin throw Friday and picking up third place in the hammer throw and fifth in the shot put Saturday.

Thomas made the winning discus attempt on his fifth of six tries. He had the top throw through the first round and fouled on his second.

Jamaican Roach’s victory came Saturday in the shot put, an event in which she also owns the SWAC indoor championship. On Sunday she notched fifth place in the discus (133-10), adding to a third place Saturday in the javelin and seventh Friday in the hammer to finish with 22 of UAPB’s 31 points.

The 4x400-meter quartet of Andrew Bingham, Jerrel Wilson, Kevin White and Justin Cooper won with a time of 3 minutes, 10.45 seconds, beating Southern by .81 second.

Alabama State and Grambling State won the women’s and men’s team championships, respectively. UAPB was ninth in women’s standings and seventh in men’s.