Robinson, Norwood place in top 3 at conference meets

Two Tri-City area athletes placed in the top three of their events at their collegiate indoor conference track and field championships recently. Central Catholic alum and Southeastern Louisiana University’s Kendall Robinson won the Southland Conference high jump, while Morgan City High School alum and LSU’s Vernon Norwood placed third in both the 400 meter run and was part of LSU’s third-place finish in the 4x400 meter relay at the SEC championships. From left, SLU’s Kadarius Williams and Robinson and Northwestern State’s Quinton Helaire. (Submitted Photo/Courtesy of The Southland Conference)

In the right photo is Norwood, center, flanked by two Florida runners. Norwood will compete in the 400 meter run and the 4x400 meter relay at this weekend’s NCAA Division 1 Indoor Track and Field Championships. (Submitted Photo/Courtesy of LSU Sports Information)

Two former Tri-City area prep track standouts placed in the top three of their indoor track and field conference championships last month.
Southeastern Louisiana University’s Kendall Robinson, a Central Catholic alum, won the indoor high jump at the Southland Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships on Feb. 26 with a leap of 6-feet, 9-inches. He edged teammate Kadarius Williams, who had a leap of 6-feet, 8-inches.
The conference title was the second for Robinson, who won the Southland Conference outdoor high jump championship as a freshman in 2013.
For his efforts last month, Robinson was named a first-team Indoor Track and Field All-Southland Conference selection in the high jump.
Robinson’s performance helped the Southeastern Louisiana men win their first indoor conference title in school history. Southeastern scored 119 points, while Sam Houston State placed second with 106.5 points.
On the women’s side, Central Catholic alum and current Southeastern Louisiana sprinter and field participant Nia Stewart placed fifth in the long jump with a leap of 18 feet, 7.75 inches. She placed eighth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.67 seconds.
Southeastern’s women placed sixth at the conference tournament with 46 points. Sam Houston State won the conference championship with 132 points.
Elsewhere, LSU’s Vernon Norwood continued to shine as he set personal records in both the preliminary and finals in the 400-meter run at the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships in College Station, Texas.
Norwood won the bronze medal in the men’s 400-meter dash with a time of 45.39, a personal record and at least at the time, was No. 4 in the world rankings for 2014. It also is No. 4 on LSU’s all-time indoor list for the event.
Texas A&M’s Deon Lendore won the event with a 45.03, which at least at the time was the fastest 400-meter run in the world this season.
Norwood will enter the NCAA meet this weekend with the third-fastest time at the event this season behind Lendore and SEC Indoor runner up Arman Hall of Florida (45.28).
Norwood also anchored the Tigers to a bronze-medal-winning third-place finish in the men’s 4x400 meter run, as the quartet nearly set a new indoor school record as the Tigers were a part of the fastest men’s relay final ever run at the SEC Indoor Championships.
The Tigers, Florida and Texas A&M entered the meet as the three fastest relay teams in the NCAA this season, and during the finals, all three broke the previous SEC Indoor meet record of 3:04.18. Texas A&M set the collegiate record indoors with a winning time of 3 minutes, 3.20 seconds, followed by Florida in second place at 3:03.50 and LSU in third place at 3:04.04.
The Tigers finished just three one-hundredths off of their indoor school record of 3:01.04 set back in 2006.
Norwood ran a 45 second split on the relay. LSU ended up as the No. 3-ranked team in the NCAA this season.
LSU will compete in both events this weekend at the NCAA Division 1 Indoor Track & Field Championships this weekend in Albuquerque, N.M.
The Arkansas Razorbacks won the men’s title at the SEC Championships with 121 points, while LSU finished in 10th place with 26 points.
At the University of Louisiana at Monroe, Patterson alum Jonathan Jeffcoat competed at the Sun Belt Conference Indoor Championships Feb. 24-25 at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Alabama.
Jeffcoat finished 16th in the men’s 3,000 meter run with a time of 9:24.92, while he placed 25th in the men’s 5,000 meter run with a finish of 16:35.99.
The men finished in seventh at the meet with 44 points. University of Texas at Arlington won the event with 185 points.

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