Mate Top Scorer At SEC Track Meet

Gabor Mate added his fourth straight SEC discus title on his way to winning the Commisioner's Trophy as the league's top scorer.

Knoxville, Tenn.--Gabor Mate won his fourth consecutive SEC discus title and took home the Commissioner's Trophy on the final day of the Southeastern Conference Track and Field Championships.

Mate, a two-time NCAA discus champion, helped the men's team finish fourth. The AU women took fifth.

Arkansas won the men's title with 149 points while host Tennessee was second with 111.5. Georgia was third with 89, four points ahead of Auburn, which finished one point ahead of Florida. South Carolina and LSU tied for sixth with 75 points. Mississippi State scored 69 points, Alabama scored 32.5, Kentucky finished with 27 points, Ole Miss had 13 and Vanderbilt did not compete.

The Florida women finished in first place with 159 points. Arkansas was second with 130 and was followed by LSU (110), South Carolina (86) and Auburn 77. Georgia was sixth with 66 points and was followed by Tennessee (55), Kentucky (49), Alabama (38), Mississippi State 22, Vanderbilt 19 and Ole Miss was last with five points.

"We had really solid performances from both teams and I couldn't be more proud," Auburn coach Ralph Spry said. "It came down to the wire and for us to take four and five. We are very pleased. We just need to build on and feed off of this for regionals and NCAAs."

This will mark the first year for regional qualifying for the nationals. Auburn's top performers will compete May 30-31 at Ohio State University at the Mideast Regional.

Gabor Mate will be going for his third NCAA discus title June 11-14 at the NCAA Championships.

Mate, who scored 26 points in the meet at the Tom Black Track And Field, won the discus with a throw of 197 feet, five inches. He had previously won the shot put and finished third in the hammer toss. "I am so excited to get the win," Mate said. "I worked so hard this weekend in the hammer and the shot put to put points on the board for Auburn that I thought when I stepped into the cage, ‘If I can get off to a good start, I can win the discus title,' and that is what I did."

Also on Sunday, Leevan Sands took first place in the triple jump at 55 feet, 2 1/4 inches, an event he will be one of the favorites to win at the NCAA Championships next month in Sacramento, Calif. Sands took second in the long jump on Saturday. "It was a great day," the junior said. "I wanted the SEC record, but this was only my second outdoor meet of the season. I will be back next year and I will go after it again." Jerome Romain of Arkansas set the SEC record of 56 feet, 1/2 inch in 19.

Leevan Sands scored in two events for the Tigers.

On Sunday, the top finish for the women's team was second place. Beatrice Louisy-Louis finished second in the javelin at 146 feet, five inches and Josanne Lucas was second in the 400-meter hurdles in 57.81 while team Markita James was fifth in 59.31.

Auburn did well in the men's 400-meter hurdles, too. Fred Sharpe ran the second-fastest collegiate time of the season at 48.86, taking the second-spot and eight points in the event. Dean Griffiths finished fourth in 49.35.

The 4x400-meter relay team of Griffiths, Tim Green, Sharpe and anchor Sanjay Ayre led on the final lap until being edged by South Carolina. Ayre took fifth in the 400 in 46.10.

Other top performances on Sunday for the AU men included Marc Burns running 10.38 for fifth place in the 100-meter dash, his best effort of the season. Jared Hodge finished eighth in the javelin with a throw of 197 feet, six inches.

Other top performances for the AU women include Spring Dawson's personal-record time of 4:22.84 to finish fourth in the 1500. Caitlin Reese finished seventh in the 800 in 2:07.97, just five one-hundredths of a second off of her school record and personal-best time. Erica Braswell, Angela Homan and Catherine Wanyoike competed in the 5,000 as Braswell finished in third with a regional qualifying mark of 16:55.04, Homan took fourth (17:01.76) and Wanyoike was ninth (17:29.76).

Long jump champion Elva Goulbourne added points in the 100 and 200 meters with fourth place finishes in 11.3 second and 23.16. She personally scored 20 points.

Auburn's 4x400 relay team of James, Danille Prime, Timicka Clarke and Lucas finished fifth in the race in a time of 3:37.42.

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories