Tigers Finish Second at SEC Indoor Track

Gainesville, Fla.--The Auburn women took second, matching their highest finish ever, and the men were eighth at the SEC Indoor Track Championships.

The Auburn women, who are ranked sixth nationally, scored 96 points to finish behind 13th-ranked Georgia's 101.5. It was Auburn's best finish since 1996.

Tennessee and South Carolina tied for third in the women's meet with 78.5 points followed by Arkansas (73), Alabama (70.5), LSU (62.5), Florida (45.5), Kentucky (26), Ole Miss (16), Mississippi State (13) and Vanderbilt (2).

Auburn junior Kerron Stewart won the Comissioner's Trophy by scoring the most points of any female athlete. She became just the third indoor double winner in Auburn history, taking the 55 meters and the 200 meters.

She also ran a leg on the second-place 4x400 relay team. Stewart joined Lacena Golding (1998), who won the 55 hurdles and the long jump, and Elva Goulbourne (2003), who won the 55-meter dash and the long jump, as double winners for Auburn.

"We knew coming in the women's race was going to be one of the closest races in a while," said Auburn head coach Ralph Spry. "I felt we were capable of winning. We were in a great position until the end, but there were just a couple of events that didn't pan out and we didn't get some help from some other teams when we needed it.

"I'm really proud of how our team stepped up and I'm pleased with our finish," Spry said. "We'll take this and move on to the NCAAs."

In the men's competition, Arkansas won with 141 points and was followed by Tennessee (106), Florida (100), LSU (77), South Carolina (63.5), Georgia (48.5), Alabama (43), Auburn (38), Ole Miss (25) and Kentucky (21).

"As for the men, we knew we were thin in depth," Spry said. "We were solid, but not as good as we should have been. We'll just have to regroup and get the team ready for the rest of the year, and getting some guys back from injury will help."

Stewart won the 55-meters in a school record time of 6.71, .02 better than Goulbourne's record set in 2003. "I came in here, not ranked, not noticed and probably overlooked by my competition," Stewart said. "But I work hard with my coaches, I train hard every day, I listen to what my coaches tell me and today I came in here and did what they told me to do. I feel great right now."

Stewart won the 200 meters with a time of 23.11. She ran a leg on the 4x400 relay that ran 3:33.58, finishing second behind national leader LSU by 0.18. Seniors Josanne Lucas, Tamara Thomas and senior Markita James ran the other legs.

Freshman Michelle Vaughn won the triple jump for Auburn with a leap of 43 feet, 1 3/4 inches.

Another Tiger, senior Jovanee Jarrett, won the long jump with a leap of 20 feet, 8 1/2 inches.

The men's team was led by Cory Martin, who repeated as league champion in the weight throw. His winning toss was 72 feet, 11 3/4 inches.

Also for the men, sophomore Ty Atkins, who was second in the 55-meter hurdles in 7.25 seconds, recored a personal best.

Arkansas will be the host for the NCAA Championships scheduled for March 10-11.

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