Homan Impressive at SEC Championships

Fayetteville, Ark.--Senior All-American Angela Homan won the 10,000-meter run for the third straight year on Friday at the SEC Track and Field Championships.

Homan won with a time of 34:10.42 and was never challenged. She bolted right to the front, opening a 10-meter lead in the opening lap and pushing the lead to over 100 meters in the first third of the race. She cruised to victory, winning by more than 27 seconds.

Homan became the second women's runner in SEC history to win the 10,000m in three consecutive seasons, joining Arkansas' Amy Yoder-Begley (1999-2001).

With just three of 21 events completed, Auburn stands in second place with 16 points in the women's standings. The Auburn men did not have anyone entered in any of Friday's three finals.

In the women's hammer throw, Ronda Gullatte broke her own school record while finishing third with a mark of 195 feet, 4 four inches, surpassing her previous record of 193-5. Gullatte, who entered the competition seeded fourth, posted the record throw on her first attempt before fouling on her next four tries. Her last throw did not improve her mark, but Gullatte was still happy with a third-place showing, scoring six points for the Tigers.

"I'm excited," said Gullatte. "I wanted to go over 60 meters, and didn't do it, but I'll take my blessings as they come. I've got two more meets, hopefully, so we'll see what happens next."

In the third and only other final of the day, Amelia Anderson finished in ninth place in the heptathlon with 4,602 points.

Auburn had three runners advance to the finals in the women's 400 meter hurdles. Markita James won the first of two heats, cruising to a time of 58.30 seconds while Josanne Lucas was the winner of the second heat with a time of :59.60. Jasmine Johnson was third in the first heat and fourth overall in the prelims with a time of 1:01.12.

In the men's 400 hurdles, Reuben McCoy reached the finals by winning his heat and posting the third-fastest time in the prelims with a mark of 50.93 seconds. Tavaris Washington also made the finals despite stumbling after hitting a hurdle, posting a time of 52.52 to earn the ninth and final spot in the finals. Ty Akins finished fourth in heat one with a time of 53.16, while Jhak Keegan was fifth with a mark of 54.25, but neither advanced to the final.

In the women's 200, Kerron Stewart advanced to Sunday's final by tying for the fourth-best time during the prelims. Stewart's time of 23.25 was just off her season best of 23.18. Tamara Thomas just missed qualifying for the finals, finishing 11th with a time of 23.81.

Homan, who is also a multiple SEC cross country champion, said, "I knew coming into the race I'd have to do a little bit of racing, but my strategy was just to build a lead and to keep that lead and pace myself, since I have to run the 5k on Sunday."

Auburn head coach Ralph Spry said, "I'm really pleased with our performance. We had a very solid first day. Today was a key for us because we got our key people through to the finals on Sunday.

"I'm excited about where we are. Angela Homan won her race easily so she can come back in two days and run the 5K and be the favorite there as well.

"Reuben McCoy ran well, Tavaris almost went down but he still was able to come back and make it to the finals and have a chance to score. For the women, I'm real excited. It's going to be a dog fight and we're putting ourselves in position to be a factor on Sunday."

With three of 21 events completed, Auburn is in second place with 16 points in the women's standings. Georgia is in first with 34 points, while Alabama (13), Arkansas (11) and Vanderbilt (10) round out the top five.

The Auburn men's team did not have anyone entered in any of Friday's three finals and have not scored. Arkansas leads the men's competition with 36 points, followed by Tennessee (23), LSU (16) South Carolina (12), and Florida (11).

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