Track and field finishes strong in conference

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After an indoor track and field season in which records were being broken at nearly every meet, it was only fitting that the Billikens broke their own team record at the Atlantic 10 Championships.

Brittney Cloudy (left) and Justin Kwasa (right) both brought home Atlantic 10 gold for SLU.Courtesy of Billiken Media Relations

Taking place in Rhode Island on Feb. 18 and 19, the SLU men placed seventh overall, which is not impressive until you consider the fact that this is the same squad that finished dead last in the league the previous season.

The men’s side was led by senior Justin Kwasa, who became the first-ever SLU male track and field athlete to earn a gold medal at the A-10 tournament. Kwasa claimed the top spot in the weight throw, finishing with a distance of 62 feet, 3.25 inches.

“It feels great to do something that has never been done. Itís something I can always take with me,” Kwasa said.

Other notable performances by the menís side include Brian Holdmeyer’s 2nd-place finish in the 5000-meter race and Dahmar Smiles’ 2nd-place finish in the 55-meter hurdles with a new school record time of 7.58 seconds.

On the women’s side, Brittney Cloudy won an A-10 title for the third straight year, but the title is for a different event than she had won the past two years.

Cloudy won the long jump championship but was denied her third consecutive triple jump gold medal.

The women’s team finished fifth overall, the highest placing in SLU history. The continued progression of both the men’s and the women’s programs is a testament to both head coach Jon Bell and the athletes which he has recruited.

Other outstanding performances on the women’s side include Sara Fraley’s 2nd-place finish in the 1000-meter race and Hilary Orf’s 4th-place finish in the 3000-meter race.

The Billikens have a mont off before beginning their outdoor track and field season on March 26.