SFA T&F Athletes Honored by Southland
Feb. 28, 2013
FRISCO, - Stephen F. Austin men's and women's head track and field coach Phil Olson, and several of his athletes have been honored by the Southland Conference following the teams' sweep of the indoor conference titles. Olson was named SLC Men's and Women's Indoor Coach of the Year, while four Ladyjacks took home yearly honors.
In addition to Olson honors, he also watched several of his athletes receive conference accolades at the indoor meet. Senior Lauren Smith was named conference female athlete of the year, while sophomore La'Tricia Griffin was named SLC Indoor Outstanding Field Athlete. Junior Shambrail Woods was named league female newcomer of the year, while Chasity Clark was named female freshman of the year.
Olson guided the Ladyjacks to their fifth consecutive indoor title, and a conference record ninth-straight overall (five indoor and four outdoor) with a dominating 55.5 point victory over Sam Houston State. The 'Jacks also defeated the Bearkats but the meet came down to the final event before SFA handed its rivals a 4.5-point loss. It is the third men's track and field title that Olson has brought back to Nacogdoches.
Overall, Olson has brought a level of success to SFA track and field and cross country never before seen in school history, and arguably one of the best in Southland history. SFA has recorded 24 track and field and cross country titles under Olson, and he has been honored by the league as the conference coach of the year 15 times in his career.
Smith repeats as the conference female athlete of the year, defending the honor she received following the 2012 indoor championships, and becoming the first athlete to repeat since the 2007-08 season. Smith received all-conference honors in three events, including runner-up finishes in the 3,000 and 5,000-meter runs. She also ran the anchor leg of the distance medley relay that finished third overall.
Griffin earned league outstanding field athlete honors after a dominating performance in the throws events. She won the shot put, and followed that up with a runner-up performance in the weight throw.
Clark received the league's rookie of the year award after winning the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.60. Woods competed in two events for the Ladyjacks, and came up just shy of earning all-conference honors in the pentathlon. She finished fourth overall in the event with a score of 3,329 points.