SLC Recognizes 17 Track Stars, Coach Olson

Cass Brown-Stewart

Dec. 19, 2013

NACOGDOCHES, Texas – As part of its yearlong 50th Anniversary commemoration, the Southland Conference has announced its All-Time Indoor Track & Field Honor Rolls. The announcement comes as the 2014 indoor season approaches.

The honor roll includes 173 elite student-athletes that have impacted the sport since 1970 and recognizes nine coaches for their contributions to the sport as well. The Southland Conference selected performers that had multiple accomplishments during their careers, including numerous conference championships, records set, NCAA championships and international competition experience.

Stephen F. Austin had 11 men recognized along with six women. Head Coach Phil Olson was honored for his contributions to women’s track and field as well.

One current member of the SFA track and field team was honored. Senior Cass Brown-Stewart was recognized for his indoor efforts in the 400 meters and the 4x400 relay team. Brown-Stewart won the SLC Indoor Championship 400 meters in 2012 and was a member of the conference champion 4x400 relay teams in 2012 and 2013 indoors.

Kevin Ellis received recognition for his 1995 season in the 55-meter hurdles. Ellis was the SLC champion that year and went on to earn All-America honors in the event as well.

Julian Acuna was a dominant distance runner for the Lumberjacks and had an impressive 2005 season. Acuna was recognized for his 2005 SLC Indoor Championship double, winning the 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters. He was the meet’s co-high point scorer as well and was named 2005 SLC Indoor Athlete of the Year.

Mid-distance runner Jason Potter was named to the honor roll for his back-to-back SLC titles in the 800 meters in 2001 and 2002.

The 2009 SLC Freshman of the Year, Nick McCloud also is on the list. McCloud was a back-to-back conference champion in the 60-meter hurdles in 2010 and 2011 as well.

Rodney Black is another member of the 1995 SFA team on the list as he was an All-American in the triple jump that year.

Pole vaulter Adam Keul was recognized for his record-setting career. Keul was the 2001 and 2002 SLC Indoor pole vault champion and earned All-America honors both years. He set the all-time SLC indoor record in the pole vault during the 2001 season at 18-7.50 (5.68 meters).

High jumper Chris Olsson-O’Neil jumped to a third-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championship in 1996 to earn All-America honors and make the honor roll. He also finished fifth at the 1995 USA Indoor Championships.

Tommy Richards was named to the honor roll for his back-to-back SLC pole vault titles.

High jumper Paul Todd was a three-time SLC champion in the high jump to make the honor roll as well.

Thrower Jon Arthur was recognized for his two conference championships last season, winning the indoor shot put and weight throw.

For the women, Ana Rodriguez earned her way onto the honor roll for her 2003 and 2005 indoor distance doubles. Rodriguez won the 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters at the conference championship meet.

Renee Rowell also was a two-time conference champion, winning the two-mile run in 1990 and 1991.

Lauren Smith was the 2012 and 2013 SLC Indoor Athlete of the Year, dominating the league for two years. Smith won the 2012 3,000 meters and was the co-high point scorer at the 2012 and 2013 indoor championship meets.

Hurdler Chelsea Stephen holds the SLC Championship meet record in the 60-meter hurdles at 8.40 seconds in 2012. She was the back-to-back champion in the event in 2011 and 2012.

Misty Ballard was back-to-back indoor pole vault champion in 2000 and 2001. Her mark of 13-5.25 at the 2001 SLC Championship is a meet record, and she also earned All-America status that year.

Frednisha Marshall is one of the most decorated women’s throwers in school history and was named to the honor roll. Marshal won the SLC title in the weight throw three straight years from 2008-10. Her wins in 2008 and 2009 earned her SLC Indoor Outstanding Field Performer. Marshall’s throw of 69-4.25 is a Southland record and her mark of 67-1.50 at the 2009 SLC Championship is a meet record. Marshal also earned All-America honors in 2009.

Coach Olson was one of three women’s coaches recognized for their contributions to the sports. Olson has been named Southland Conference Women’s Indoor Coach of the Year seven times leading the Ladyjacks to seven conference titles as well. Under Olson’s leadership the Ladyjacks have won the last five SLC Indoor Championships.

Olson and his team are preparing for the 2014 campaign. The first meet on the schedule for SFA track and field is Akron Pole Vault Convention on Jan. 4. The full team will see its first action on Jan. 11 at the Houston Indoor Opener.

- SFA -



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