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Courtesy: UTSA Athletics

Benford wins Southland Outdoor high jump title on Saturday

Courtesy: UTSA Athletics Communications
Release: 05/15/2011
Courtesy UTSA Athletics Communications
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NATCHITOCHES, La. — Sophomore Keith Benford captured a gold medal in the high jump to highlight the UTSA men's track & field team on Saturday at the Southland Conference Outdoor Championships.

Benford cleared 6-10 ¾ (2.10m) and edged Sam Houston State's Louis Hedgeman for the Roadrunners' second consecutive league title and third in program history due to three fewer misses. The Roadrunners also received six-and-a-half more points in the event after freshman Kerry Thompson (6-8 ¾/2.05m) and sophomore Sean Masek (6-6 ¾/2.00m) finished in a tie for third and seventh, respectively.

UTSA has scored 55.5 points after eight scored events and trails only Stephen F. Austin (82.5) and UT Arlington (58.5) in the team standings.

Sophomore Richard Garrett Jr. picked up a silver medal in the shot put with a school-record heave of 56-8 (17.83m) and just missed a conference crown by two inches. Stephen F. Austin's Jon Arthur won gold on his final put from the ring. Garrett Jr.'s toss added nearly a foot to his own program mark established a year ago. Junior Daniel Rodriguez added a pair of points to the Birds' team total with his seventh-place performance (52-2 ¾/15.92m).

Senior Kyle Kaase earned a bronze medal in the decathlon with his 6,667 points on the strength of a 15-9 (4.80m) clearance in the pole vault. That not only topped the remaining field of 12 competitors, but it also added 849 points to his total. Meanwhile, senior Lucas Neeper scratched out a pair of tallies with his seventh-place performance (6,129). UT Arlington's Romain Martin easily won the two-day, 10-event competition with 7,556 points.

The Roadrunners also received scores from senior Brandon Chiuminetta, who placed seventh (9:43.98) in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, and sophomore Tyler Williamson, who finished eighth (wind-aided 23-0 ¾/7.03m) in the long jump. Williamson was the defending champion.

In the running preliminary heats, UTSA saw 11 of its athletes advance to the finals, including freshman Crisshun Jamerson, who recorded the top 800 meters time of the afternoon (1:54.00). Meanwhile, a pair Roadrunners — sophomore Nate Brunette (100/200m) and freshman Keyunta Hayes (110/400m hurdles) — qualified in two events apiece. UTA saw 10 advance, while nine moved on for SFA.

The three-day meet concludes on Sunday.

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