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ASU Track and Field begins indoor season, breaks records in Kickoff Klassic

By Daniel McFadin
On December 5, 2011

Arkansas State's indoor track and field season began Friday with the Kickoff Klassic at the Convocation Center.

The Red Wolves top performer in track was senior Bailey Bunyon, who placed first in the men's 5000 meter run and broke the ASU indoor record with a time of 14:47.42. The previous record was held by Steve Wilson, with a time of 14:49.83 set in 1981.

Senior Chelsea Weaver finished in second place in the women's mile run with a time of 5:12.16. Weaver led for almost all of the eight lap race, before being over taken on the last lap by eventual winner Ninfa Barnard of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, who posted a time of 5:11.90. Fellow Red Wolve Tilda Helgesson placed third with a time of 5:19.55.

In addition to Bunyon, ASU took first place in four events. Solomon Williams finished first in the men's 55 meter hurdle (7.58), Rexi Parcells took the top spot in the women's 5000 meter run (18:28.93) and Jamie Curry won the women's triple jump with a distance of 38 meters and nine inches.

Another bright spot for Arkansas State was sophomore Sharika Nelvis, who competed as an unattached runner. Nelvis, a transfer from Southwest Mississippi, tied the Kickoff Klassic and Convocation Center records for the women's 55 meter dash with a time of 6.87 seconds and set the event record and broke her own personal record in the 55 meter hurdle with a time of 7.88 seconds.

Her times were .19 and .42 tenths of a second faster than second place respectively. Nelvis also finished first in the women's 200 meter dash with a time of 26.61. Nelvis said that she will be able to officially compete as a member of the Arkansas State track team beginning next semester.

For the field portion of the Klassic, Stephanie Forman finished second in the women's pole vault with a height of 12-feet-5.5 inches.

Solomon Williams placed third in the men's triple jump with a distance of 45-01.75.

I thought we did a great job top to bottom," ASU head coach Jim Patchell said. "Almost everybody improved over what they did last year at this time. The hard work that we went through this fall really paid off and this gives us a lot of momentum heading into track season."

ASU's next event will be the ASU invitational at the Convocation Center Jan. 27.

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