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Thirty-two Southland Track & Field Student-Athletes earn All-American Recognition

(KBTX)
Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 5:32 PM CDT
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FRISCO, Texas – Following competition at the 2021 Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon, Southland Conference student-athletes collected 32 all-America recognitions. 

Stephen F. Austin led the way with 10 honors, including five first team spots in men’s pole vault national champion Branson Ellis and the silver-medalist 4x400 relay team of Muzuri Mattar, Paul Martin, Jeremiah Curry and Auhmad Robinson. 

Ellis garnered his second all-America nod after topping the field with a mark of 18-8.25. After posting a time of 47.98 in the semifinals of the 400m, freshman Auhmad Robinson came back out and recorded the second-fastest split in NCAA meet history (43.45) in the anchor of the 4x400 to propel the ‘Jacks to a second-place finish. 

The men’s pole vault also featured a fourth-place finish (18-2.5) for Sam Houston’s Clayton Fritsch, who picked up his fourth first-team all-America recognition. The Bearkats followed SFA with six total All-Americans.  

Southeastern Louisiana accounted for five all-America honorees, led by first-teamer Franck DiSanza, who came in at sixth in the javelin (74.71m). The Lions’ 4x400 relay squad registered the 16th-best time in the event (3:08.90), and Johnathon Sawyer was also an Honorable Mention All-American in the 400m. 

Houston Baptist and McNeese earned three honors, and Abilene Christian, Central Arkansas, Lamar, New Orleans, Northwestern State and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi garnered one all-America recognition. Islander sophomore Leonardo Ledgister placed sixth in the 400m hurdles to become the program’s first All-America first-teamer since 2009.

Men’s All-Americans

First Team

Branson Ellis, Stephen F. Austin 2 – Pole Vault – 1st (18-8.25)

Muzuri Mattar/Paul Martin/Jeremiah Curry/Auhmad Robinson, Stephen F. Austin – 4x400 – 2nd (3:01.52)

Clayton Fritsch, Sam Houston 4 – Pole Vault – 4th (18-2.5)

Franck DiSanza, Southeastern Louisiana – Javelin –  6th (74.71m)

Leonard Ledgister, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi – 400m Hurdles – 6th (49.28) 

Second Team

Joshua Smith, Sam Houston – 400m Hurdles – (50.21)Donavon Banks, McNeese – Javelin – 14th (68.07m)

Denim Rogers, Houston Baptist 2 – Decathalon – 15th (7,233 points)

Bryan Henderson, Sam Houston – 100m – 15th (10.34)

Zachary Jewell, Central Arkansas – 100m – 16th (10.37)

Rodney Ruffin/Johnathon Sawyer/Donovan Storr/James Benson II, Southeastern Louisiana – 4x400 – 16th (3:08.90) 

Honorable Mention

Cord Neal, Stephen F. Austin – Javelin – 17th (65.86m)

Tylen Guidry, Lamar – Triple Jump – 19th (15.70m)

Ismael Kone, New Orleans – 100m – 21st (10.50)

Johnathon Sawyer, Southeastern Louisiana – 400m – 21st (47.18)

Eric Callaway/Bryan Henderson/Nathaniel McRae/Denzel Downing, Sam Houston – 4x100 – 22nd (40.26)

Izac Canchola, Stephen F. Austin – Javelin – 22nd (62.44m)

Hunter Longino, McNeese – Javelin – 23rd (57.00m)

Auhmad Robinson, Stephen F. Austin – 400m – 23rd (47.98)

Scott Boon, Houston Baptist – Decathalon

Asani Hylton, Stephen F. Austin - Decathalon

Women’s All-Americans

Second Team

Kaitlin Smith, Houston Baptist – Heptathalon – 13th (5,520 points) 

Honorable Mention

Annina Brandenburg, Abilene Christian – Discus – 22nd (51.84m)

Jasmyn Steels, Northwestern State – Long Jump – 22nd (19-8)

Kaylee Bizzell, Stephen F. Austin – Pole Vault – NH

Grace McKenzie, McNeese - Heptathalon