Kerjean wins hammer throw title at Oklahoma
Abilene Christian senior and defending Southland Conference Field Athlete of the Week Baptiste Kerjean Friday won his second hammer throw title in as many weeks after reaching a top distance of 216 feet-8 inches (66.05 meters) on his third attempt at the John Jacobs Invitational hosted by Oklahoma University.
Kerjean fouled on his first two attempts before launching the hammer more than 200 feet at his eighth consecutive meet as it hit the 202-10 mark (61.83m). He then reached 66 meters on his fourth attempt and 64 meters on his fourth and fifth tries.
None of the other five competitors today came close to reaching the native of St. Brieuc, France. Sooner freshman and runner-up Charles Nguyen topped out at 196-09 (59.96m), while third-place finisher Alex Lybarger of Tulsa could only reach 184-10 (56.34m).
"Baptiste's big win in the hammer gave our program a huge lift; we are all feeling very upbeat about tomorrow, and I'm expecting many seasonal and lifetime bests against the likes of OU, Oklahoma State and SMU," said ACU head track and field coach Keith Barnier. "This is the perfect meet, held in a beautiful facility, and we could not get here if we were still in DII."
A winner of 11 collegiate hammer throw titles in three years at ACU, Kerjean is currently ranked No. 1 in the Southland Conference with a mark of 217-7 (66.33m), which earned him runner-up status three weeks ago at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. Jonathan Kinchen - a junior from Southeastern Louisiana - is the only other Southland hammer thrower to eclipse 200 feet as he ranks second with a top distance of 205-11 (62.76m).
In the women's hammer throw, senior Shalania Lakey placed seventh of 16 competitors with an effort of 158-03 (48.23m). The winning throw, however, belonged to senior Helena Perez of SMU, who hit 201-03 (61.34m) on her fifth and final attempt to edge unattached competitor Julia Reedy by two feet.
The John Jacobs invite resumes tomorrow at 11 a.m. with the women's javelin and concludes with the running of the men's 4x400-meter relay.
Information for this story provided by ACU Athletics.