For her efforts during the 2013 outdoor season, including a victory at the SEC Championships last weekend, St Lucia’s Makeba Alcide has been named the SEC Field Athlete of the Year. With Friday’s release, the Arkansas Razorback senior sweeps the conference’s indoor and outdoor accolades. She is the third woman in program history to win the conference’s outdoor field event honour.
“If you have to have someone lay down the example and get momentum going in a positive direction, Makeba does a fantastic job,” said her coach Lance Harter. “Conditions were less than ideal. It was cold and windy. She rose up and answered the challenge all the way through, missing the championship record by a point. What made it even more special was that she got the standard for the World Championships that are in Moscow this summer. I think she has everything in place to go into the national championships on a real positive note.”
Alcide established an NCAA-leading and school-record score of 5,968 points in winning the heptathlon at the conference meet last weekend in Columbia, Mo. The win was the second of her career, having won the event for the first time in 2011. During the two-day, seven-event competition, Alcide posted three personal bests and broke the SEC Championships meet record in the high jump with a 1.88m/6-2 clearance.
She broke the school record in the heptathlon previously set at 5,925 points by GiGi (Miller) Johnson during the 2001 season. At the conference meet, Alcide also established heptathlon event school records in the high jump and 800 meters, and posted the best first day score (3,756 points) in school history. Her overall score was just one point shy of the 22-year-old SEC Championships meet record.
With her most recent outing, Alcide extended her NCAA lead in the event. She entered the SEC meet with a season-best 5,882 points from the John McDonnell Combined Events in early April. Alcide will be the top-seeded athlete in the heptathlon field at the NCAA Championships. Coupled with her back-to-back conference titles in the pentathlon, she is now a four-time SEC champion.
At the 2013 SEC Outdoor Championships, the number six Razorback women finished in third place with 109 points and racked up five event titles. Alcide won the heptathlon, Regina George won her second consecutive title at 400 meters, Grace Heymsfield broke the meet record in winning the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Sparkle McKnight took down the school record in a first place effort in the 400-meter hurdles while the 4×400-meter relay team of George, McKnight, Gwendolyn Flowers and Chrishuna Williams capped the weekend with a victory.
All six Razorback champions were named to the All-SEC First Team, while Semehar Tesfaye earned Second-Team honors with her runner-up finish at 10,000 meters. Jessica Kamilos, the top freshman runner in the steeplechase and 5,000 meters, was placed on the SEC All-Freshman Team.