Little Rock Sports
Evan Drexler, Associate Director of Communications
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Anika Charles had a historic day on Tuesday, breaking two school records and scoring 16 points for the Trojans to highlight Little Rock’s participation at the Sun Belt Indoor Championship at the Birmingham Crossplex on Tuesday.
Charles began the day by breaking the 21-year-old school record in the 400-meter dash. Charles’ time of 53.92 seconds beat out the record previously held by Dawn Williams of 54.32 by four-tenths of a second. Williams – an Olympian for Dominica at the 1996 Atlanta Games – is a Little Rock Hall of Famer. Before Charles, no Trojan had ever come within 1.5 seconds of the record, as the third-best time in Trojan history is 56.09 seconds.
During the race on Tuesday, Charles placed second overall, scoring eight team points.
Later in the 200, Charles again took second place, this time running the race in 23.97 seconds. That broke Charles’ own school record of 24.26 seconds, making her the first runner in Trojan history to go under 24 seconds in the 200.
Little Rock also scored points in the 4×400 relay to close out the championships, scoring four points with a fifth-place finish in 3:49.55. The race was run by Bless Dupeh, Akeia Joyner, Tyler Kelly and Charles, with Charles having the fastest split in the anchor leg with a time of 55.93. The team’s time is the new fourth-best 4×400 relay in program history.
Charles contributed to all 20 of Little Rock’s points during the Sun Belt Championship. The Trojans finished in 10th place as a squad.
Also competing on Tuesday, Adela Hernandez placed 12th for the Trojans in the 5K a time of 18:15.14. That time was a huge personal record for Hernandez, knocking more than half a minute off her previous best indoor 5K time of 18:48.25 and nearly putting her in the top 10 in program history.
The Trojan men’s track and field team had eight scoring efforts in the second day of the Sun Belt Indoor Championships at the Birmingham Crossplex on Tuesday and also had four new top-10 times in program history.
The Trojans as a team scored 25 points and finished eighth overall.
Imad Amenzou had the highest individual placing of any Trojan during the day, finishing fourth in the 800 with a time of 1:53.78. His finish scored five points for the Trojan men. Amenzou’s time also moved him up to fifth all-time in program history.
The 4×400 relay team also closed out the meet with a fourth-place finish. The team of Dez Mapps, Zodani Francois, Michael McGruder and Travion Clark combined for a time of 3:16.87 for the new fourth-fastest time in team history. The relay quartet scored five points for the Trojans with that finish.
Mapps scored three points for Little Rock with his sixth-place finish in the 60-meter dash. He came across the line in 6.85 seconds. McGruder also scored for Little Rock, getting one team point with his eighth-place showing in 7.00 seconds.
McGruder had his second scoring effort of the day in the 200, placing seventh to add two more points to his total. McGruder finished the race in 21.94 seconds.
Francois also placed sixth in the finals of the 60-meter hurdles, crossing the finish line in 8.29 seconds. That placement scored three more points for the Trojans.
Nghia Dinh scored his first points in a Sun Belt Championship meet as a Trojan, finishing eighth in the triple jump with a distance of 46′ 1/2″ (14.03 meters). Dinh reached that distance on his second jump of the competition. That mark also beats out Dinh’s previous indoor best as a Trojan by half an inch, bettering his seventh-best mark in program history.
Kennedy Chumba also picked up a point for the Trojan men in the mile, placing eighth in 4:16.18. That time is the new sixth-best time in school history and marked the second consecutive day that Chumba scored for Little Rock after he placed seventh in the 3K on Monday evening.
Chumba nearly scored points in two different events on the day but just missed out on points in the 5K. Chumba came in 10th place in that event, crossing the finish line in 15:14.16.
Amenzou also ran in the mile, taking 24th place in 5:06.03.
With the indoor season now complete for Little Rock, the Trojans’ outdoor schedule will be announced shortly.