LOUISVILLE, Ky.--For the first time in program history, Cumberland men’s track and field claims the Mid-South Conference Indoor Track & Field Championship. Iredia Goodness was named the Mid-South Conference Athlete of the Year and Freshman of the Year. Head Coach Atsu Nyamadi was named the Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year and assistant coach CeCe Francis earned MSC Assistant Coach of the Year.
After Friday’s events, the Phoenix sat on top of the leaderboard in first place with 211.5 points. Tailing behind Cumberland, the University of the Cumberlands finished in second place with 189 points, Campbellsville came in third with 136, and Lindsey Wilson was fourth with 107. The rest of the teams do not have more than 57 points after the first day.
The Phoenix picked up 11 individual and group champions throughout to propel Cumberland to their first banner. Jason Bowers won four titles to lead the Phoenix. Logan Istre and Joel Forbes won a total of three each. Iredia Goodness picked up two in jumps, Tahmar Upshaw and Denis Kipligat each won two as a part of the relay teams and Will Marsh, Damiah Smith, Benjamin Nyakudya, and Luke Freeman each contributed to one championship.
Bowers continues to have one of the most incredible seasons put together by an athlete at Cumberland. He claimed first place in the mile with a time of 4:08.35 and followed that up with a victory in the 3000m with a time of 8:14.73. Bowers broke the meet record in both of those events. He was also a part of the 4x800m Relay and the Distance Medley team that won.
Istre, another talented freshman, posted wins in the 200m and 400m. He posted a time of 21.70 to win the 200m and a time of 48.91 to win the 400m. He also helped the 4x400m Relay team earn the MSC title in the event.
Forbes posted wins at the 600m and 800m. Forbes notched a 600m time of 1:21.64 and an 800m time of 1:57.49 to earn the championships in those events. Forbes was another leg of the 4x400m team as well as Istre.
Goodness continues to dominate the jumping events winning the long jump with a mark of 7.56 meters, a new meet record. He also shattered the meet record in the triple jump with a mark of 15.17 meters to claim his second title.
Cumberland fared well in the relays all day, winning three of the events the Distance Medley, 4x400m, and 4x800m. The distance medley was the first event of the day consisting of Jason Bowers, Damaiah Smith, Will Marsh, and Denis Kipligat won with a time of 10:29.12. The 4x400m relay team of Logan Istre, Benjamin Nyakudya, Tamar Upshaw, and Joel Forbes won with a time of 3:19.06. The 4x800m relay team of Luke Freeman, Tahmar Upshaw, Jason Bowers, and Denis Kipligat broke the meet record with a time of 7:57.01.
Outside of the champions, Cumberland had plenty of performances that helped them get to the top. In the 60m, Akpan Nsikak took third place with a time of 6.93 and Tobi Oniyide finished in sixth at 6.95. Renaldo Savoury took third place in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.62. Dinkon Sinisterra took sixth at 8.81. Oniyide also finished in seventh in the 200m.
Nyakudya took fourth in the 400m at 50.29 and Forbes finished in 10th at 52.76. Nyadukya also took third in the 600m and Upshaw placed sixth. Upshaw finished in seventh in the 800m.
In the 1000m, Upshaw and Freeman finished three and four with times of 2:36.03 and 2:36.36 to give the Phoenix points. Freeman also checked in at fifth in the mile at 4:23.86.
Ethan Rhoden had two Top 6 performances taking sixth in the 5000m at 15:44.48 and second place in the 3000m racewalk at 16:46.26.
The Phoenix had three Top 10 finishes in the high jump as Goodness took the silver medal. Liyu Scarlassara finished in fourth at 1.96m and Mackey Bonds took ninth.
Jaylen Poole took fifth place in the long jump at 6.80m and Ronald Ndlovu was just behind him in sixth at 6.77m. Savoury finished with silver in the pole vault at 3.95m and Tate Tevaughn came in sixth. Tevaughn also came in ninth in the men’s shot put.
The Phoenix will be back in action in South Dakota at the NAIA National Championships on March 4th and 5th.