Cheek breaks 29-year school record as Lions claim high marks in Last Chance meets.
ABILENE and CANYON – The Texas A&M University-Commerce’s track and field teams took their last chance to qualify for the NCAA Division II Championships on Sunday, with two automatic qualifiers and a provisional qualifier in meets at Abilene Christian and West Texas A&M.
The most impressive mark of the day for the Lions came in the women’s high jump, where Chelsea Cheek (Baytown – Lee) broke a 29-year old school record, clearing the bar at 1.78 meters (5-10) to automatically qualify for nationals with the second-highest clearance in the nation this season.
In the men’s shot put, Joseph Brown (Mansfield) won the event with a long toss of 58.31 meters (191-4), earning automatic qualification to the national meet with the second-longest throw in the nation this year behind teammate Josh Boateng (St. George’s, Grenada). The Lions hold the top two qualification marks in the discus this season.
In Canyon, freshman Timon Kemboi (Eldoret, Kenya) put together the best race of his career with an altitude-converted time of 1:49.62 in the 800-meter run, which is suitable for the seventh-fastest time in the nation.
The field for the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships will be announced on Tuesday, May 14. The meet will be held at Javelina Stadium in Kingsville on May 23-25.
AUTOMATIC QUALIFYING MARKS
Women’s High Jump – Chelsea Cheek – 1.78m (5-10)
School Record – Second-best in Division II
Men’s Discus – Joseph Brown – 58.31m (191-4)
Second-best in Division II
PROVISIONAL QUALIFYING MARK
Men’s 800 Meter Run – Timon Kemboi – 1:49.62
Seventh-fastest in Division II
No. 8 Lions’ historic season comes to a close with a loss to Cameron in South Central Regional Championship.
COMMERCE– The No. 8 Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team fell to Cameron in the South Central Region 2 Championship game on Saturday evening. The Lions fell 13-9 in the first game and 6-5 in the second game on a walk-off home run.
The Lions end their historic season with a final record of 40-14, which included their highest-ever finish in the LSC standings, their third regional appearance in program history and their first Regional host bid. Cameron advances to the South Central Super Regional series.
QUOTES AFTER THE GAME
Head Coach Richie Bruister
– Thoughts on the game: “I’m proud of how our team fought, and that’s been our team all year. I told our team at the end that some people counted us out this year. We lost some big guns last year, but we reloaded. I’m proud of our team for who they are and what they’ve done this year. We weren’t planning on going out today, but the cards weren’t in our hand tonight. I’m proud of how our team fought and kept their composure and took it down to the last out. ‘
– On the seniors: “I’m extremely proud of our senior class and them passing the torch. We have a great group of alumni now that will be out cheering future Lions on.”
– Looking ahead to next season: “I’m looking forward to next year. We have a ton of talent coming in. We will be competing for a national championship. This is going to be our motivation. This hurts but I know our team, and they are going to be hungry. We are going to come out ready to go next year.”
Senior Kayla Kilcrease
– On the resiliency, the team showed: “We knew people were going to get on base and we knew we were g0ing to have runners. All weekend we had people on base, and we just needed that hit to put the runs on the board. The heart of everybody was just amazing.”
Junior Kinsie Hebler
– On her three-home run performance: “It was all for the seniors. I didn’t want to go down today, but that’s how the cards fell. But I played for them. I wasn’t ready to go home. I did everything in my power to change that for us.”
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE (Game 1)
– Kinsie Hebler (Cypress – Cy Fair) hit three home runs, tying the program record for most home runs in a single game. She finished the game with four hits, four RBIs and three runs scored.
– Vanessa Muro (Oak Hills, Calif.) hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning. Bri Sims (Rowlett) also had a home run.
– Emily Otto (Richmond – Lamar Consolidated), Katie Dean (Whitesboro) and Alexis Velasquez (Amarillo – River Road) all saw time in the circle.
– Jodie Hill (Heavener, Okla.) had an RBI double. Kayla Kilcrease (Kerens) and Madison Schaefer (Frisco – Independence) also had a hit.
– Vanessa Avina (Haltom City) and Ta’Lyn Moody (Mansfield – Legacy) each scored a run.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 1)
The Lions jumped out to an early lead in the second inning as Sims reached on a single. Avina entered to pinch run and scored on the double from Hill. The Lions led 1-0 after two complete innings.
The Aggies brought five runs across in the third inning to take the lead. The Lions answered back in the bottom of the third as Hebler hit a two-run home run to cut the Cameron lead in half at 5-3.
The Aggies added four more runs in the fourth inning and two in the sixth to take an 11-3 lead. The Lions continued to battle as Hebler hit another home run in the sixth and Muro hit a three-run shot to cut the Cameron lead to 11-7 heading into the final inning.
After Cameron added two more runs in the top of the frame, the Lions looked to rally. Hebler and Sims hit solo home runs to cut the lead to four, but the Lions could not cut the deficit any further.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE (Game 2)
– Bri Sims (Rowlett) had a pair of hits, including a home run in the second inning.
– Kayla Kilcrease (Kerens) hit a two-RBI double in the sixth inning. Vanessa Muro (Oak Hills, Calif.) had a two-RBI single in the third.
– Ciera Nunez (Amarillo – Randall) had a hit and scored a run. Chealsea Slider (Texarkana – Texas HS) and Avery Boley (Fort Worth – Nolan Catholic) also had a hit.
– Da’Jia Davis (Hillsboro – Midway), Allie Thompson (Lindale) and Jodie Hill (Heavener, Okla.) also scored runs.
– Emily Otto (Richmond – Lamar Consolidated) pitched her 25th complete game of the season.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 2)
A&M-Commerce lost the coin flip and was the visiting team for the second game. The Lions jumped out to an early lead once again, this time on a solo homer from Sims in the second inning. A&M-Commerce added two more runs in the third inning. Hebler reached on an intentional walk, and Boley singled. After Thompson and Davis entered to pinch run, both scored on a single from Muro. The Lions led 3-0 after three complete innings.
The Aggies got their first hits of the game in the fourth inning and pushed three runs across to tie the game after four innings. The Aggies then took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the fifth.
The Lions battled back to tie the game in the sixth inning. Slider and Nunez both reached with singles. Hill reached on a fielder’s choice, and she and Nunez both scored on the double from Kilcrease. The game was tied heading into the seventh inning.
The Lions were unable to push a run across in the top of the seventh, and Cameron hit a solo home run to end the game in the bottom of the frame.
McCubbin wraps up Regional in 19th place.
ST. GEORGE, Utah – Texas A&M University-Commerce senior Lucas McCubbin completed his collegiate career with a 19th place finish at the NCAA Division II South Central/West Super Regional on Saturday.
McCubbin (Midland) carded an even-par 72 in the third and final round of the 54-hole event with an up-and-down performance, notching four birdies. He opened with a birdie on the first hole, then had three bogeys scattered over his next nine holes to move to 2-over par for the day after 10 holes.
He responded with consecutive birdies on the 11th and 12th holes to get back to even par. After a bogey on the 15th, McCubbin bounced back with his final birdie on the 16th before closing with two pars. For the tournament, he shot 1-under par 215 (73-70-72).
“Today was the exact opposite of yesterday. Lucas was not near as sharp tee to green today, but he had a great short game working, and it kept his score solid all day,” said Lion head golf coach Matt Ward. “He chipped and putted much better today. Especially when his approach shots were off-line. I’m proud of how he kept his cool and was able to grind out a solid score.
“I know it’s not how he wanted his college career to end, but he played solid and kept his composure all week. I couldn’t be more proud of how he played today, this event, and all year!”
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