LA Tech Athletics roundup

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Strategic Communications

Track and Field

Louisiana Tech’s track and field team recorded some solid performances Friday at the Leonard Hilton Memorial Invitational in Houston, Texas. These performances include four-lifetime personal bests and four first-place finishes amongst the Bulldogs and Lady Techsters.

“Considering it was very small field sizes today, this meet went okay,” said Head Coach Gary Stanley. “We had four winners throughout the meet: Women’s high jump, men’s weight throw, women’s long jump, and the women’s 4×400 meter relay (Parks, Praetzel, Murray, and Tarver). Our throws group had the best overall performances for the day. We’re looking to improve at our next meet next week.”

On the field, the Lady Techsters started the meet off by sweeping the high jump, with Johannon Murray taking the first-place spot. Murray jumped her way into earning a personal best of 5-feet-4.5 inches (1.65m). Coming in second place was freshman Maggie Gilmore jumping 1.52m, and freshman Andree Celestin jumping 1.49m to finish third.

Freshman Kristina Subia represented Louisiana Tech in the women’s shot put with a throw of 11.95m, landing her with a fourth-place finish and a lifetime personal record. Bulldogs Johnie Jean-Jacques and Tim Fitzgerald also executed a personal best in the men’s shot-put. Jean-Jacques finished second with a mark of 16.09m, and Fitzgerald followed suit with a third-place (15.75m).

Will Malone won the men’s weight throw with a throw of 12.43m. In the long jump, Colin Bulter jumped 7.08m and received the third-place spot amongst his competitors, and Jarvon Gaines came in fifth place with a jump of 6.52m. On the women’s side, Maya Perry- Grimes took home the first-place finish with a jump of 5.62m. In fourth place, Leah Scott jumped 5.56m. Fifth and sixth place finishes went to Raven Alexander (5.46m) and Pleasant Harris (5.43m).

In the pole vault, Andrew Spellman jumped 4.46m positioning him in eighth place. For the Lady Techsters, Laura Degravelle came in fifth place with a jump of 3.37m. In the triple jump, Murphy Bavinga jumped 14.73m, Scott jumped 11.93m, landing her in the second-place position, and Perry-Grimes came in third with a jump of 11.68m.

On the track, Riley Killian earned a fourth-place finish in the mile with a time of 5:22.21. Victoria Datta ran 1:02.12, and Desmym McCall ran 52.16 in the 400m.

In the 60m hurdles finals, the Lady Techsters received the fifth, sixth, and seventh spots, respectively. Freshman Nike Praetzel led the Lady Techsters with a time of 9.09, Murray followed a time of 9.16, and Celestin finished the race with a time of 9.31. The Bulldogs took home both the second and third place spots. Tim Rummelhagen ran 8.30, and Urijah Williams ended with a time of 8.78.

In the 60m finals, Kyra Collins ran 7.93 (fifth), and Faith Tarver ran 7.98 (seventh). Killian (2:29.90) and Rebecca Quebedeaux (2:32.77) ran the 800m finishing fourth and fifth. Mason Youberg (fourth) ran 1:59.47, Trent Treminie (fifth) 1:59.51, and Micah Pernetter (sixth) concluded with a time of 2:04.63.

Tarver finished fourth in the 200m with a time of 25.78. Alexander (25.94) earned fifth place, Parks (26.07) in sixth, Harris (27.55) in eighth, and Collins (27.64) in ninth. On the men’s side, Boullion tied for sixth place with a time of 22.02. Marshall Ellis landed eighth on the track, running a time of 22.17.

The Lady Techsters won the 4x400m relay with a time of 4:12.71, and the Bulldogs (3:31.86) finished third amongst the Houston Cougars.

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Tennis

TULSA, Okla. – Louisiana Tech bounced back from a loss to host Tulsa to record a shutout victory over Montana State on Sunday, the second and final day of the Hurricane Invite.

LA Tech (2-1) suffered a 7-0 defeat to Tulsa (3-0) who swept all three of its matches over the weekend.  The Lady Techsters came in second though in the event, not dropping a single set to defeat MSU (0-3) by a final score of 7-0. 

Tech defeated Wyoming 4-3 on Saturday in its opener.

“This was a fantastic weekend,” said Tech head coach Amanda Stone. “Overall, a really great way to start the season and I think if we stay on track and stay focused this team can do some big things.  After the Wyoming win, we spoke about how great teams consistently show up ready to play each match and produce good wins.  Today, I was very happy to see every player take that to heart and earn a win. 

The doubles tandem of Alexia Romero and Olga Bienzobas put together the lone win over the Golden Hurricane to wrap up Match Two, winning 6-4 on court three. 

 The duo made it a Sunday sweep in the following match versus the Bobcats, taking it 6-1.  LA Tech ended up on all three courts in doubles as Leonie Schuknecht and Ana Rodrigues prevailed, 6-0, and Ilana Tetruashvili and Najah Dawson came out victorious, 6-4.

The team carried that momentum into singles where they dominated on all six courts.  Rodrigues picked up her first singles win of the spring with a crushing 6-1, 6-1 win on court three.  Schuknecht followed at the No. 1 position with a 6-1, 6-2 thrashing of Mirte Van Baelen.

Providing the clinching point was Bienzobas who bested JJ Chen, 6-3, 6-3 at the No. 3 spot.  Tetruashvili, Dawson and Romero went on court soon thereafter and each notched straight-set wins.

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Football

Three Louisiana Tech Bulldogs have been recognized on the 2021 Louisiana Sports Writers Associations (LSWA) All-Louisiana Football Team, it was announced Saturday.

Sophomore linebacker Tyler Grubbs earned first-team honors on the defensive side while also receiving a vote for defensive player of the year. Redshirt junior defensive back BeeJay Williamson was named as a second-team selection on defense, while Smoke Harris was voted to the second-team offense and listed as an honorable mention for special teams as a return specialist.

A panel of LSWA and sports media relations personnel voted on nominations submitted by the schools at each of the positions through the regular season. School media relations members could not vote for their own players. 

Grubbs, from New Orleans, La., appeared in all 12 games this season finishing with 97 total tackles including ten tackles for loss, two sacks and two forced fumbles. Grubbs, who was also named second team all-Conference USA, ranked fifth in the league in tackles and led the Bulldogs in both total tackles and tackles for loss. He had three double digit tackle games, including 13-tackle efforts against SMU and Southern Miss.

Williamson, a Dallas, Texas native, finished the season with 52 total tackles, three interceptions, and two forced fumbles while appearing in 11 games. Williamson led the Bulldogs’ secondary in interceptions and was third on the team in total tackles. His top performance came in the second week of the season at home vs Southeastern where he registered six tackles, two interceptions, and forced two fumbles. 

Harris, a native of St. Francisville, La., led the Bulldogs in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Harris completed his junior campaign appearing in all 12 games netting 71 receptions for 756 yards and six touchdowns. Harris also added 195 punt return yards on 22 attempts for an average of 8.9 yards per return ranking him No. 3 in C-USA and top 20 in the country.


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