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Lady Buffs finish 4th at national championships: Men come in 10th


For the third in the past four years, the Lady Buffs of West Texas A&M finished on the podium at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships with a fourth-place finish at Javelina Stadium in Kingsville, Texas. WT scored 23 points on the final day of competition highlighted by a runner-up finish by Fatim Affessi in the triple jump.

"Our women's team did a great job of competing all week in the hot and windy conditions," head coach Matt Stewart said. "Coach Randy Denham did a great job with Zada (Swoopes) and Norma (Cunigan) while Fatim (Affessi) scored 18 points for us. Our women's 4x100 meter relay ran the best they have all year against some really good teams. We are excited to bring back another trophy to Canyon."

The duo of Zada Swoopes and Norma Cungian got things started for the Lady Buff in the shot put with 10 points. Swoopes finished third with the second-best throw in program history (53-1.5/16.19m) on her sixth attempt. The sophomore moved up five spots after entering the final in eight position with a toss of 49-1 (14.96m) on her third attempt. Cunigan finished her collegiate career with a fifth-place finish with a seasonal best toss of 51-9.75 (15.79m) on the final throw of four-year career.

Affessi scored another eight points for WT in the triple jump with a second-place finish after jumping a seasonal best 42-8.75 (13.02m). The junior squeaked into the final with a 40-7 (12.37m) on her third attempt of the competition before getting progressive better and busting off the sixth-best mark in program history.

The women's 4x100 meter relay of Kennedy Hudson, Blayre Catalyn, Kayla Wilson and Natasha Brown had a strong performance where they finished fourth in 45.96.

WT's men finished a program best 10th with 22 points. Over the three-day competition, the Buffs picked up three All-American honors including Nicolai Hartling's fifth-place finish in the 400 meter hurdles on Saturday afternoon.

"Nicolai (Hartling) ran well today and we are happy to see him earn All-American honors," head coach Matt Stewart said. "He ran great all week and I am excited to see what he can do next year. Abraham (Seaneke) had a great meet scoring 18 points and winning his first national title. We learned a lot this week that is going to make us a better program moving forward."

Hartling earned All-American honors for the first time as an individual with his fifth-place finish in the hurdles. The junior was in the mix throughout the finish where he finished 52.18 giving WT an All-American honor for the fifth straight.

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