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Track & Field: Bellard keeps momentum from indoor season

Bellard keeps momentum from indoor season

UL’s Kenneth Bellard ended the indoor track and field season by placing third in the triple jump with a season-high mark of 48 feet, 10 inches at the Sun Belt Conference Indoor Championships in February.

The freshman from Franklin has enjoyed similar success in the outdoor season.

After placing second in the long jump and triple jump at the Louisiana Classics on March 22, Bellard posted a first-place finish in the triple jump at last weekend’s LSU Tiger Relays in Baton Rouge. His best jump was 47 feet, 11.25 inches.

Senior Ben Leonards (second, shot put) and freshman Chris Roy (third, pole vault) also provided top three finishes for the Cajun men at the Tiger Relays.

The Cajun women got strong performances from senior Casey Brown (third, 5,000 meters), senior Amy Doucet (first, section 1 finals of javelin throw), senior Suzanne Boudreaux (second, section 2 finals of 1,500 meters) and freshman Taryn Simmons (third, 400-meter hurdles).

Two weeks ago, Roy (men’s pole vault) and sophomore Stacey Fuller (400-meter hurdles) qualified for the NCAA Regional Meet at the Louisiana Classics.

Leonards recently set the school record in the men’s hammer throw, while Simmons recently tied the program mark in the women’s 400-meter hurdles.

Up next, the Cajuns compete in the Texas Relays, which is Wednesday through Saturday on the University of Texas campus in Austin, Texas.

Finishing strong

A strong final round resulted in a third-place finish for the Cajun golfers at last week’s Carter Plantation Invitational in Springfield.

The Cajuns shot a 297 on the final day to jump from sixth to third. They finished 29 strokes behind first-round Middle Tennessee State and three behind second-place Marquette.

Michael Smith led the Cajuns with a final-round score of 72. The even-par round moved the senior into a tie for fifth place. The top-five finish earned him a spot on the all-tournament team.

The Cajuns next complete at the Indian Classic, which is April 7-8 in Jonesboro, Ark. The Sun Belt Conference Championships runs April 21-23 in Muscle Shoals, Ala.

Clean sweep

The Cajun men’s and women’s tennis teams got easy wins on Sunday in Boca Raton, Fla.

UL’s women, ranked No. 71 nationally, blanked Florida Atlantic, 7-0. The Cajuns (13-5) dominated their opponents, winning four of six singles pairings in two sets.

The women return to the court on April 12 at 1 p.m. against UL Monroe in Monroe.

After suffering a 5-2 loss at No. 65 Florida Atlantic on Saturday, the Cajun men rebounded with a 6-0 win over Belmont. The Cajuns (6-8) swept in singles action, so no doubles matches were played.

The men play again Saturday in the Sun Belt Shootout in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

New faces

The UL track and field program recently signed three recruits for next season in Louisiana natives Sean Ruth and Jasmine Manuel and Daniel Martin of California.

Ruth is a two-time district champion in the 200-meter dash from Brother Martin High in New Orleans.

Manuel, a Hammond High standout, placed first in the long jump at the 2007 Louisiana State Championships and a runner-up in the triple jump. Last summer, she competed in the "Down Under Games" in Australia, winning both the long jump (19 feet, 3 inches) and triple jump (39 feet, 10 inches).

Martin, a sprinter from Trail High in Sacramento, Calif., was named the 2007 Delta River League Most Valuable Athlete.