Track & Field: Ragin' Cajuns Announce 2018-19 Newcomers
Matt Sullivan, Director of Athletics Communications
Numerous state champs, JUCO All-Americans part of classLAFAYETTE – Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns track and field coach Lon Badeaux officially announced on Tuesday the addition of 21 student-athletes for the 2018-19 season.
Thirteen of the newcomers hail from the state of Louisiana, highlighted by men's distance runner Key Alfred (Carencro, La./Carencro), men's middle distance runner Tyrell Hargrove (Baton Rouge, La./McKinley), men's triple jumper John Joseph (Pineville, La./Pineville), women's sprinter/jumper Kaprecia Cowans (Jonesboro, La./Jonesboro-Hodge) and women's pole vaulter Reagann Leleux (New Iberia, La./Catholic). The 21-member class, which includes four transfers, combined for 35 state titles during their prep career.
"We are really excited about this recruiting class," Badeaux said. "We felt like we filled some key holes on our roster and added some much needed depth to our team."
Transfer men's thrower Graham Sokol (Gainesville, Fla./Barton County CC) and women's thrower Alexis James (Alton, Ill./Barton County CC), along with Power 5 transfers Kalei Matthews (Independence, Kan./Arizona State) and Shalei Matthews (Independence, Kan./Kansas), combined to earn NJCAA All-America honors 11 times during their post-high school career.
Louisiana also added international experience to the 2018-19 roster with men's distance runner Hannes Burger (Gauting, Germany/Läuferclub Buchendorf), women's multi-event athlete Lea-Marie Diedicke (Halle, Germany/SV Halle Leichtathletik) and women's hurdler Kany Touré (Dudelange, Luxembourg/Sportslycee Letzebuerg) joining the Ragin' Cajuns.
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Capsules of the 2018-19 Ragin' Cajuns track and field newcomers are listed below:
2018-19 MEN'S NEWCOMER CAPSULES
Key Alfred, Distance – Carencro, La. (Carencro)
A four-time Class 4A state champion in track and two-time state champ in cross country at Carencro High … named the 2018 Track MVP on the All-Acadiana Boys Track and Field Team by the Lafayette Daily Advertiser … named to the 2018 LSWA All-State Track and Field team in the 800-meters, 1,600-meters and 3,200-meters … claimed four district titles and back-to-back state titles in cross country, posting times of 15:46.30 in 2017 and 16:06.64 in 2016 … was third overall at the 2015 state meet (17:19.87) … claimed a pair of state titles in the 1,600-meters, with a personal-best (4:24.51) coming at the 2018 LHSAA Class 4A State Outdoor Championships … claimed 2018 state title in 3,200-meters (9:37.66) … ran first leg of CHS' 4x400-meter relay team that claimed District 4-4A and Region II-4A titles in 2018 while finishing second overall (3:21.83) at the state meet … claimed state title in the boy's indoor 1,600-meters (4:28.17) at the 2018 meet … placed fourth overall in the 1,500-meters (4:07.45) and 13th in the 800-meters (1:56.95) at the 2017 AAU National Junior Olympic Games.
Hannes Burger, Distance – Gauting, Germany (Läuferclub Buchendorf)
Earned a third-place performance in the 3,000-meters at the German Indoor U20 Championships … posted top times in the 800-meters (1:54.81) and 1,500-meters (3:53.83) at the 2018 Sparkassen Gala … top time in the 5,000-meters (14:38.10).
John Joseph, Jumps – Pineville, La. (Pineville)
A three-time state champion at Pineville High School, winning a pair of titles in the triple jump and one in the long jump … the 2018 Class 5A state champion in both the long jump (23-2 ¼) and triple jump (48-5) … named to the 2018 LSWA All-State Track and Field team in the triple jump … earned top honors in the triple jump (44-11 ¾) at the 2018 LHSAA Division I State Indoor Championship ... claimed top honors in both the long jump (22-11) and triple jump (45-3 ¾) at the LHSAA Region I-5A meet … named to the All-Cenla Track and Field team in both the long jump and triple jump by the Alexandria Town Talk … was third in the triple jump (45-4) at the 2016 Class 5A state outdoor meet and 2017 Division I state indoor meet (44-7 ½) … an honorable mention All-State selection in football.
Terroll Jolla, Sprints – New Orleans, La. (St. Augustine)
Named to the 2017 LSWA All-State Track and Field team after posting a time of 10.64 seconds in the 100-meter dash … also a member of the Purple Knights' 4x100-meter relay (41.77) and 4x200-meter relay squads (1:27.29) that earned all-state honors … helped St. Aug to a second-place finish (1:31.71) in the 4x200-meters at the 2018 LHSAA Division I state indoor meet … also placed fifth overall in the 60-meters (6.97) … was fourth in the 100-meters (10.73) and sixth in the 200-meters (21.98) at the 2018 Allstate Sugar Bowl Track and Field Classic.
Graham Sokol, Throws – Gainesville, Fla. (Barton County CC/Bucholz)
A two-time NJCAA All-American at Barton County (Kan.) Community College … helped BCCC to the 2018 NJCAA outdoor national title and a national runner-up finish at the NJCAA indoor meet … finished second overall in the hammer throw (185-10) at the NJCAA meet to earn All-America honors … earned All-America honors in the weight throw after finishing seventh overall at the NJCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships … was third in the hammer throw (177-8) at the 2018 Region VI Outdoor Track & Field Championships. High School: Competed in the discus and shot put at Gainesville's Bucholz High School … posted top mark in the discus (127-6) at the Sanford-Seminole Invite at the NTC … finished seventh in the discus (115-1) at the FHSAA District 1-4A meet.
Rylan Theyard, Jumps – New Orleans, La. (Lusher)
Earned top honors in the high jump at the District 10-3A and LHSAA Region III-3A meets … claimed the 10-3A title with a personal-best mark of 6-6 … finished fourth in the triple jump (44-10 ¾) and was fifth in the high jump (6-4) at the 2018 LHSAA 3A State Outdoor Championships … ran opening leg of Lusher's state champion 4x400-meter relay team (3:25.62) … was third in the high jump (6-2) and sixth in the triple jump (41-10 ½) at the 2018 LHSAA D2 State Indoor Championship … placed first in the high jump (6-6) and second in the triple jump (42-11 ½) at the 2017 District 10-3A meet … younger brother of former Ragin' Cajuns All-Sun Belt performer Ricky Theyard.
Tyrell Hargrove, Middle Distance – Baton Rouge, La. (McKinley)
The 2018 Division I state champion in the 800-meters at the LHSAA Indoor Track and Field Championships … named to the Baton Rouge Advocate All-Metro Track and Field team and 2018 LSWA All-State Track and Field team in the 800 meters … finished as the District 5-5A and Region II-5A champion in the 800-meters (1:57.87) and was fourth in the 800-meters at the Class 5A state meet (1:58.10) … placed fourth overall in the 400-meters (48.87) at the 2016 EBR Parish Championships … ran on McKinley's 4x200-meter relay team that finished second (1:28.51) at the EBR Championships.
Solomon Brent, Middle Distance – Houston, Texas (Summer Creek)
Finished third in the 800-meters (1:55.71) at the 2018 UIL 21-6A District Meet and was fourth (1:56.11) at the UIL 6A Region III… ran a personal-best 4:26.51 in the 1,600-meters at the 2017 John Cooper Moonlight Mile … ran a time of 16:49.4 over a 5K course at the 2017 Kingwood Andy Wells Invitational … posted time of 15:38.9 on the 3-mile course at the 2016 Kingwood Andy Wells Invitational … clocked a time of 1:59.58 in the 1,500-meters at the 2016 USATF National Junior Olympic Championships.
Chancellor Bangura, Sprints – Thibodaux, La. (Thibodaux)
Competed in the 400-meter run, the 4x200-meter and 4x400-meter relays at Thibodaux High School … also ran the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash events … coached by Daniel Trosclair … placed sixth overall in the 400-meters at the Class 5A outdoor state track meet … finished third in the 400-meters at the Class 5A Region III track championships … named a first-team selection on the The Courier/Daily Comet All-Region Track and Field Team.
2018-19 WOMEN'S NEWCOMER CAPSULES
Kaprecia Cowans, Sprints/Jumps – Jonesboro, La. (Jonesboro-Hodge)
A six-time state champion at Jonesboro-Hodge … claimed four Class 1A state titles in 2018, with first-place finishes and school-record performances in the 100-meter dash (12.19), 200-meter dash (24.77), long jump (18-8 ¼) and triple jump (38-11 ½) … named to the 2018 LSWA All-State Track and Field team in both the long jump and triple jump … helped JHS to a runner-up finish at the 2018 LHSAA Class 1A Track and Field Championships … earned state titles in the long jump (17-9) and triple jump (38-0 ½) at the 2017 Class 2A state meet, helping JHS to a runner-up finish … named the District 1-1A MVP in basketball after averaging 15 points and eight rebounds per game … selected to the Class 1A All-State and All-NELA teams.
Reagann Leleux, Pole Vault – New Iberia, La. (Catholic-New Iberia)
A 12-time state champion in track and field during her prep career at New Iberia's Catholic High School … won five consecutive indoor and outdoor state titles in the pole vault from 2014-18 … named to the 2018 LSWA All-State Track and Field team in the pole vault … coached by her father, Shane Leleux … claimed 2018 Class 2A state outdoor titles in the 100 meters (12.24), 200 meters (25.19) and pole vault (12-8 – Class 2A record) … jumped 13-3 at the 2017 Galleria Games … cleared 12-3 ½ to earn state champion honors at the 2018 LHSAA Division II meet … cleared a then Class 2A-record 12-7 to claim top honors at the 2015 state outdoor meet and 12-6 in 2016 … captured state titles as an eighth-grader in 2014, clearing 11-0 at the Class 2A outdoor meet and 11-7 during the indoor meet … a five-time district and four-time LHSAA Region II-2A champion in the pole vault … cleared 13-0 in the pole vault at the 2018 District 7-2A meet … cleared the bar at a personal-best 13-10 to earn first-place honors at the 2018 Reno National Pole Vault Summit … placed seventh overall at the 2018 New Balance Nationals Indoor, clearing 12-10 ¼ … cleared 12-6 at the 2016 Texas Relays … younger sister of 2016 Ragin' Cajuns All-American Morgann Leleux.
Kalei Matthews, Sprints – Independence, Kan. (Arizona State/Independence HS)
Posted top times in her lone season at Arizona State in both the 100-meters (11.97) and 200-meters (24.18) at the Baldy Castillo Invitational … clocked a time of 54.99 in the 400-meters to finish 10th at the Desert Heat Classic … ran leg of 4x100-meter relay team (45.12) and 4x400-meter relay team (3:39.57) that posted season-best times at the 39th Sun Angel Classic … was fifth in the 200-meters (24.57) at the Sun Angel Classic … posted time of 24.74 in the 200-meters at the Mt. SAC Relays … ran a leg of 4x100-meter relay (45.91) and 4x400-meter relay (3:44.42) that finished fifth and eighth respectively at the Pac-12 Championships. Indoor – Posted times in the 60-meter dash (7.84) and 200-meters (24.82) at the Texas Tech Shootout … posted top time in the 400-meters (57.06) at the Husker Invitational … placed 10th in the 400-meters (57.14) at the Texas A&M Quadrangular … member of the 4x400-meter relay team that produced a top time (3:47.24) at the Texas A&M Quadrangular … ran a leg of Arizona State's distance medley relay team that placed ninth overall (11:35.55) at the MPSF Indoor Track & Field Championships. 2016-17 (At Coffeyville CC): Outdoor – A NJCAA/USTFCCCA All-American in the 400-meters (55.38) and 4x400-meter relay (school-record 3:46.19) at Coffeyville Community College … finished second overall in the 200-meters (24.37) and 400-meters (54.01) at the 2017 Region VI Outdoor Championships … placed seventh overall in the 200-meters (24.32) at the John McDonnell Invitational. Indoor – Earned All-America honors in both the 200-meters (24.47) and 4x400-meter relay (school-record 3:44.78) at the NJCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships … helped Coffeyville to second-place finishes in both the 200-meters (24.63) and 4x400-meters (3:46.43) at the 2017 NJCAA Region VI Indoor Championships. 2015-16 (At Coffeyville CC): Outdoor – Earned NJCAA All-America honors in the both the 4x100-meter relay (46.35) and 4x400-meter relay (3:50.37) … helped Coffeyville to a sixth-place finish in the 4x100 at the Kansas Relays. Indoor – Earned All-America in the 4x400-meters at the NJCAA Indoor Championships after helping the Red Ravens to a seventh-place finish (3:53.33) … ran leg of CCC's second-place 4x400-meter squad at the NJCAA Region VI Championships (3:50.71) … ran time of 25.77 in the 200-meters at the Gorilla Classic. High School: State champion in the 100-meters, 200-meters, 4x100-meters and 4x400-meters at the 2016 KSHAA Class 4A meet … helped IHS to a second-place finish in the 4x100 and fourth-place finish in the 200-meters at the state meet as a junior … A 10-time letterwinner in tennis, basketball and track at Independence High School.
Shalei Matthews, Jumps – Independence, Kan. (Kansas/Independence HS)
In her inaugural season at Kansas, Finished fifth in the triple jump at the Oral Roberts Invitational (3/31) with a mark of 11.78 meters (38-7.75 ft.) ... Placed eighth in the triple jump at the Sun Angel Classic (4/6-7) with a mark of 11.61 meters (38-1.25 ft.) ... Placed fourth in the triple jump at the Kansas Relays (4/18-21) with a wind-aided mark of 11.63 meters (38-2 ft.) ... Became the No. 10 performer in KU history in the triple jump with a mark of 12.26 meters (40-2.75 ft.) at the National Relay Championships (4/27-28). Indoor - Made her Jayhawk debut at the Bob Timmons Challenge (12/2) where she finished first in the triple jump with a mark of 11.42 meters (37-5.75 ft.) ... Finished fourth in both the long jump (4.93m; 16-2.25 ft.) and the triple jump (11.42m; 37-5.75 ft.) at the KU-KSU-WSU Triangular (1/13) ... Finished fifth in the triple jump at the Mark Colligan Memorial (1/20) with a mark of 11.55 meters (37-10.75 ft.) ... Finished second in the triple jump at the Jayhawk Classic (1/25-26) with a mark of 11.27 meters (26-11.75 ft.) ... Notched a fourth-place finish in the triple jump with a mark of 11.70 meters (38-4.75 ft.) at the Rod McCravy Memorial (2/3) ... Finished 14th in the triple jump at the Big 12 Indoor Championship (2/23-24) with a mark of 11.57 meters (37-11.5 ft.). 2016-17 (At Coffeyville CC): Outdoor - Two-year letterwinner at Coffeyville Community College … competed in the Gorilla Classic (4/15) where she finished second with a wind-aided triple jump mark of 11.53 meters (37-10ft.) as well as 14th in the long jump where she had a wind-aided jump of 5.09 meters (16-8.5 ft.) … Contributed to a first place finish at the NJCAA Outdoor National Championships (5/18-20) in the 4x100-meter relay with a time of 46.01 seconds. Indoor - Had a fourth place finish at the Arkansas Invitational (1/13) in the triple jump with a mark of 11.39 meters (37-4.5 ft.) … Competed in the Southern Invitational (1/20-21) and posted a first place victory in the triple jump with a mark of 11.67 meters (38-3.5 ft.) and a tenth place finish in the long jump with a jump of 5.11 meters (16-9.25 ft.) … Took first place in the triple jump at the NJCAA Region VI Indoor Championships (2/17-18) where she had a career-best mark of 12.03 meters (39-5.75 ft.) … Placed fifth in the long jump at the NJCAA Region VI Championships with a career-best jump of 5.41 meters (17-9 ft.) … Posted a seventh place finish at the NJCAA Indoor Championships (3/3-4) with a triple jump mark of 11.99 meters (39-4 ft.), as well as a long jump of 4.73 meters (15-6.25 ft.), which was good for a 23rd-place, finish. 2015-16 (At Coffeyville CC): Outdoor - Took fifth place at the PSU Invitational (3/25) in the triple jump with a mark of 11.23 meters (36-10.25 ft.) … Placed first in the triple jump at the Cowley County Tiger Invite (4/1) with a wind-aided jump of 11.46 meters (37-8 ft.) and went on to place fifth in the long jump with a distance of 5.15 meters (16-10.75 ft.) … Had a career-best 100-meter dash time at the Gorilla Classic (4/16) where she finished in 12.35 which was good for eighth place … Contributed to a sixth place finish at the Kansas Relays in the 4x100-meter relay with a time of 47.29 seconds … Aided a third-place finish in the 4x100 relay at the NJCAA Region VI Outdoor Championships (4/28-30) with a time of 47.76 and placed second in the triple jump with a mark of 11.53 meters (37-10 ft.) … Contributed to a fourth-place finish at the NJCAA Outdoor National Championship in the 4x100 relay with a team time of 46.35. Indoor - Placed fifth at the MSSU Lion Invite (2/5-6) in the triple jump where she had a jump of 11.08 meters (36-4.25ft.) … Placed third at the NJCAA Region VI Championships (2/19-20) in the triple jump with a mark of 11.33 meters (37-2.25ft.) … Competed in the NJCAA Indoor Championships (3/4-5) where she placed eighth in the triple jump with a mark of 11.71 meters (38-5ft.). High School: A 10-time letterwinner in tennis, basketball and track at Independence High School … State champion in the 4x100-meter relay, 4x400-meter relay, and the triple jump.
Lea-Marie Diedicke, Multi – Halle, Germany (SV Halle Leichtathletik)
Finished fifth in the pentathlon in the U20 age group at the 2018 German Indoor Nationals … scored 4,129 points in the heptathlon at the 7th Open Central German Championships … scored 4,893 points in the heptathlon at the 2016 Open Central German Championships.
Kany Touré, Hurdles – Dudelange, Luxembourg (Sportlycee Letzebuerg)
Finished eighth in the 100-meter hurdles (14.59) at the 2017 European U20 Championships … clocked time in the 100-meter hurdles (14.34) at the 23rd 25th BAUHAUS Junior Gala in Mannheim, Germany… clocked personal-best time (14.09) in the 100-meter hurdles at the 2016 French Junior Championships.
Alexis James, Throws – Alton, Ill. (Barton County CC/Alton)
Earned All-America honors in the weight throw at the 2018 NJCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships … finished third in the event with a mark of 52-3 ¾ … qualified for nationals after posting a personal-best throw of 52-11 – the sixth-best in the NJCAA – at the 2018 Region VI Indoor Championships … ranked 40th nationally in the hammer throw and was 44th among 2018 NJCAA athletes in the discus … placed ninth overall in the hammer throw at the 2018 Region VI Outdoor Track & Field Championships with a personal-best mark of 139-11 … earned a spot at the 2017 NJCAA National Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the discus after a sixth-place finish and personal-best (132-10) at the Region VI Championships … posted a personal-best in the shot put and placed 13th overall at the 2017 Region VI Indoor Championships. High School: Established a personal-best and school-record mark in the discus (122-8) to finish second overall at the 2016 Southwest Conference Girls Championships … finished seventh at the IHSA 3A Girls Rock Island Sectional … named to the 2016 Belleville News-Democrat All-Area team … a two-time member of the St. Louis High School Sports Honor Roll.
Sydnea Guidry, Hurdles – Lafayette, La. (Teurlings Catholic)
A two-time District 5-4A and Region II-4A champion in the 300-meter hurdles at Teurlings Catholic … finished third overall in the 300-meter hurdles at the 2018 LHSAA State 4A Outdoor Championships … a member of the Rebels' 4x200-meter relay team and 4x400-meter relay team that set school records during the 2018 season.
India Brown, Sprints – Baton Rouge, La. (University Lab)
The Class 3A state runner-up in the 400-meters at the 2018 LHSAA meet … was second in the 400-meters at the LHSAA Region III-3A and third at the District 6-3A meet … finished fifth in both the 100-meters and 200-meters at the Region III-3A meet.
Payton Phares, Jumps/Multi – Lafayette, La. (St. Thomas More)
School-record holder in the high jump at St. Thomas More High School … placed fifth overall in the high jump at the 2018 LHSAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships … claimed District 5-4A honors in the high jump at the 2017 meet … finished third overall at both the Region II-4A and LHSAA Class 4A State Outdoor.
Ainsley Scott, Jumps – Mandeville, La. (Fontainebleau)
A two-time District 6-5A champion and St. Tammany Parish champion in the high jump at Fontainebleau High School … placed eighth in the high jump at the 2018 LHSAA Division I State Indoor Championships … finished seventh at the 2017 LHSAA Division I State Championships … was seventh in the high jump at the 2016 state indoor meet.
Kate Ferguson, Distance – Lafayette, La. (St. Thomas More)
Helped STM to an eighth-place finish at the 2017 LHSAA Class 4A Girl's Cross Country Championships … finished third overall in the 3,200-meters at the District 5-4A meet.