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Brown reclaims SWAC 60 Gold

TF2K24: Gallegos, Jones are Top Runners

By Winners OnlyPublished 2 months ago 3 min read
Tionna Brown

While many of the conferences around the NCAA are holding their indoor championships this weekend, Winners Only was able to cover the SWAC Championships last weekend, Feb. 17-18, in Birmingham, Alabama.

Florida A&M senior Tionna Brown made her anticipated return to the SWAC Championships after two years at LSU. As a freshman at Alabama State she won three gold medals at the 2021 SWAC indoor meet, winning the 60 meters, 200 meters and 1,600-meter relay. This time around as a competitor at Florida A&M, the Kokomo, Indiana native returned to glory in the 60 meters with a time of 7.39 seconds. The 200 meters was different, as she placed fourth (24.14) behind teammate Nya Blocker's finish of 23.34. Alabama State's Jaqual Bush won her second straight 200 meters silver, while last year's champ Asjah Harris took the bronze at 23.78.

"Competition in the HBCU world has gained a lot since my freshman year," Brown said after finishing both races. "This year was harder. I'm still trying to battle a lot of injuries. I'm trying to get fully healthy, but this year was definitely harder. Everybody stepped up their competition."

Over her two seasons at LSU, Brown became an SEC champ in the 400-meter relay. She also earned All-America honors in the event and Honorable Mention All-America recognition in the 100 meters. In the 60 meters at last weekend's SWAC meet, Brown held off her hard fighting freshman teammate Blocker who crossed the finish line at 7.42 seconds. Since Brown left the SWAC, Trinity Bolden was the only sprinter to capture 60 meters gold over the last two seasons. This year, the senior from Southern University placed third at 7.46 seconds.

Alcorn State had 21 total points at the SWAC championships. Every one of those points were scored by a first year member of the program. Teresa Gallegos previously ran at Western Texas College, last weekend she dominated the distance races at the SWAC indoor meet. Gallegos won the 3,000 meters on Feb. 17, closing the race at 10:43.15. "Coming from a junior college, they really helped and developed me to become a better runner like I am today," Gallegos said. "[NCAA Division I] is a lot different but from there to here, [this win] feels really good."

Photo: Teresa Gallegos

When asked how many gold medals that she wanted, Gallegos smiled and said, "I want more." The talented runner got more. The next day, Gallegos earned a top eight finish in the mile before getting that second gold medal with a win in the 5,000 meters. Gallegos' 5,000 meters win was delivered in dramatic fashion. She dominated the race until the finish line where Prairie View's Christina Fitzpatrick made a final push, nearly stealing the win. Gallegos won the race at 19:10.00 just ahead of Fitzpatrick's performance of 19:10.01.

Gallegos had to hold off a common opponent in both the 3,000 and 5,000 meters. Alabama State's Shamia Jones was the runner-up in the 3,000 meters and placed third in the 5,000 meters. She did however get the best of Gallegos in the mile championship race. In winning the mile, Jones won her 11th overall SWAC championship. Jones won the mile at 5:12.42. "It all came down to knowing my strengths," Jones said on what has made her a successful runner in the SWAC. "I knew I was strong enough to get through all of the races. It just took a lot of discipline and hard work." Jones has also won championships in the past in the 800 meters, 1,500 meters as well as the distance medley relay and 1,600 meter relay.

Photo: Kris-Ann Plummer, Shamia Jones & Abigail Pinnock

Gallegos was eighth in the mile at 5:32.21. The runner-up was Kris-Ann Plummer of Arkansas-Pine Bluff at 5:15.26. Plummer finished ahead of her teammate Abigail Pinnock at 5:19.45.


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