COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Competing with the nation’s most elite talent, junior Erica Bougard posted a personal-best 4,458 points to win the Southeastern Conference pentathlon title on Thursday at Texas A&M’s Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium.
The only woman to compete for the Mississippi State track and field team on day one of the 2014 SEC Indoor Championships, Bougard recorded the ninth-best pentathlon score in collegiate history. Her score also improves the MSU record (previously 4,399) set by the Byhalia, Miss., native during her championship performance at last year’s NCAA Indoors.
Bougard entered the meet ranked third nationally in the event and became the first MSU athlete to win the pentathlon at the SEC Championships.
“I knew there would be a lot of good competition this week, and I knew I had to come out strong,” Bougard said. “Getting this win was a big deal for me. I had fun out there, and that’s the most important thing.”
Georgia’s Kendell Williams (4,283) and Lucie Ondraschkova (4,225) finished second and third, respectively, as Bougard dominated the country’s two highest-ranked athletes in the event.
The junior’s performance was highlighted by a win in the long jump (20-01.75) and a second-place finish in the high jump as she cleared 5-10.00 to tie a personal record. Bougard also tossed a personal-best 40-11.50 in the shot put to garner a spot in second.
“After how hard Erica has worked the past few years, she is so deserving of this accomplishment,” MSU coach Steve Dudley said. “We are proud to call one of our own a conference champion, and I can’t wait to see how the rest of our women perform tomorrow.”
Bougard’s win gave MSU 10 points in the team competition to place the women in second heading into day two.
Action tomorrow in College Station begins at 1:30 p.m. ESPNU will show a live streaming on Friday from 1:55 p.m. – 6:35 p.m.
For the latest information on MSU track and field, fans may follow the team on Twitter (@HailStateTF) and Instagram (HailStateTF).
Day One Results
Women’s Pentathlon Final: Erica Bougard, Mississippi State, 4,458
Pentathlon 60m Hurdles: Kendell Williams, Georgia, 8.27
MSU: 2. Erica Bougard, 8.57 (1,046)
Pentathlon High Jump: Kendell Williams, Georgia, 5-11.25
MSU: T2. Erica Bougard, 5-10.00 (953)
Pentathlon Shot Put: Jena Hemann, Texas A&M, 41-07.00
MSU: T2: Erica Bougard, 41-11.50 (693)
Pentathlon Long Jump: Erica Bougard, 20-01.75 (893)
Pentathlon 800m: Brittany Harrell, Florida, 2:16.23
MSU: 2. Erica Bougard, 2:16.41 (873)
Women’s Team Standings (through 1 event)
1. Georgia 15
2. Mississippi State 10
3. Florida 5
4. Arkansas 4
5. South Carolina 3
6. Texas A&M 2