Bethune-Cookman Sr. Keron Stoute unleaches a throw of 12.27m (40’3¼”) to win the Shot Put en route to retaining his MEAC Heptathlon crown PHOTO: BCU Athletics
FEBRUARY 19—Bethune-Cookman Sr. Keron Stoute, successfully defended his MEAC Indoor Championships Heptathlon title in leading a 1-2-3 sweep of the event, as the Wildcats had their highest finish in program history with 109 points—five short of being crowned conference champions.
Stoute who amassed 4659 points last year, scored an indoor personal best of 4778, with wins in the High Jump and Shot Put, during the championships held at the Prince George S&L Complex in Landover, Md. He was also third in the individual High Jump with a leap of 2.01m (6’7”).
Stoute began his title defense with a second placed finish in the 60m dash, getting to the line in 7.16 seconds, good for 828 points. He then had a second placed Long Jump leap of 6.66m (21’10¼”) and 734 points to his tally. His first of two victories came in the Shot Put, where he heaved the 16 lbs ball, 12.27m (40’3¼”), then cleared the High Jump bar in his pet event with a winning leap of 2.02m (6’7½”) worth 822.
He narrowly missed winning the 60m Hurdles by .02 seconds, after clearing the barriers in 8.67 seconds to add another 820 towards his total. A Pole Vault leap of 3.10m (10’2”) placed him seventh and a 381 score before another seventh place in the 1000m in 3:09.74, gave him 572 and his final, 4778 tally.
“There were a lot of people thinking that I wasn’t going to be able to repeat it,” Stoute said. But, it’s special to repeat. As you can see, our team came very close to winning the championships and I wanted to make sure that I did my part. It would have been even better if I had also repeated as MVP but I came up just two points short, so that was kind of bitter sweet.”
Last year, Stoute said he relied heavily on his jumps for big scores but this time around he focused on events he doesn’t typically do well in such as the Hurdles, 1000m and Shot Put. His performance he said is indicating that he’s making progress and the BVI National Record and MEAC Conference Record are
within reach. “I just have to keep working hard and it should be attainable,” he said.
Stoute, who last year became the 11th BVI athlete since 1979 to win a collegiate conference title—a combined 19 overall—with 10 titles won in the last 5-years, is the third BVI athlete to repeat indoors, joining Keita Cline who pulled off the feat in 1994 and 1995 at the University of Minnesota in the Triple Jump and Portland State’s Karene King the last in 2011 and 2012.
It also marked the fifth straight year that one of the territory’s athletes has been a conference champion. The territory’s athletes have won titles in eight different collegiate conferences competing in 10 different disciplines and 11 of the titles have been won indoors.