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Track and Field Announce Six Signees

Nov. 30, 2017

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Southern Miss track and field coach Jon Stuart announced the signing of six student-athletes to the program. Eric Richards, Jasmine Griffin, Trey Johnson, Lina May, Sandra Szpott, and Kaylee Payton that will be joining the Golden Eagles in the fall of 2018.

“I’m very pleased to welcome this excellent group of student-athletes to Southern Miss, said Stuart. “There are some extremely talented athletes in this group that can have an immediate impact on C-USA, the East Region, and quite possibly, the NCAA Championships. Our assistant coaches have put in many hours to help secure another great class and I can’t thank them enough for all their hard work.”

Richards of Raymond, Miss., currently competes in the high jump for Hinds Community College. As a freshman last spring, he recorded a second-place finish in the high jump at the 2017 NJCAA Outdoor National Championship. At the NJCAA Indoor Championship, Richards registered a fourth-place finish. In 2016, he was the Mississippi High School State Champion and recorded a fourth-place finish at the New Balance Nationals. He has a personal best of 7’2.5 jump set at the Mike McMillian Invitational hosted by Mississippi College.

Griffin of Homewood, Ala., is a senior at Homewood High School where she competes in the sprints and hurdles. She is the 2017 Alabama State Champion in the 60m, 100m, 400m sprints and the 300m hurdles. Griffin also was the 2016 Alabama State Champion in the 300m hurdles and the 400m sprints. She placed ninth in the 60m at the New Balance Indoor Nationals. Griffin has a personal bests of 7.50 in the 60m and 43.11 in the 300m hurdles.

Johnson of Fayetteville, Ga. is a senior at Fayette County High School, where he competes in the 200m, 400m, 800m. He is the 2017 Georgia 5A State Runner-Up in the 400m. Johnson has personal bests of 22.05 in the 200m, 47.23 in the 400m and 1:55.73 in the 800m.

May of Vancleave, Miss, is a senior at Vancleave High School where she runs the 1600m, 3200m, and 5k races. She is a five-time state champion in Cross Country, a state champion in the 3200m and 1600m races along with holding the current state one mile record. May has been named to the All-State Team in Cross Country five times and has over forty first place titles in High School. May has personal bests of 5:18 in the 1600m and 18:20 in the 5K.

Szpott of Wyrzysk, Poland will be joining the Golden Eagles from Garden City Community College by way of New Mexico Military Institute. While at NMMI Szpott placed third at the 2016 NJCAA National Cross Country Championships before claiming second at the 2017 NJCAA Nationals with Garden City. She was also named NJCAA Cross Country All-American in 2017. Szpott has personal bests of 17:39 in the 5k and 36:13 in the 10k.

Payton of Jefferson City, Missouri, is a senior at Jefferson City High School, where she competes in mid-distance and distance races. Payton is the 2017 Missouri District Champion in the 1600m and 3200m. She has personal bests of 5:27 in the 1600m, 11:57 in the 3200m and 19:07 in the 5K.

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