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Cox, Shute, Watkins highlight SAA Track and Field honors

Head Coach Kenneth Cox, Karmin Shute, and Jamal Watkins (photos by Wynter Byrd)
Head Coach Kenneth Cox, Karmin Shute, and Jamal Watkins (photos by Wynter Byrd)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Birmingham-Southern won four of the conference's eight major Track and Field post-season awards, it was announced this week by the Southern Athletic Association, with Kenneth Cox being voted Coach of the Year, sophomore Jamal Watkins being voted both Men's Track Athlete of the Year and Newcomer of the Year, and sophomore Karmin Shute being voted Women's Track Athlete of the Year.

Additionally, the BSC men landed 13 athletes on All-Conference teams, while the women had 15 All-SAA individuals.

Watkins, a sophomore transfer from Hampton, Ga., entered the SAA with a bang akin to the starters' gun as he sprinted his way to both the track and league newcomer top awards. He collected four gold medals, two individual, at the 2016 SAA Championships by winning the 100- and 200-meter sprints in emphatic fashion. He also topped the podium after being the decisive runner in the victorious 4x100- and 4x400-meter relay squads for a Panther program that won its first SAA title. Watkins is a two-sport athlete for BSC, having won the distinction of Special Teams Player of the Year this past fall after playing for the football team.

A sophomore speedster from Fayetteville, Ga., Shute lit up the 2016 SAA Women's Track and Field Championship en route to earning the distinction of Women's Track Athlete of the Year. She tallied gold medals in the 200-meter dash and the 4x100- and 4x400-meter relays. Shute also placed second in the 400-meter dash and fifth in the 100-meter dash, events she was consistently inside the Top 5 all season in the SAA, to complete an outstanding two-day championship performance.

After six promising seasons as the head coach of the Panthers, Cox broke through in a big way in 2016, guiding the Panthers to their first SAA Men's Track and Field crown by a dominating margin of over 85 points. He coached up seven individual title winners from the SAA Championship as 'Southern dominated the meet with thirteen All-Conference performances. A native of North Carolina, Cox attended UNC Chapel Hill where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies in 1999. He was a member of the track and field team, competing in the 60- and 100-meter dash, and also walked on to the Tar Heel football team in 1997.

2016 SAA Men's Track & Field All-Conference Award Winners
Men's Track Athlete of the Year: Jamal Watkins of Birmingham-Southern
Men's Field Athlete of the Year: Renn Eason of Rhodes
Men's Newcomer of the Year: Jamal Watkins of Birmingham-Southern
Men's Coach of the Year: Kenneth Cox of Birmingham-Southern

2016 SAA Men's Track & Field All-Conference First Team
Will Knowlton (Berry)
Eli Sumner (Berry)
Jaylen Brooks-Carter (Birmingham-Southern)
Jalon Hollie (Birmingham-Southern)
Jonathan Kimbrough (Birmingham-Southern)
Scott Lewis (Birmingham-Southern)
Cameron Luster (Birmingham-Southern)
Kameron Morgan (Birmingham-Southern)
Michael Snow (Birmingham-Southern)
Andrew Triplett (Birmingham-Southern)
Jamal Watkins (Birmingham-Southern)
Victor Pataky (Centre)
Jared Lincoln (Hendrix)
Malik Willis (Oglethorpe)
Renn Eason (Rhodes)
Matt Dsida (Rhodes)
Spencer Fields (Rhodes)
Davis Couch (Sewanee)
Ridge Davis (Sewanee)

2016 SAA Men's Track & Field All-Conference Second Team
Sam Berendsen (Berry)
Kyle Harris (Berry)
Christopher Roberts (Birmingham-Southern)
Connor Wright (Birmingham-Southern)
J.D. Dotson (Centre)
Ivy Duggan (Centre)
Allen Hayes (Centre)
Tristen Morrow (Centre)
Isaac Toney (Centre)
Travis England (Hendrix)
Shaquille Grant (Hendrix)
Demarcus McDaniel (Hendrix)
Michael Spainhour (Hendrix)
Stephen Stearman (Hendrix)
Tej Suber (Rhodes)
Ky Andreson (Sewanee)
Amiel Emerson (Sewanee)
Alec Hill (Sewanee)
Tyler Fishback (Sewanee)

2016 SAA Men's Track & Field All-Conference Honorable Mention
Connor Jarecki (Birmingham-Southern)
Timothy McOmber (Birmingham-Southern)
Demontre Lewis (Centre)
Bryce Whitman (Centre)
Seth Yocum (Centre)
Sam Allen (Rhodes)
Jay Baker (Rhodes)
Reece Stevens (Rhodes)
Kelly McGee (Rhodes)
Nathaniel Plemons (Rhodes)
Will Raines (Rhodes)

2016 SAA Men's Track & Field All-Conference Award Winners
2016 SAA Women's Track Athlete of the Year:
 Karmin Shute of Birmingham-Southern
2016 SAA Women's Field Athlete of the Year: Kira Curry of Rhodes
2016 SAA Women's Newcomer of the Year: Arielle Shaw of Oglethorpe
2016 SAA Women's Coach of the Year: Jason Peters of Rhodes.

2016 SAA Women's Track & Field All-Conference First Team
Alexa Bilsky (Berry)
Danielle Ferro (Berry)
Reagan Pifer (Berry)
Rebecca Bryant (Birmingham-Southern)
Erin Davis (Birmingham-Southern)
Jothani Dixon (Birmingham-Southern)
Deja Hulbert (Birmingham-Southern)
Sage Jordan (Birmingham-Southern)
Halle Knowles (Birmingham-Southern)
Morgan Reynolds (Birmingham-Southern)
Markia Robinson (Birmingham-Southern)
Karmin Shute (Birmingham-Southern)
Serena Gale-Butto (Centre)
Sarah Hayhurst (Centre)
Emily Winkler (Centre)
Victoria Amadi (Hendrix)
Brittany Alexander (Rhodes)
Kira Curry (Rhodes)
Laurel Sharp (Rhodes)
Abby Watkins (Rhodes)

2016 SAA Women's Track & Field All-Conference Second Team
Alyssa Amberson (Birmingham-Southern)
Emory Builta (Birmingham-Southern)
Ashley Curry (Birmingham-Southern)
Earen Robinson (Birmingham-Southern)
Estrella Flores (Hendrix)
Arielle Shaw (Oglethorpe)
Reagan Alley (Rhodes)
Catherine Eckert (Rhodes)
Alice Fugate (Rhodes)
Ellery Hayden (Rhodes)
Rosie Lobelson (Rhodes)
Haley Pryor (Rhodes)
Kendall Reed (Rhodes)
Elasha Williams (Rhodes)
Amy Lee (Sewanee)

2016 SAA Women's Track & Field All-Conference Honorable Mention
Rachel Dorris (Berry)
Harper DeWine (Birmingham-Southern)
Emma Moore (Birmingham-Southern)
Brandy Orth Becker (Centre)
Annie Rodenfels (Centre)
Leah Boehl (Hendrix)
Tiatjah Johnson (Hendrix)
Sami Sexton (Hendrix)
Samantha Stockdale (Hendrix)
Nicolette Andrey (Oglethorpe)
May Mizell (Oglethorpe)
Emily Toomer (Oglethorpe)
Bailey Kramer (Rhodes)
Karagan Day (Sewanee)
Rachel Hudson (Sewanee)

The All-Conference Teams were decided by results at the 2016 SAA Track & Field Championships. Winning an event earned automatic placement on the First Team, whether done individually or on a relay team. A second place finish in an event at the Championships qualified student-athletes for placement on the Second team while third place results garnered Honorable Mention status.