Stratford grad nabs GAC Track award

Apr. 11—RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. — Oklahoma Baptist University junior Jade Byrd was named the Great American Conference Field Athlete of the Week for a second consecutive time, the league announced Tuesday afternoon.

Byrd — a Stratford High School product — is the first Bison women's track and field athlete to garner the GAC's award in back-to-back weeks since Mary McKey, Olivia Tate, and Anisha Henderson accomplished the feat a season ago. Byrd has also repeated as the league's honoree another time in her career, as a freshman in 2022.

The junior collected her fifth-career nod after posting a win and a runner-up finish in the discus and hammer throw on Saturday at Arkansas' Spring Invitational.

Byrd's season-best toss of 48.61m (159-6) not only won the discus but also registered as the fifth-best mark in Division II. Her heave of 49.11m (161-1) in the hammer was the second-furthest mark in her career.

She already has six Top 4 finishes in the outdoor season, including three NCAA DII qualifying marks in the discus.