By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
TARAJH Hudson capped off his season at Northwestern State University after advancing to the NCAA East Prelims in the discus by being named the Freshman of the Year for the Southland Conference.
Hudson finished 24th with a toss of 174-feet, 11-inches in the discus at the NCAA East Prelims. He qualified for that stage by winning the NSU Last Chance Meet with a personal best of 186-6, a mark that bested NSU’s previous school record and sits in second behind teammate Djimon Gumbs.
“It was an honour. There are a lot of talented freshmen in track and field in the conference, so to be voted as the best by the coaches is an honour,” Hudson said.
“It proved that no hard work goes unnoticed. When you do your best, people will see you and reward you for it.”
Also this year, at the SLC Championships, Hudson captured bronze in the discus with 176-9 as NSU swept the podium and he added a sixth-place effort in the shot put with a season-best 51-5 1/2.
Hudson also had six top-three finishes in the discus, including wins at NSU Last Chance and SFA. He finished second at NSU and Texas State with a third-place at Miss. College.
During the indoor season, Hudson competed in five meets in the shot put with a season-best of 47-3 at the SLC Championships as he placed 11th overall and he also had three top-10 finishes with an eighth-place at Texas A&M topping the list.
“It was a good freshman season. I made it to Regional, which was my goal. I got to see what the competition was like in order to compete at the Nationals,” Hudson said.
“I think I took a lot of things away from this season that will help me as I prepare for Nationals next year. It was a good foundation year for me.”
As he looks back on his season, Hudson said the trip to the Regionals where he really enjoyed himself was the highlight before he was named as the Freshman of the Year.
But he said his greatest disappointment was when he went to the Texas Relays and it took him a while to get adjusted to the new implements that he had to work with.
“I think I still have to develop more strength and being able to compete in high pressure situations,” said Hudson, who is delighted to be able to return home and get back to his off-season training with coach Corrington Maycock and the Blue Clip Athletics Track Club.
Next weekend, Hudson said he will be competing in the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations National Track and Field Championships at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium.
Having already qualified for the NACAC Championships, Hudson said he would like to improve on his personal best performance before he returns to school in August.
Hudson, a graduate of St Augustine’s College where competed in track and field and volleyball, has made the Dean’s List as a health and sicience major who wants to throw professionally before starting a career in physical therapy.
The 19-year-old 6-foot, 41/2-inch athlete is the son of Taraseta and former natioal team volleyball player Oral Hudson. He has one brother Tajaro and one sister Taja.