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VU’s versatile Kenneth Lloyd to continue track & field career with Eastern New Mexico

Versatile Vincennes University sophomore Kenneth “KJ” Lloyd has signed a national letter of intent to continue his collegiate track & field career at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, NM.

Lloyd put his signature on the paperwork with VU Coach Chris Gafner and several of Lloyd’s Trailblazer teammates and friends looking on. He said he was won over by ENMU because of the level of interest of and interaction with Greyhounds Assistant Coach Colton Coleman. But simply moving on to the next level of collegiate track & field is a dream come true in itself.

“I’ve always wanted to be a NCAA athlete; I didn’t care if it was (Division I or Division II), but I’ve always wanted to be able to say I compete at the NCAA level,” Lloyd said. “I’m excited to finally be getting close to that. I hope I can just keep improving … and jump seven feet (in the high jump).

“I’m also looking forward to being in a conference; even in high school, I was never in a conference,” he added. “That might not mean much to some people, but it’s sentimental to me.”

Lloyd has left his mark on a variety of events at VU. Recruited primarily as a high jumper, he has also competed in the long jump and, as a sophomore, contributed to the Trailblazers’ 4x100 Meter Relay team. In addition, Lloyd took up the javelin and quickly became competitive in that event.

The javelin throw was an unexpected ideal illustration of Lloyd’s abilities, Gafner said, because he competed for the first time in his career and worked on technique for a couple of meets, qualified for the national championship meet and placed seventh at the title event with a throw of 170 feet, 1 inch.

“It felt kind of weird being on the podium in that event,” Lloyd said with a grin.

In his primary event, the high jump, Lloyd’s top effort was a leap of 6 feet, 9.75 inches, at Wabash College’s Robert H. Johnson Little Giant Invitational, the 2015 indoor season’s opening event. His top long jump performance for VU was 22 feet, 6.25 inches (outdoor) at the Eastern Illinois Twilight Meet in May 2015.

With those top performances in his back pocket, Lloyd will prepare to compete in multiple events for Eastern New Mexico.

“KJ is not only a great athlete, but also a terrific person,” Gafner said. “He has been one of my all-time favorite athletes to coach. Eastern New Mexico is getting a phenomenal student-athlete in Kenneth Lloyd.”

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