CCU, Peake wrap up strong weekend at Virginia Tech Invitationals

Two Coastal Carolina indoor records were broken and the Chanticleers turned in eight top-five finishes at the Virginia Tech Invitational on Saturday in Blacksburg, Va.

Senior Erica Peake won the 200-meter race and became the first Coastal runner to break the 24.00-second mark in an indoor meet, clocking a time of 23.96. She broke her own record of 24.16, which she set at last year’s Big South Championships.

For the second straight day, the Coastal senior beat out East Carolina’s Tania Minkins (24.27) to win an event. Peake claimed her third individual win this season and earned her first 200-meter indoor victory since the Big South Championships in 2011.

Peake later helped the Chants cap off the strong day, combining with freshman Jessica Gelibert and sophomores Qwontajah Thompson and Sharmaine Barnes to set a new school indoor record in the 4×400 relay. The quartet recorded a time of 3:45.76 to place second in the event behind only East Carolina, their second runner-up finish in as many meets. The time easily bettered the previous record of 3:48.42, set last year by Peake, Barnes, Thompson and Santresa Jamison.

Peake added a third-place finish in the long jump while setting a new indoor personal-best of 5.76 meters (18-10.75).

Freshman Teka Simpson also posted two individual top-five finishes Saturday. Simpson was runner-up in the high jump, clearing 1.65 meters (5-5.0) for the second time in as many meets. She then placed fifth in the long jump with a leap of 5.52 meters (18-1.50), bettering her top distance from the season’s first meet by more than three feet.

Gelibert notched her second top-three finish in the 400 meters this season, placing third Saturday in a time of 56.46. Gelibert won the event in last month’s season-opening meet at Clemson.

Thompson finished fifth in the event in a time of 56.67. Thompson also placed seventh in the 200 meters with a personal-best time of 24.80. In the 3,000 meters, sophomore Letitia Saayman and junior Emily Marchini finished fifth and sixth, respectively. Saayman clocked a time of 10:10.77, while Marchini followed just behind in 10:11.01.

Coastal’s distance medley relay team of Jessica Dennison, Christina Davis, LaChelsie Thomas and Shelby Nicosia finished eighth in a time of 12:26.20 and Naomi Atkins placed ninth in the shot put with a throw of 11.72 meters.

The Chanticleers return to competition Friday, January 25 at the George Mason Invitational.

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