Coastal men, women in first at Big South Championships

The Coastal Carolina men’s and women’s track and field teams find themselves in first place following the opening day of the 2012 Big South Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday.

Fueled by four All-Big South Conference-worthy performances the Coastal Carolina women sit atop the team leaderboard after the first day of the conference meet at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium. The defending champion Lady Chanticleers scored 54 points on the day and lead Liberty (37) by 17 points.

The CCU men picked up a pair of all-conference honors and sits tied for first with defending champion Liberty after the first day of the 2012 Big South Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The Chanticleers and Flames both scored 27 points on the day and co-lead third-place Gardner-Webb (17) by 10 points.

Day Two resumes on Friday at noon with the decathlon 110m hurdles. CCU results from Day One are listed below:

Women

Throws
In the first final of the championship, senior Shantelle Patterson claimed runner-up honors in the women’s hammer throw. Patterson threw for 54.59m (179-01) to earn her third consecutive all-conference honor in the event. Senior Brittany Connor placed fourth overall with a throw of 51.62m (169-04). Anjulia Nicholson earned 14th, throwing for a distance of 45.77m (150-02) followed by Naomi Atkins in 15th with a 45.27m (148-06) effort.

The Chanticleers wrapped up 10 additional points in the javelin with finishes of fourth, sixth and seventh. Freshman Danielle England, who entered the event with the conference’s best distance of the year, narrowly missed the podium as she finished fourth with a distance of 38.29m (125-07). Classmates Otessa Velasquez and Tiffani Kuhn wrapped up their Big South Championship meet debuts with tosses of 36.50m (119-09) and 36.40 (119-05), respectively. Velasquez’s distance set a new personal-best.

Jumps
Junior Erica Peake earned Coastal’s first individual event title of the championship as she won the long jump. Peake, who had only competed in the long jump once prior to the meet, leapt for a career-best distance of 5.83m (19-01.50). Also picking up All-Big South honors in the event was senior Kierra Gabe. Gabe finished with a distance of 5.75m (18-10.50) to place second. Ashley Davis placed sixth with a leap of 5.64m (18-06.00) followed by Keegan Woodson in eighth with a distance of 5.55m (18-02.50). Both Davis’ and Woodson’s effort were career-bests.

Distance
Competing in only the second 10,000m run of her collegiate career, freshman Letitia Saayman led from the firing of the gun to the finish line to capture her first Big South crown. Saayman, who was trailed closely by second-place finisher Khristina Kanagy of Liberty for most of the race, pulled away from her pursuer over the final 200m on her way to winning the event in a time of 36:30.13. Sophomore Emily Marchini completed the 25-lap event in 38:19.91 to place 10th.

Day two of the 2012 Big South Championship resumes on Friday at noon with the decathlon 110m hurdles.

All-Big South Honorees
Erica Peake – Long Jump, champion
Letitia Saayman – 10,000m, champion
Kierra Gabe – Long Jump, second
Shantelle Patterson – Hammer, second

Men

Jumps

The Chanticleers were a single competitor away from sweeping the podium in the long jump; however, Charleston Southern’s Braxton Drummond broke the Chants stranglehold on the top three positions with a second-place worthy jump. Although Coastal was unable to sweep the first podium of the 2012 Big South Championship, sophomore Tyler Askew captured his first Big South title followed by Burton Jones II earning all-conference honors in third and Raheen Frederick in fourth. Askew leapt for a personal-record setting distance of 7.32m (24-00.25), winning the event by .03 meter. Jones II cleared 7.25m (23-09.25) and Frederick finished with a 7.16m (23-06.00) effort. The leaps were personal-bests for Jones II and Frederick.

Throws

Coastal scored six team points in the hammer throw as a trio of Chants claimed sixth through eighth place. Transfer James Gore led the Chanticleer contingent with a sixth-place finish of 51.99m (170-07). Gore’s efforts surpassed his previous personal-best by more than six meters. Following Gore was freshman Ryan Minor with a toss of 51.81m (170-00) to place seventh. Tyler Slapikas, a senior, came home eighth with a career-best throw of 51.51m (169-00). Cameron Griggs rounded the Coastal competitors with a final distance of 47.28m (155-01).

Distance

Freshman Evan Niciphor, running in his first 10,000m event of his career, placed 11th overall in the 23-competitor field as he stopped the clock in 32:04.71. Senior Kyle Kling placed 15th with a time of 32:42.39.

2012 All-Big South Honorees

Tyler Askew – Long Jump, champion
Burton Jones II – Long Jump, third

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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