Coastal’s Gelibert wins 400; Saayman runner-up in 3200

ccuwtrack-geliberthurdlesJessica Gelibert captured the 400-meter title, Letitia Saayman used a personal best to notch a runner-up finish and Imani Boatwright equaled her own school record to highlight the Coastal Carolina indoor track and field team’s performances on Friday’s first day of the JDL Hilton Garden Invitational in Winston Salem, NC.

Competing in her first meet of the season, Gelibert took first place in the 400 with a time of 55.93 for her third career indoor individual title. Chanticleers posted the top three collegiate times in the race and finished among the top four overall as Christal Green took third in a time of 56.41 and Camille Hurley was right behind in fourth with 56.55.

Saayman clocked a new career-best time of 9:45.75 in the 3,000 meters to finish second ahead of three runners from Wake Forest. She was the top collegiate finisher in the meet, trailing only former Clemson and All-ACC standout Kimberly Ruck. Coastal teammate Kyla van Graan placed seventh in the race with a time of 9:51.69.

Boatwright matched the program’s 800-meter record of 2:13.65 that she established at last year’s Big South Championships. She placed 12th in the field on Friday.

The Chanticleers also fared well in the short sprints, with all seven competitors in the 60-meter dash and 60-meter hurdle preliminaries advancing to Saturday’s semifinals. In the hurdles, Hurley led the way, equaling her season-best time of 8.67 to place 13th. Gelibert qualified 16th with a time of 8.88, just ahead of Christina Davis in 17th in 8.93. Olivia Coopwood’s time of in 9.29 was also good enough to advance.

In the 60-meter dash preliminaries, Teka Simpson won her heat and tied for fourth overall with a time of 7.72. Kelila Naules (7.99) and Ruby Durham (8.01) also were among the 32 runners to move on.

Simpson also placed ninth in the long jump with a mark of 5.38 meters (17-8.0). In the unseeded pole vault, Brianna Cristiano and Lizzie Allard were among a tie for 10th, each clearing 3.05 meters (10-0).

For the Coastal men, Desmond Wallace and Carrington Fernandors both advanced to the semifinals of the 60-meter hurdles. Wallace won his preliminary heat and was tied for eighth overall with a time of 8.25. Fernandors qualified 23rd in a time of 8.58. In the 60-meter dash, Alexander Haas and Therius Styles each advanced to the semis, with Hass clocking 6.87 and Styles winning his heat in 6.88.

Also Friday, Brinson Corn took third place in the unseeded pole vault, while clearing 4.40 meters (14-5.25), the top height of any competitor. Mark Stembridge placed fifth in the long jump with a mark of 6.94 meters (22-9.25). DeAndra Lipscomb finished ninth in the 400 meters in a time of 48.42 and Ryan Minor’s weight throw of 16.06 meters (52-8.25) was good enough for ninth.

The meet continues Saturday beginning with the 60-meter dash semifinals at 9:30 a.m. and wrapping up with the 4×400 relays late in the afternoon.

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