Lady Chants net Big South indoor track three-peat

ccuwtrack-gelibertThe Coastal Carolina women’s track and field team once again dominated on the second day of the Big South Championships, capturing eight event titles en route to winning their third straight conference championship on Friday.

The Chanticleers totaled 150.5 points on the day to turn a 22.5-point deficit into a 196.5-140 victory over Liberty and record the program’s second women’s indoor three-peat, eighth conference title overall and seventh in the last 10 years.

Jessica Gelibert won both the 60-meter hurdles and 400-meter championships. Letitia Saayman set a meet record to win the 5,000 meters, Aynslee van Graan won the mile run, Amirah Al-Bayyinah repeated as the triple jump champion and Teka Simpson took the high jump title. Gelibert also teamed with Camille Hurley, Christal Green and Takeyra Jenkins-Dodd to give Coastal the 4×400 relay title for the third straight year.

Geilbert was named the meet’s Most Outstanding Track Athlete, while Al Bayyinah was selected the Most Outstanding Field Athlete after completing the long jump-triple jump double. A total of 13 different Chanticleers combined to earn 25 all-conference honors.

Aynslee van Graan got the day off to a good start for the Chants with her victory in the mile run, while clocking 4:52.58. Sister Kyla van Graan added five points with a fourth-place finish in 5:01.78.

Gelibert then led a 1-2-3 finish in the 60-meter hurdles, besting the field with a time of 8.47. Camille Hurley took second in 8.63 and Christina Davis placed third in a season-best 8.70. The 24 total points for the event put Coastal in the lead over Liberty 85-79.5.

The Chants widened the lead by placing three in the top five spots of the 400-meter final. Gelibert clocked 55.52 for her third career individual conference indoor title. Hurley finished third in a season-best 55.89 and Christal Green placed fifth in 56.53.

Teka Simpson, Symphony Thompson and Kelila Naules then provided 12 points in the 60-meter dash final, led by a third-place finish by Simpson in 7.73. Thompson recorded a season-best 7.81 to place fifth and Naules was seventh in 7.84.

Simpson captured her first individual indoor title in dramatic fashion, clearing a personal-best 1.68 meters (5-6.0) on her second attempt to edge out a Gardner-Webb competitor by .03 meters. Raven Hamilton and Chloe White combined to add 6.5 points in the event as Hamilton cleared 1.60 meters and placed fifth, while White did the same and tied for sixth.

Simpsoon added a runner-up finish in the 200 meters with a time of 24.78, with Green right behind her in third, clocking 24.91.

Al-Bayyinah completed the long jump-triple jump double and won her second straight triple jump championship with a winning mark of 12.35 meters (40-6.25). Sophomore Courtney Lawson backed her teammate up with a runner-up finish, thanks to a personal-best leap of 12.01 meters (39-5) on her second jump.

Saayman then broke her own meet record and set a program record of 16:52.74 to win the 5,000-meter crown. She bested teammate Kyla van Graan’s mark of 16:53.40 from last season to win the race by 33 seconds.

Aynslee van Graan and Imani Boatwright each clocked season-best times in the 800 to finish third and fourth, respectively. Van Graan finished in 2:16.30, while Boatwright was right behind in 2:16.66.

Photo courtesy of BSC

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