Lady Chants run past Flames for Big South title repeat

The Coastal Carolina women’s track and field team entered the third and final day of the 2012 Big South Championship trailing Liberty by 4.5 points; however, the Chanticleers would outscore the Lady Flames 20-1 in the 400m-dash to take the lead for good on its way to a 234-214.5 championship victory.

The Chanticleers captured eight individual event championships and 19 All-Big South Conference honors on their way to winning a second consecutive championship and seventh in the last nine years. Additionally, Emily Marchini was named to the Big South All-Academic team for the first time in her career.

Sprints/Hurdles
Erica Peake upset top seeded Gabrielle Houston in the 100m-dash to win the gold. Peake crossed the finish line in 11.75, a mere .05 second ahead of Charleston Southern’s Houston. The individual championship was Peake’s second of the meet as she also won the women’s long jump title on Thursday. Gabrielle Lee claimed fifth in the event with a 12.17 followed by Ashley Davis in sixth with a 12.33.

Peake again upset Houston’s top-seeded time in the 200m with an impressive finishing burst. The Spartanburg, S.C., product stopped the clock in 23.70 to take her third individual gold medal. Qwontajah Thompson placed sixth in 25.45 and Lee ran a 25.54 to claim eighth.

Ashley Davis picked up the second all-conference honor of her career with a bronze medal showing in the 100m hurdles. Davis, a Spartanburg, S.C., native ran a career-best time of 14.00. Camille Hurley placed sixth in a personal-best 14.22 to tally three team points.

Coastal secured two places on the podium in the 400m as Santresa Jamison and Qwontajah Thompson took second and third, respectively, in the event. Jamison clocked a season-best 55.94 followed closely by Qwontajah Thompson with a 57.34. Thompson’s third-place finish earned the Myrtle Beach product her first career all-conference honor. Jerica Howard placed seventh in the final with a 58.44.

Newcomer Christina Davis earned her first career all-conference honor in the 400m hurdles as she placed third with a time of 1:04.47. Caitlin Baker came home fifth in 1:04.97.

Relays
Coastal’s 4x100m relay team defended its 2011 title, winning the event for the second consecutive year in a time of 45.63. The time was a season-best for the quartet of Lee, Peake, A. Davis and Q. Thompson.

The Chats’ 4x400m relay team also took home the championship, crossing the line four second ahead of runner-up Liberty. The team of Q. Thompson, Jamison, Peake and Sharmaine Barnes combined to stop the clock in 3:45.72.

Jumps
Kierra Gabe earned her third all-conference honor of the event as she won the silver in the triple jump. Gabe, who won the high jump and placed second in the long jump, leapt for 12.31m (40-04.75). Peake, triple jumping for the first time this season, placed eighth overall with a distance of 11.68m (38-04.00). Caitlin Baker finished 10th, clearing 11.38m (37-04.00) followed by Anna Carnegie (11.37m (37-03.75)) in 11th.

Mid-Distance
Senior Christian Johnson bested the previous meet record in the 1,500m run; however, Jennifer Klugh also beat the previous record, relegating Johnson to a second-place finish. Johnson used a strong kick over the final 200m to finish in a career-best time of 4:31.03. Shelby Nicosia placed sixth, crossing the line in 4:41.21 followed immediately by Sophie Perry in seventh with a time of 4:43.85.

Johnson earned her second All-Big South honor of the day in the 800m. The Cleveland Heights, Ohio, native stopped the clock in 2:13.94 to place third overall. Perry nearly netted her first all-conference award as she placed fourth with a time of 2:17.09.

Distance
Letitia Saayman continued to impress in her first championship meet. After winning the 10,000m run on Thursday, the Pretoria, South Africa, native placed second in the 5,000m run in 17:32.56. The freshman paid homage to Olympic great and current CCU volunteer assistant coach Zola (Budd) Pieterse by competing in the race barefooted. Senior Christian Johnson finished sixth in the event with a season-best time of 17:51.54. Emily Marchini (18:07.55) placed 11th followed by Stephanie Taylor (18:13.51) in 13th.

Throws
Chanticleer junior Anjulia Nicholson capped the throwing events with a runner-up finish in the discus, claiming all-conference honors in the process. Nicholson threw for a season-best distance of 46.80m (153-06). Also scoring valuable team points was senior Brittany Connor with a sixth-place-worthy finish of 42.12m (138-02). Shantelle Patterson, competing in her first discus event in more than a year, placed 21st overall as she tossed the implement 36.12m (118-06). Naomi Atkins rounded out the Coastal contingent in 22nd with a throw of 35.79m (117-05).

All-Big South Honorees
Erica Peake – Long Jump, champion; 100m, champion; 200m, champion
Letitia Saayman – 10,000m, champion; 5,000m, second
Kierra Gabe – High Jump, champion; Long Jump, second; Triple Jump, second
Shantelle Patterson – Hammer, second
Mary Lawrence – Pole Vault, champion
Anjulia Nicholson – Discus, second
4x100m Relay – champions
Gabrielle Lee, Erica Peake, Ashley Davis, Qwontajah Thompson
Christian Johnson – 1,500m, second; 800m, third
Ashley Davis – 100m hurdles, third
Santresa Jamison – 400m, second
Qwontajah Thompson – 400m, third
4x400m Relay – champions
Qwontajah Thompson, Santresa Jamison, Erica Peake, Sharmaine Barnes
Christina Davis – 400m hurdles, third

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