Peake takes ninth at NCAAs, teammates shine at home

Erica Peake improved on her Coastal Carolina and Big South Conference-record time in the 200 meters Friday night while placing ninth overall at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships at the University of Arkansas’ Randal Tyson Track Complex.

Peake clocked a time of 23.40 in the event’s preliminary round, narrowly missing out on qualifying for the final by one spot. Christy Udoh of Texas was eighth in the preliminaries with a time of 23.31.

As a result of reaching the NCAA meet, Peake earned second team All-American honors. She is the fourth Coastal Carolina woman to achieve indoor All-American status, joining Jolene Williams, Amber Campbell and Chasity Johnson. The top eight finishers at the NCAA meet are named first-team All-Americans.

Running in the first of four preliminary heats, Peake trimmed .07 seconds off her time from last week’s Virginia Tech Final Qualifier and placed third behind Texas A&M’s Ashton Purvis and Clemson’s Dezerea Bryant. Udoh recorded her time in the second heat.

The meet concluded a spectacular indoor season for Peake. The senior from Spartanburg broke her own CCU record in the 200 three different times and set new school-marks in the 60-meter dash twice. In addition to setting new Big South records in the 60 and 200, she totaled eight combined individual event titles in the 60, 200 and long jump, including sweeping all three at the conference meet, which duplicated her performance at last year’s Big South outdoor event. Peake was also a part of the 4×400 relay team that set a new Coastal record.

Meanwhile back in Conway, freshmen Teka Simpson and Kelila Naules opened their collegiate outdoor careers in exciting fashion finishing first and second, respectively, in the women’s long jump at the CCU Invitational Friday afternoon. The men’s 4×800 team highlighted the men’s side with a third-place finish.

Simpson completed a jump of 5.75 meters to take the crown in the long jump while Kelila Naules finished with a jump of 5.50 meters. Fellow freshman Amirah Al-Bayyinah finished fourth in the long jump with a distance of 5.41 meters.

The 4×800 team consisting of junior Ryan Beckley, junior Cameron Wells, sophomore Joseph Keitt and sophomore Tyler Cummings finished with a time of 7:55.84 just five seconds behind the second-place team from Wake Forest.

Senior Anjulia Nicholson finished third in the women’s hammer throw with a distance of 48.56 meters while senior Mary Lawrence tied for fourth in the pole vault with a height of 3.35 meters. Sophomore Tiffani Kuhn wrapped up CCU’s performance on the women’s side with a fifth-place finish in the javelin throw with a distance of 35.63 meters.

Sophomore Reggie Nelson highlighted the men’s individual performances with a fourth-place finish in the long jump with a distance of 6.49 meters. Freshman Wesley Edwards placed eighth in the same event with a jump of 6.09 meters. Junior Cameron Griggs came in with a seventh-place finish in the hammer throw with a distance of 51.85 meters while freshman Jordan Entwistle and junior Tyler Slapikas finished seventh and eighth in the javelin throw with distances of 53.53 meters and 52.54 meters, respectively.

The CCU Invitational continues tomorrow at 10 a.m. with the majority of the running events along with the discus, shot put, high jump, pole vault and triple jump.

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