Feb. 11, 2012
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -
Western Carolina's track & field teams posted 19 top five finishes including top collegiate finishes in the women's 60m hurdles, the men's and women's 400m, the women's 3000m run, the men's and women's 4x400m relays, the men's high jump, men's pole vault and men's triple jump events at the JDL College Invitational Meet at the brand new facility in Winston-Salem, N.C.
The men's and women's 4x400m teams continued their streak of excellent finishes for the 2011-12 indoor season. For the third time this season the women's "A" team has placed in the top three, picking up its second victory of the season with a time of 3:51.55. The women's team consisted of Brittany Diggs, Shiniqua Pryor, Genevieve Emrick and Felisha Garren. The men's "A" team of Aaron Tribble, Brandon Hairston, Demari Boswell and Benny Davis picked up its fourth victory of the season with a time of 3:18.82. Neither men's nor women's team has finished the relay outside of the top five in any meet this season. The WCU "B" teams both placed third with the women crossing the stripe in 3:59.04 and the men in 3:24.80.
The men's team was very successful in the field Saturday afternoon. Catamounts Jordan Orr and Bob McNeil picked up wins in the high jump and the triple jump with Orr clearing the bar in 2.05m while McNeil jumped a long of 14.55m. McNeil also earned a third place finish in the long jump with a best jump of 6.87m.
In the pole vault, Keith Leonard was the top collegiate finisher, earning second place by successfully clearing 4.55m. The vault was a personal best for the sophomore. On the women's side, Ashley Wala placed fourth (3.35m) while teammates Kayla Heineike and Summer Hughes tied for sixth with a clearance of 3.05m.
In the throws, senior Jamie Van Pelt earned second place in the weight throw with a long of 17.07m, just shy of the personal best he earned last week of 17.21m. For the women, freshman Alisha Bradshaw continues to rack up top ten finishes, earning fifth in the shot put with a throw of 13.14m and third in the weight throw (14.94m). It is the ninth and tenth time that Bradshaw placed in the top ten this indoor season. Classmate Aleisha Archie-McMillan placed ninth in the weight throw with a best of 13.19m.
Back on the track, freshman Xaviera Bass was the top collegiate finisher in the 60m hurdles, finishing fourth with a time of 8.90. Jocelyn Keen earned a second place finish in the 800m, crossing in 2:14.09. Teammate Lena Elliott finished just behind Keen in 2:18.08, placing ninth.
Mara Smith led all collegiate runners in the 3000m run, knocking 23 seconds off of her previous best time to run a new personal best 10:12.63, placing second.
In an event that the Catamounts traditionally do well at, the top collegiate runners in the 400m both came from Western Carolina. Felisha Garren placed second overall with a time of 55.90. Teammates Shiniqua Pryor (58.43) placed fifth while Brittany Diggs (58.93) finished seventh. On the men's side, Benny Davis also finished second overall with a time of 48.88 while Brandon Hairston crossed the stripe in 48.97, finishing third.
“Today was a long day, but we had some kids that performed well,” said head coach Danny Williamson. “We’re going to see what kind of team we can put together for the conference meet based on what we’ve done so far this season. Overall, though, we had some good performances and we’re going to continue to try to do better.”
A few Catamounts will head to Boone this Friday for the ASU Valentine Invitational while the majority of the Western Carolina track & field now has two weeks to prepare for the Southern Conference Indoor Championships to be held at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. A season ago the Catamounts placed second overall in the conference meet.