March 2, 2014
Winston-Salem, N.C. - Western Carolina men's and women's track and field teams claimed the 2014 indoor Southern Conference Championships over the two-day meet at the JDL Fast Track as head coach Danny Williamson picked up Coach of the Year Honors on both sides, while on the men's side Jared Johnson earned Most Outstanding Field Performer and Josh McSwain was named Freshman of the Year.
For the men it is the fifth indoor championship and second in the past three seasons as WCU earned the title last in 2012. On the women's side, it is the eighth total indoor championship and second in as many seasons. It is the fourth time WCU has claimed the title in back-to-back seasons.
WCU has now swept the indoor championships three times adding the 2014 sweep to the 1999 and 2008 sweeps.
Jared Johnson won the men's shot put on the opening day claiming 10 points for the Catamounts with a distance of 15.51m, his farthest distance this season. He followed his day one performance with another first place finish and another 10 points for the Catamounts with a distance of 18.18m shattering his pervious personal best of 16.85m in the first meet of the season.
McSwain picked up his Freshman of the Year honors after a first place finish and 10 points in the long jump on day with a distance of 7.30m. His day one mark was a personal best in the long jump. McSwain followed up with a third place finish and a personal best 15.19m in the triple jump claiming six points for the Catamounts.
After sitting in third place after day one on the men's side, the WCU vaulted to the top early in the day and pulled away to win the meet by 35 points over second place Appalachian State. The Catamounts finished with 185 points, the most points by a team since the Mountaineers scored 216.33 points in 2011. ASU finished second with 150 points, with Samford in third and The Citadel in fourth with 112 points and 66 points respectively. Furman took fifth with 65 points.
The women's team held the day one and finished with 132 points, 12.5 points ahead of second place App State, who scored 120.5 points. Georgia Southern took third with 119 points, while Samford and Elon finished in fourth and fifth after 113.5 points and 88 points.
On the men's side, WCU picked up 22 points in the 60m hurdles as Marquis Bailey, who ran personal best 8.18 seconds in the prelims on day one, followed with a time of 8.35 seconds and the top podium spot claiming 10 points. Abraham Faison followed with a time 8.35 seconds, just getting edged by Baily in a photo finish earning eight points. Sam Lusty added four points with a time of 8.62 seconds.
The Catamounts had four more athletes score points in the 60m dash with Jeffery Hendricks claiming five points and fourth place with a time of 6.91 seconds. Jerry Wickerson followed with a time of 6.94 earning four points and fifth place, and Jermaine Lewis and Earl Rahming earning three points and one point with sixth and eighth place finishes after times of 6.96 seconds and 7.06 seconds respectively.
WCU did its biggest damage of the day in the 400m racking up 25 points as the Catamounts had the first place finisher, the third place finisher, the fourth place finisher, the sixth place finisher and the eighth place finisher. Aaron Harris ran a time of 48.48 seconds taking first and earning 10 points, while Rahming took third with a time of 48.80 - his best 400m time of the season. Adrian Ortado earned five points and fourth place with a time of 49.70 seconds. Demari Boswell ran a time of 50.43 seconds taking sixth and earning three points, while Eric Blake ran a time of 50.98 seconds earning eighth and claiming one point.
The Catamounts claimed 21 points in the 200m dash after Hendricks claimed second picking up eight points with a time of 22.16 seconds - his best time of the season. Wickerson picked up six points and a third place finish with a time of 22.29, while Rahaming scored in this third event of the day with four points and fifth place finish with a time of 22.47 seconds. Ortado ran a time of 22.80 seconds picking up two points and taking seventh place. Boswell ran a time of 22.83 earning a point and finishing in eighth place.
The quad group of Rahmaing, Harris, Roswell and Ortado took the top spot in the 4x400m relay with a time of 3:19.35 earning ten points.
The Catamounts scored 23 points in the heptathlon with Christian Carswell wining the event with 4,681 points claiming ten points towards WCU's total. Lusty followed in second with 4,648 points picking up eight for WCU, while Tyler Bell earned fourth place with 4,072 points earning five for the team total.
Trailing McSwain's third place in the triple jump that earned him all-freshman team honors, Bob McNeil took fourth place with a distance of 14.84m for his best jump of the season, while David Johnson followed with a distance of 14.43m picking up fifth place and four points for the Catamounts.
On the women's side, WCU picked up 11 points in the 60m hurdles with Xaveria Bass finishing in third place earning six points with a time of 8.75 seconds. Shermell Wilkins finished in sixth place earning three points after a time of 8.91 seconds for a personal best time. Brittany Diggs was the last Catamount to score in the event with a time of 9.01 seconds for seventh and two points towards the team total.
In the 60m dash, Tayla Carter picked up ten points and first place after a first place finish. Carter ran the 60m in 7.45 seconds in both the prelims and finals just missing her personal best mark, the SoCon record and the WCU school record of 7.43 seconds. Janise Robinson added four points with a time of 7.75 seconds good enough for fifth place, while Tiffani Lewis took eighth and one point with a time of 7.85 seconds earning all-freshman honors.
Carter went on to claim eight more points with a second place finish in the 200m with a time of 24.63 seconds.
In the 400m, Genevieve Emrick picked up 10 points with a first place finish after a time of 55.62 seconds, while Lena Elliott ran a time of 57.44 seconds taking fifth and four points. Corina Archie-McMillan scored three points and took sixth place with a time of 57.87 seconds.
Hayley Tomlinson and Jocelyn Keen finished fourth and seventh after times of 2:12.28 and 2:15.12 for five and two points respectively in the 800m. Both runners turned in season best times in the event.
The Catamounts 4x400m relay team comprised of, Archie-McMillan, Emrick, Elliott and Carter earned a point with a time of 4:07.15.
In the weight throw, Alisha Bradshaw picked up 10 points and first place with a distance of 19.27m smashing the WCU school record, which was her personal best distance of 17.90m set at the Niswonger Invitational earlier this indoor season. Megan Withers added one point with an eighth place finish after a distance of 15.23m.
In the pole vault, Devyn Ressler earned 1.5 points with a seventh place finish after a height of 3.62m.
Three Catamounts accounted for a total of 11 points in the in the triple jump with Tiffani Lewis claiming third place and six points with a distance of 11.33m - a personal best distance earning her all-freshman team honors. Bass gained three more points towards the team total with a sixth place finish and a distance of 11.16m, while Kinnari Badger earned two points with a seventh place finish with a distance of 11.09m.