CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Competing at home for the first this season, the Western Carolina men’s and women’s track & field teams earned 15 top-five finishes including two event victories during the opening day of the 2017 Beynon Sports Surfaces Catamount Classic. WCU’s two individual medalists were freshman Justin Tucker in the 10,000m and sophomore Shikym Khalil Jackson in the high jump.
The day began with the first five events of the men’s decathlon and the first four events of the women’s heptathlon. WCU did not have anyone competing in the decathlon but sophomore Marisa Scott leads the heptathlon heading into Saturday. Freshman Jazmine Gooden and sophomore Dasha Arnaut are sitting in third and fourth, respectively.
The next three events were the women’s hammer throw, men’s javelin and women’s long jump. The hammer throw and long jump were interrupted by a nearly hour long lightning delay that postponed the entire meet. Senior Hailey Cook took fourth in the hammer throw with a toss of 50.13m (164-06) while seniors Tiffani Lewis and Chenell Bryan tied for second in the long jump as they each leapt 5.70m (18-08.50). Gooden also placed in the top five of the long jump as she took fourth with a distance of 5.63m (18-05.75).
Up next were the men’s long jump, men’s hammer throw and women’s javelin. Junior Kevin Hires and senior Tremaine Kernes finished third and fourth, respectively, in the long jump. Hires touched down at 6.68m (21-11.00) while Kernes turned in a distance of 6.65m (21-10.00). Senior Scott Peretin and junior Chase Stehling both finished on the podium in the hammer throw. Peretin took second with a toss of 53.39m (175-02) while Stehling came in third at 51.41m (168-08).
The women’s 10,000m took to the track next where freshman Shawnda Martin placed third with a time of 39:33.93.
The men’s and women’s high jump took to the track next as Jackson led the way for the men as he won the event after topping 1.93m (6-04.00). On the women’s side, freshman Cecilia Piscetelli and sophomore Ashley Parker tied for third as they both cleared 1.58m (5-02.25).
The final event of the day was the men’s 10,000m. Tucker led the way as he cruised past the field in 34:16.47. Freshman Jacob DeAngelo came in third after stopping the clock at 35:07.38 while junior Kevin Pack came in one spot back in fourth with a time of 36:16.19.
The Catamounts will be back in action tomorrow as the majority of the events of the 2017 Beynon Sports Surfaces Catamount Classic are contested.