April 26, 2014
Spartanburg, S.C. - Western Carolina's men's and women's track and field teams have set the stage for a fast and furious finish to the 2014 Southern Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championship hosted by Wofford College at the Viking Athletic Complex.
After day one, WCU's women's team sits in third place with 36 points. Samford leads with 62.5 points, and Appalachian State follows in second with 49.5 points. Elon, 20 points, and Georgia Southern, 15 points, round out the top five.
On the men's side, WCU is in second place with 45 points, while Samford leads with 59 points. App State trails the Catamounts in third place with 37 points with Chattanooga and Furman tied for fourth with 24 points each.
In the first event of the day and the first event to award a SoCon champion, Travis Alfaro scored the first WCU point taking eighth place with a time of 31:41.37 in the 10,000m. It was his time running in the 10,000m since the 2013 Beynon Catamount Classic.
The Catamounts claimed their first podium finishes of the 2014 SoCon Outdoor Championship. In the men's hammer throw final, WCU took second and third. Jared Johnson finished in second with a personal best distance of 50.79m shattering his old mark by four meters. Andy Benesh took third with a personal best mark of 49.99m. Johnson scored eight points for WCU and Benesh claimed six points.
In the men's 400m, Earl Rahming won the first heat with a time of 48.33 seconds advancing him into Sunday's final. In the second heat, Adrian Ortado, Aaron Harris and Ammar Phillips finished in first, second and third with times of 48.54 seconds, 48.65 seconds and 49.08 seconds. In the third head Demari Boswell finished in third with a time of 49.07 seconds. Ortado's time of 48.54 seconds was a personal best. All five Catamounts qualified for Sunday's final.
In the women's 1,500m, Jocelyn Keen qualified for Sunday's final after a time of 4:44.83. She finished third in the second heat.
In the women's 400m WCU placed three runners into Sunday's finals. Genevieve Emrick took the top qualifying spot with a time of 54.35 seconds. She missed her PR by .04 thousandths of a second. Shiniqua Proyor finished second in the first heat and qualified in the sixth position with a time of 56.13 seconds. Corina Archie-McMillan finished in the fourth qualifying spot with a time of 55.33 seconds setting a new personal best.
In the men's 100m, Marquis Bailey finished in the fifth qualifying spot with a time of 10.87 seconds in the first time he competed in the event. Jerry Wickerson finished in the sixth qualifying position with a time of 10.92 seconds for a personal best. Jermaine Lewis finished in seventh qualifying slot with a time of 10.89 seconds.
In the men's 110m hurdles, Bailey had the fastest prelim time qualifying him for the finals with a time of 14.68 seconds for his second personal best of the day. Abraham Faison qualified with the second fastest time of 14.87 seconds. Sam Lusty qualified with the seventh fastest time of 15.81 seconds. Those three Catamounts will run in Sunday's final.
In the women's 100m hurdles, WCU had athletes take second and third as LeNisha Kearse and Xaveria Bass finishing with times of 14.26 seconds and 14.30 seconds. Michaela Birek finished in seventh qualifying her for the finals after a time of 14.59 seconds. Birek's time was a personal best time.
In the women's hammer throw, Alisha Bradshaw finished in third claiming six points for the Catamounts with distance of 52.64m. Hailey Cook finished in 16th, but set a new personal best with distance of 42.92m.
In the women's 100m prelim, Tayla Carter cruised with the third fasted qualifying time of 11.81 seconds, while Janise Robinson followed with the sixth fastest time of 12.36 seconds, while Bass finished in eighth narrowly qualifying with a time of 12.23 seconds.
Josh McSwain scored three points for the Catamounts with a sixth place finish in the long jump with a distance of 6.92m. Tyler Bell scored two points for WCU with a seventh place finish after a jump of 6.84m narrowly missing a personal best distance of 6.86m.
In the women's long jump final, Chenell Bryan picked up five points with a fourth place finish after a distance of 5.74m for her outdoor personal best. Tiffani Lewis claimed three points with a sixth place finish after a distance of 5.71m missing her personal best by .01 meters.
In the men's pole vault finals, WCU's Keith Leonard finished in a tie for second with a height of 4.85m. Dustin Triplett finished in a tie for third clearing the bar with a height of 4.75m.
In the women's javelin, Kim Cannon finished on the podium in second place with a distance of 40.18m claiming eight points for the Catamounts. Anne Greer threw a distance of 33.53m to finish in eighth place and pick up one point towards the team's total.
In the women's 800m prelims, Lena Elliott finished in the second qualifying position with a time of 2:10.91 for a new personal best. Hayley Tomlinson also qualified for Sunday's final with a time of 2:10.99 for her best time of the 2013-14 academic year.
WCU claimed the top three qualifying spots in the men's 400m hurdles with Faison taking the top time of 53.98 seconds. Eric Blake had the second fastest time of 54.06 seconds for his fastest time of the season. Bailey had the third fastest time of 54.11 seconds for his best time of the year. Lusty also qualified for Sunday's final with a time of 57.04 seconds.
In the women's 400m hurdles prelims, Birek qualified for the finals with a time of 1:01.09. Latasha Pride qualified in the sixth spot with a time of 1:02.95, and LeNiesha Kearse qualified in the eighth and final spot with a time of 1:04.78.
Rahming took the top qualifying spot in the men's 200m dash with a time of 21.73 for personal best. Wickerson qualified second after a time of 21.93 seconds, while Ortado and Lewis qualified fifth and seventh with times of 21.95 seconds and 22.00 seconds. Ortado and Lewis each turned in personal best times.
Carter heads into the final day as the leader in her second event, the 200m, after a time of 23.71 missing her best by one thousandths of a second.
In the men's 3,000m steeplechase final, Chase Fisher picked up points and a fourth place finish with a time of 9:21.23, and Michael Cornwell finished in sixth place scoring points for WCU with a time of 9:21.72.
Michelle Provost set the WCU school record in the women's 3,000m steeplechase with a time of 11:03.74 placing her in fourth place and scoring five points for the Catamounts.
Devyn Ressler picked up a new personal best and a second place finish earning the Catamounts eight points with height of 3.87m in the women's pole vault.
In the men's javelin, Benesh took fifth place with season-best throw of 49.38m. Matt Stenger also claimed points for WCU with a seventh place finish following a distance of 48.31 shattering his old personal best mark.
For more coverage including video from Carter, Bailey and head coach Danny Williamson scrolled down from the live blog coverage from day one.