CULLOWHEE, N.C. - The Western Carolina men's and women's track & field teams honored nine seniors prior to the start of the 2017 WCU Invitational Presented by Catamount Travel Center Friday afternoon. Following the senior ceremony, the Catamounts turned in several impressive performances but the most impressive performance came from track & field newcomer Keion Crossen. Crossen, who is a member of the WCU football team, was competing in just his fourth collegiate meet and downed an eight-year old record in the 100m.
Crossen streaked down the track in 10.38, dropping the old record of 10.40 which was set by Dominique Young in 2009 at the NCAA East Regional. Sophomore Josh Little picked up a top-five finish as well as he placed fifth with a time of 11.06.
Overall, WCU had 46 top-five finishes including nine event victories.
Freshman Jazmine Gooden had an outstanding day as well. She took first in the 100m hurdles after crossing the line in 14.05. She was also part of the winning 4x100m relay squad which included sophomore Mia Little, senior Tiffani Lewis and sophomore Dasha Arnaut. The quartet won the event with a time of 45.32.
Gooden also helped the Catamounts win the 4x400m relay as she, Arnaut, sophomore Sally Woerner and freshman Kellsie Whitehead. The Catamounts placed three teams in the top five but Gooden and company won the race with a time of 3:48.78. Senior Chenell Bryan, freshman Tatiana Mills, sophomore Marisa Scott and sophomore Kaitlyn Lingard took fourth at 4:00.54. The final WCU squad was freshman Shawnda Martin, sophomore Christina Nikolaou, junior Meghan Breden and sophomore Tamilia Wright who clocked in at 4:18.03.
Gooden final victory came in the long jump as she out leapt the field with a mark of 5.92m. Lewis took second as she touched down at 5.85m. The final Catamount in the top-five was Bryan who took fourth with a distance of 5.76m.
Junior Mateius Brown also had a strong performance on Friday. He won the shot put with a near record breaking toss of 16.49m. He then took second in the discus after stopping the tape at 47.01m. Senior Scott Peretin took third in the discus to finish on the podium. He made a toss of 45.90m. The final Catamount in the top-five was sophomore Dakota Wright who finished fifth at 44.02m.
Junior Kevin Hires won the triple jump for the men as he touched down at 14.52m. Senior Tremaine Kernes rounded out the top five as he took fifth with a mark of 13.23m. Hires also picked up a fifth place finish in the long jump with a leap of 6.64m.
Lingard picked up a solo victory in the women's 800m as she circled the track twice in 2:14.72.
WCU's last victory came in the 4x400m relay as the Catamounts closed out the meet with a one-two finish. Junior Henry Kiedi, freshman Devaniel Dale, sophomore Miles Greer and junior Dakota Lamont teamed up to win the event in 3:13.07 while freshman Derek Puryear, sophomore Caleb Albrecht, Crossen and sophomore Devyn Montel Jones took second at 3:19.49.
Arnaut finished second in the 400m hurdles as she rounded the track in 59.50. Woerner finished three spots back in fifth with a time of 1:04.74.
Senior Hailey Cook had a solid day as well as she took second in the shot put and discus while finishing fifth in the hammer. Cook tossed the shot 15.31m to finish second while sophomore Simone Williams placed fifth with a toss of 13.63m. Cook was the only Catamount in the top-five of the discus as she took second with a mark of 43.85m. She then earned the fifth place finish in the hammer after measuring out at 52.00m.
Lamont and Kiedi finished second and third in the men's 400m while Jones and sophomore J'len Wilson took second and third in the 110m hurdles. Lamont clocked in at 47.12 while Kiedi finished just behind in 47.54. Jones picked up his second place finish with a time of 14.58 while Wilson stopped the watch at 14.61. Jones also earned a second place finish in the 400m hurdles as he rounded the track in 54.82.
Junior Meghan Breden took second in the women's pole vault after clearing 3.60m.
Sophomore Shikym Khalil Jackson earned WCU's final second place showing of the day as he cleared 1.98m in the men's high jump to earn the runner-up finish.
Freshman Lindsey Trotter took third in the women's 3,000m with a time of 19:03.69.
Sophomore Jordan Bostian and freshman Justin Tucker finished third and fourth, respectively, in the men's 3,000m steeplechase. Bostian crossed the finish line in 9:43.56 while Tucker clocked in at 9:56.70.
Peretin and junior Chase Stehling did the same thing in the hammer throw as Peretin took third and Stehling earned fourth. Peretin made a toss of 54.92m while Stehling tossed the hammer 51.19m.
Martin competed in the women's 1,500m and took fourth with a time of 4:45.29. Whitehead earned a fourth place finish in the 400m as she rounded the track in 57.46.
Senior Katarina Ruehl also earned a fourth place finish in the women's 3,000m steeplechase with a time of 12:20.52. The final fourth place finish on the women's side came in the high jump as Lewis cleared 1.63m.
Freshman Isaiah Hanna took the men's final top-five finish as he took fifth in the 5,000m. The rookie clocked in at 16:37.43. Wright, on the women's side, was the final top five finisher for WCU as she took fifth in the triple jump with a leap of 11.17m.
The Catamounts will return to action Saturday, May 6 at the Torrin Lawrence Memorial hosted by the University of Georgia. It will serve as the final tune-up before the 2017 Southern Conference Championships.