BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - For the second-straight year the Western Carolina men’s track & field team can call itself Southern Conference Outdoor Track & Field Champions as the Catamounts captured their seventh outdoor title and third in the last five years. The women came up just short on Friday finishing second to host Samford. The men won by just six points as they clinched the title in the final event of the day, the 4x400m relay. The Catamounts won the race while Samford finished fourth.
WCU’s men posted 190.5 points to slip past the Bulldogs, who accumulated 184.5. Samford’s women racked up 245 points, while runner-up WCU had 194.
ETSU had the meet’s Most Outstanding Athletes on both sides, as Kyra Atkins and Benjamin Johnson were the top-scoring female and male athletes, respectively.
WCU’s Dakota Wright and Samford’s Abigail Cutcliffe were the Pinnacle Award winners as the student-athletes with the highest GPAs on the winning squads.
Overall, the Catamounts picked up five individual championships on Friday and three relay titles. The women took home two individual wins and swept the relays while the men had three individual titles and won the 4x400m relay after being disqualified for a failed handoff in the 4x100m.
Lamont led a group of five Catamounts in the 400m as WCU picked up 29 points in the event. Lamont circled the track in 47.75 to take the title while freshman Devaniel Dale came in second at 47.95. Junior Henry Kiedi rounded out the podium sweep as he claimed third in 48.08. The final two scorers for WCU were sophomores Miles Greer and Dylan Andrade who finished fifth and eighth, respectively. Greer clocked in at 49.08 while Andrade crossed the line in 50.75.
Lamont and Dale would also finish one-two in the 200m as Lamont stopped the clock in 21.49 while Dale followed behind in 21.52. Kiedi finished three spots back in fifth as he clocked in at 21.80.
Arnaut was joined by freshman Kellsie Whitehead and sophomore Sally Woerner in the women’s 400m. Arnaut led the field in 54.92 while Whitehead crossed the line in 56.87 which earned her fifth. Woerner came in two spots back in seventh with a time of 57.29.
Arnaut and Woerner picked up points for the Catamounts in the 400m hurdles. Arnaut took the title in 1:00.81 while Woerner placed sixth at 1:03.74.
The women swept the relay titles winning the 4x100m relay in 45.42 while claiming the 4x400m relay title in 3:47.02. The men won the 4x400m crown in 3:13.36 as the clinched the overall championship with the victory.
The final individual champion was junior Keion Crossen who took home the 100m title after racing down the track in 10.39. Senior Tremaine Kernes picked up a point for the Catamounts as he placed eighth at 11.06.
The men picked up 14 points in the 110m hurdles as sophomore Devyn Montel Jones finished second at 14.36. Junior Clinton Jones (15.16), freshman Corey Alston (15.21) and junior Kevin Hires (15.43) finished sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively.
The women earned 12 points in the 100m hurdles as the Catamounts took fourth, fifth and sixth. Freshman Jazmine Gooden took fourth at 14.03, Arnaut claimed fifth in 14.42 while sophomore Tamilia Wright took sixth after clocking in at 14.58.
D. Jones and Andrade picked up nine points in the 400m hurdles. Jones rounded the track in 54.71 to finish second while Andrade took eighth at 58.10.
Gooden took second in the women’s 100m to lead a trio of Catamounts who earned 11 points. Gooden raced down the track in 11.79. Sophomore Mia Little and senior Tiffani Lewis took seventh and eighth, respectively. Little clocked in at 12.02 while Lewis came in at 12.06.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Lingard just missed out on an individual title as she took second in the women’s 800m after crossing the line in 2:12.84. Sophomore Caleb Albrecht finished on the podium in the men’s 800m as he placed third in 1:53.33.
The final all-conference performer for the women was sophomore Marisa Scott who took third in the heptathlon with 4,641 points.
Sophomore Bryce Myers was the final scorer for the men as he took seventh in the decathlon with 5,061 points.
Gooden was the final scorer for the women as she took eighth in the 200m at 25.09.
The Catamounts will now focus on the NCAA East Preliminary Round which takes place May 25-27.
Final men’s team standings:
1. Western Carolina – 190.5 points
2. Samford – 184.5
3. The Citadel – 132
4. ETSU – 129
5. Furman – 105
6. Wofford – 52
7. UNCG – 7
Final women’s team standings:
1. Samford – 245 points
2. Western Carolina – 194
3. Furman – 109
4. ETSU – 89
5. VMI – 66
6. Wofford – 44
7. Mercer – 26
8. The Citadel – 24
9. UNCG – 11
10. Chattanooga – 4
Men’s Most Outstanding Athlete
Benjamin Johnson, ETSU
Men’s Pinnacle Award (highest GPA on championship winning team
Dakota Wright, Western Carolina
Women’s Most Outstanding Athlete
Kyra Atkins, ETSU
Women’s Pinnacle Award (highest GPA on championship winning team
Abigail Cutcliffe, Samford
All-Southern Conference Performers (Men)
Caleb Albrecht, 800m third
Mateius Brown, shot put second
Keion Crossen, 100m champion
Devaniel Dale, 200m second, 400m second
Kevin Hires, triple jump second
Di'Joun Huitt, triple jump third
Clinton Jones, 110m hurdles third
Devyn Montel Jones, 110m hurdles second, 400m hurdles second
Henry Kiedi, 400m third
Dakota Lamont, 200m champion, 400m champion
Scott Peretin, shot put third, discus third, hammer throw third
Thor Smith, pole vault third
All-Southern Conference Performers (Women)
Dasha Arnaut, 400m champion, 400m hurdles champion
Meghan Breden, pole vault second
Chenell Bryan, long jump champion
Hailey Cook, shot put champion, discus third, hammer throw third
Jazmine Gooden, 100m second, long jump third
Kaitlyn Lingard, 800m second
Marisa Scott, heptathlon third
Simone Williams, shot put second
All-Freshman Team Performers (Men)
Corey Alston, long jump, 110m hurdles
Devaniel Dale, 400m, 200m
Di'Joun Huitt, long jump, triple jump, high jump
Nicholas Lyons, triple jump
Jay Stanley, hammer throw, shot put, discus
Justin Tucker, 3,000m steeplechase
All-Freshman Team Performers (Women)
Tiffany Dunham, shot put
Jazmine Gooden, long jump, 100m hurdles, 100m, 200m
Cecilia Piscetelli, high jump
Rachel Rouse, shot put
Kellsie Whitehead, 400m
Amy Yarborough, hammer throw, javelin, discus, shot put