CULLOWHEE, N.C. - The Western Carolina men’s and women’s track & field teams swept the Southern Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships for the first time since 2013. The men’s title is the sixth in program history while the women brought home their ninth championship in program history. WCU held off a feisty Samford squad as the championship came down to the final event while the men pulled away midway through the second day and coasted to a double-digit victory.
The men won by 93 points over second place VMI while the women squeaked out a 3.5 point victory over rival Samford.
Junior Hailey Cook was named co-Most Outstanding Athlete of the championships after scoring 30 points for the Catamounts by winning the shot put, hammer and discus throws.
Senior Holly Gaines earned WCU’s first individual championship of day two as she claimed top honors in the women’s heptathlon with 4,748 points. Freshman Marisa Scott earned fifth in the event to pick up key points in the team race. Scott tallied 4,003 pts.
Senior Christian Carswell got things off to a good start for the men as he won the decathlon with 6,340 pts. Freshman Draven Crist took third with 5,858 while senior Dustin Triplett came in sixth at 5,741 pts. The 19 points in the event gave WCU back the overall team lead and opened up a 14 point advantage over second place Samford.
The men’s 4x100m relay team was next in action and once again it was a championship for the Catamounts. Senior Max Burke, sophomore Henry Kiedy, sophomore Dakota Lamont and senior Jermaine Lewis took the top spot with a season best time of 41.19. The victory opened up a 19 point lead for the men over Samford.
The women’s 4x100m relay was up next and the perfect day continued for WCU as freshman Mia Little, senior Tayla Carter, freshman Bri Anna Adams and junior Tiffani Lewis teamed up for the title with a time of 45.84. The victory opened up WCU’s overall team lead to 15 points.
The perfect streak came to an end in the men’s shot put but that did not stop the Catamounts from picking up 13 points in the event as senior Jared Johnson took fourth with a mark of 15.44m (50-08.00) followed by sophomore Mateius Brown in fifth. Brown stopped the tape at 15.36m (50-04.75). Junior Evan Albertson came in next in sixth at 14.99m (49-02.25) while junior Scott Peretin took eighth with a toss of 14.72m (48-03.50). The quartet kept WCU’s lead growing, opening a 30 point lead over second place VMI.
Junior Anisia Starege led the Catamounts in the high jump as she took second after clearing 1.68m (5-06.00). Lewis came in next in fifth after topping 1.63m (5-04.25) followed by Gaines in seventh with a mark of 1.58m (5-02.25). Freshman Ashley Parker tied for eight as she cleared 1.53m (5-00.25).
Samford retook the team lead on the women’s side after the 1,500m as the Bulldogs picked up 20 points in the event and led the Catamounts by 8.5 pts.
The Catamounts dominated the men’s high jump as WCU took four of the top-five spots led by freshman Tyrie Adams who topped the field after clearing 2.11m (6-11.00). Freshman Khalil Jackson found a spot on the podium in third with a height of 2.05m (6-08.75). Freshmen Draven Crist and Jamie Brown followed in fourth and fifth. Crist topped 2.05m while Brown turned in a height of 2.00m (6-06.75). The final scorer for the Catamounts was Carswell who cleared 1.95m (6-04.75) which earned him seventh. With the dominating performance, WCU opened up a 52 point lead over second place VMI.
Freshman Devyn Montel Jones was WCU’s only scorer in the men’s 110m hurdles as he took fifth with a time of 15.07. VMI was able to cut its deficit to 41 following the event in the team standings race (124-83).
Sophomore Alyiah Riley was the lone Catamount scorer in the women’s 100m hurdles as she also took fifth with a time of 14.23. The Bulldogs of Samford were able to use the event to extend their team standings lead to 22.5 points (137.5-115).
Kiedy returned the Catamounts to the top of the podium as he won the men’s 400m with a season best time of 47.23. Lamont came across next in second at 47.31 while Burke finished a spot back in fourth after crossing the line in 48.85. With the 23 points in the event, the Catamounts widened their team lead to 55 points (147-92).
The women picked up 23 points in the 400m as senior Corina Archie-McMillan, freshman Sage Proffitt, freshman Dasha Arnaut and freshman Sally Woerner finished second through fifth in the race. Archie-McMillan crossed the line in 56.47 while Proffitt came across in 56.94. Arnaut stopped the clock next in 57.36 while Woerner came in at 57.58. The event cut WCU’s deficit to 13.5 behind Samford.
Junior Hailey Cook picked up her second individual title of the championships as she won the discus with a season best toss of 45.36m (148-10). Newcomer Kaycey Cermin earned a fifth place showing with a mark of 38.82m (127-04). WCU’s deficit remained at 13.5 due to Samford finishing second and third in the event.
Senior Jermaine Lewis took third in the men’s 100m while junior Tremaine Kernes came in fifth. Lewis crossed the line in 10.76 while Kernes stopped the clock at 10.96. VMI was able to shave off three points from its deficit and trailed WCU by 52 in the men’s team standings.
Senior Tayla Carter became a four-time champion in the 100m as she topped the field for the fourth-straight year with a time of 11.58. Freshman Bri Anna Adams picked up a podium finish in third after crossing the line in 11.81. Freshman Mia Little then crossed in sixth at 12.06 while freshman Tamilia Wright rounded out the scorers in eight with a time of 12.18. With the 20 points, WCU cut their deficit to just 2.5 points behind Samford.
Freshman Caleb Albrecht worked his way onto the podium in the men’s 800m as he took third with a time of 1:52.17. Senior Jamie Bigby finished two spots back in fifth after crossing the line in 1:53.19. VMI was able to trim one point off WCU’s lead and cut the deficit to 51.
Freshman Kaitlyn Lingard ran a gutsy 800m for the Catamounts as she came from behind late to win her first outdoor individual title of her career and also help WCU retake the team standings lead. Lingard stopped the clock at 2:14.00 to claim the victory while freshman Sally Woerner came across seventh for two big points as she clocked in at 2:28.13. With the 12 points, WCU retook the team standings lead 184 to 180.5 over Samford.
Freshman Dylan Andrade led the way for the men in 400m hurdles as he took second with a time of 53.26. Senior Eric Blake came across next for the Catamounts in fifth at 54.25 while Devyn Montel Jones took sixth with a time of 55.43. With the 15 points, WCU expanded its lead to 58 points over VMI.
Samford retook the women’s team lead after the 400m hurdles as the Bulldogs finished first, third and sixth. WCU took fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth in the event to fall behind 3.5 points to the Bulldogs. Gaines led the way in fourth with a time of 1:02.28. Junior Latasha Pride came across next in fifth with a time of 1:04.69 while Riley (1:08.57) and freshman Nidonna Nicholson (1:09.85) placed seventh and eighth.
The men placed five Catamounts in the top-eight in the 200m including a pair on the podium. Kiedy led the way in second with a time of 21.856 while Lamont finished third at 21.859. Burke came across next in sixth at 22.37 followed by senior Dante Ortado in seventh (22.54) and J. Lewis (22.77).
Carter and Adams took the top two spots in the 200m as Carter became a four-time champion in the 200m distance, ending her career undefeated at conference meets in both the 100m and 200m distances. Carter took the top spot with a time of 24.14 while Adams claimed second with a pace of 24.33. Little and freshman Danyel Desouza took seventh and eighth as they both crossed the line in 25.16. With the effort, WCU moved back into the lead in the team standings with 217 points compared to Samford’s 209.5.
Senior David Johnson and freshman Jamie Brown each earned podium spots in the men’s triple jump. Johnson took second with a leap of 14.94m (49-00.25) while Brown came in third at 14.46m (47-05.25). Kernes and Carswell took sixth and seventh as well. Kernes touched down at 13.28m (43-07.00) while Carswell turned in a distance of 13.18m (43-03.00). The men continued to hold a commanding 83 point lead over second place VMI.
The women increased their lead to 10.5 points after the women’s triple jump. Freshman Tamilia Wright led the way in second with a mark of 11.85m (38-10.50). T. Lewis was WCU’s final scorer in the event in sixth with a distance of 11.60m (38-00.75).
Sophomore Mateius Brown took home the men’s discus title with a toss of 47.58m (156-01) while Peretin came in fifth with a mark of 45.41m (149-00).
Cook made it a clean sweep in the throwing events as she took the shot put title with a toss of 14.71m (48-03.25). Cermin came in three spots back in fourth with a mark of 12.06m (39-07.00) while freshman Simone Williams placed seventh after stopping the tape at 11.46m (37-07.25).
The men capped off their championship by winning the 4x400m relay. Kiedy, Lamont, Andrade and Albrecht teamed up to turn in a winning time of 3:13.99.
The women entered the 4x400m relay leading Samford by just 1.5 points. WCU dominated the race winning by over six seconds as Carter, Arnaut, Archie-McMillan and Adams turned in a time of 3:45.30 to down Samford.
Final men’s team standings:
1. Western Carolina – 245 points
2. VMI – 152
3. Samford – 101
4. ETSU – 98
5. Furman – 94
6. The Citadel – 77
7. Wofford – 37
8. UNCG – 8
Final women’s team standings:
1. Western Carolina – 255 points
2. Samford – 251.5
3. ETSU – 91.5
4. Furman – 45
5. VMI – 44
6. Chattanooga – 39
7. Wofford – 37
8. The Citadel – 29
9. Mercer – 13
10. UNCG – 7
Men’s Most Outstanding Athlete
Jordan White, VMI
Women’s Most Outstanding Athletes
Sarah Sanford, Samford
Hailey Cook, Western Carolina
All-Southern Conference Performers (Men)
Tyrie Adams, high jump champion
Caleb Albrecht, 4x400m champion, 800m third
Dylan Andrade, 4x400m champion, 400m hurdles second
Jamie Brown, long jump champion, triple jump third
Mateius Brown, discus champion
Max Burke, 4x100m champion
Christian Carswell, decathlon champion
Draven Crist, decathlon third
Khalil Jackson, high jump third
David Johnson, triple jump second
Jared Johnson, hammer throw third
Henry Kiedy, 400m champion, 4x100m champion, 4x400m champion, 200m second
Dakota Lamont, 4x100m champion, 4x400m champion, 200m second, 400m second
Jermaine Lewis, 4x100m champion, 100m third
Scott Peretin, hammer throw second
All-Southern Conference Performers (Women)
Bri Anna Adams, 4x100m champion, 4x400m champion, 200m second, 100m third
Corina Archie-McMillan, 4x400m champion, 400m second
Dasha Arnaut, 4x400m champion
Korie Bennett, pole vault third
Meghan Breden, pole vault champion
Chenell Bryan, long jump third
Tayla Carter, 100m champion, 200m champion, 4x100m champion, 4x400m champion
Hailey Cook, hammer throw champion, discus champion, shot put champion
Holly Gaines, heptathlon champion, javelin second
Tiffani Lewis, 4x100m champion, long jump second
Kaitlyn Lingard, 800m champion
Mia Little, 4x100m champion
Sage Proffitt, 400m third
Kaitlyn Shetler, 3,000m steeplechase third
Anisia Starege, high jump second
Kennedy Williams, javelin third
Tamilia Wright, triple jump second
All-Freshman Team Performers (Men)
Tyrie Adams, long jump, high jump
Caleb Albrecht, 800m
Dylan Andrade, 400m hurdles
Jordan Bostian, 3,000m steeplechase
Jamie Brown, long jump, triple jump
Draven Crist, decathlon
Khalil Jackson, high jump
Devyn Montel Jones, 110m hurdles, 400m hurdles
Josh Little, 100m, 200m
All-Freshman Team Performers (Women)
Bri Anna Adams, 100m, 200m
Dasha Arnaut, 400m
Kaitlyn Lingard, 800m, 5,000m
Mia Little, 100m, 200m
Nidonna Nicholson, 400m
Ashley Parker, high jump
Marisa Scott, heptathlon
Kennedy Williams, pole vault, javelin
Simone Williams, shot put
Sally Woerner, 400m
Tamilia Wright, long jump, triple jump