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Western Carolina Track & Field Wins Several SoCon Postseason Honors

Head coach Cale McDaniel was named both the indoor and outdoor SoCon Men's Coach of the Year during his first season as head coach
May 17, 2017

CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Western Carolina men's and women's track & field took home several postseason honors following the conclusion of the 2017 Southern Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships announced the league's office Wednesday. The Catamounts picked up three honors on the men's side and two on the women's.

Head coach Cale McDaniel was named the SoCon Men's Coach of the Year following his first season at the helm of the WCU program. Junior Dakota Lamont took home Co-Men's Most Outstanding Track Performer, an honor which he shared with The Citadel's Malik Diggs. The final men's award winner was freshman Devaniel Dale who was named the league's Freshman of the Year.

On the women's side it was sophomore Dasha Arnaut leading the way after picking up the Women's Most Outstanding Track Performer award while freshman Jazmine Gooden completed the Freshman of the Year sweep for the Catamounts as she took home the women's honor.

The awards are voted on by the league's head coaches.

McDaniel led the men's team to their second straight and seventh overall outdoor crown. The Catamounts won the final event of the championship meet, the 4x400m relay, to edge Samford by just six points. McDaniel was also named the 2017 SoCon Men's Indoor Track Coach of the Year after leading the Catamounts to an indoor title in February.

Lamont won both the men's 200m and 400m titles and was a member of the Catamount 4x400m relay team, which also placed first overall. He posted a personal best in the 200m with a time of 21.49, which is good for No. 2 on the 2017 SoCon outdoor performance list. In the 400m, Lamont was the first of three Catamount medalists to cross the finish line, finishing in 47.75. He also guided a Catamount 4x400m relay unit that won the title by nearly four seconds. His 22.50 points earned was the most by a men's track athlete at the meet.

 

 

Arnaut earned four first-place finishes for the Catamounts in the 400m, 400m hurdles and as a member of both winning relay units. In the 400m, Arnaut posted a time of 54.92 before winning the 400m hurdle event with a time of 1:00.81 on Friday. In addition to her individual first-place finishes, Arnaut led the Catamounts to two first-place finishes in the 4x100m and 4x400m relays, which posted times of 45.52 and 3:47.02, respectively. Both Catamount relay marks were Western Carolina's fastest times this season. The sophomore also placed fifth in the 100m hurdles with a time of 14.42 seconds. For the meet, Arnaut accounted for 29 points of the Catamounts' 194 points on the women's side.

Dale was the highest scoring freshman on the men's side at the championship meet after registering 18.50 points with second-place finishes in the 200m and 400m and was a member of the Catamounts' 4x400m champion relay team. Dale, a native of Salisbury, N.C., set personal-bests in both individual events with a time of 21.46 in the 200m and 47.95 in the 400m. His time in the 200m is good for second in the conference, while his mark in the 400m ranks third.

Gooden was the top-scoring freshman on the women's side, tallying 22.50 points for the Catamounts after competing in five events. Gooden placed second in the 100m with a time of 11.79, just 0.02 seconds shy of tying the first-place finisher. The Greensboro, N.C., native finished third overall in the women's long jump with a best mark of 6.12m (20-01.00), while finishing fourth in the 100m hurdles in 14.03. Gooden was also a member of Western Carolina 4x100m relay, which posted a winning time of 45.42. Gooden added an eighth place finish in the 200m, finishing in 25.09.

Men's Awards

Co-Most Outstanding Track Performer (tie)
Malik Diggs, The Citadel
Dakota Lamont, Western Carolina

Most Outstanding Field Performer
Benjamin Johnson, ETSU

Freshman of the Year
Devaniel Dale, Western Carolina

Coach of the Year
Cale McDaniel, Western Carolina

Women's Awards

Most Outstanding Track Performer
Dasha Arnaut, Western Carolina

Most Outstanding Field Performer
Selena Popp, Samford

Freshman of the Year
Jazmine Gooden, Western Carolina

Coach of the Year
Rod Tiffin, Samford

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