ANDERSON, S.C. – Coming off strong performances less than a week ago at the Chanticleer Classic, the Anderson University men’s and women’s track and field teams are slated to compete at the first-ever Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Championships on Friday and Saturday in Hickory, N.C.
The two-day event will be hosted by Lenoir-Rhyne University, which has hosted unofficial conference championships in the past, at the Irwin Belk Track and the Moretz Sports - Athletic Complex.
The tentative schedule of events calls for field events to get underway Friday at 3 p.m., with track heats to start at 3:15 p.m. Individual awards will be presented for first and second-place finishers, while third place finishers will be recognized as honorable mention all-conference.
The Trojan women’s team posted three first-place finishes last Saturday at the Chanticleer Classic, as freshman Olivia Gardner claimed first place in the 3000 meter run, with fellow freshman Sherin Malone taking the top spot in the 100 meter hurdles and Brooklyn Watt won the discus throw.
Three freshmen - Grace Gerlock, Amber Worthy and Mia Swiersz - claimed second, third and fourth, respectively in the 3000 meters, with another freshman, Bari Robinson pacing three Trojans runners in the 800 meter run. She crossed the line in fourth, with junior Madison Guest finishing eighth and sophomore Devan Fisher placing 10th.
Junior Sydney Hazel led five AU runners in the 1500 meter run by finishing third, while Robinson claimed fourth, Gardner fifth, Gerlock seventh and Swierzs was 11th.
The 4x100 meter relay team of Malone, Jill Baxter, Megan Shahoud and Lauren Averitt captured third, while Baxter, Guest, Malone and Robinson also finished third in the 4x400 meter relay.
Baxter brought home third in both the high jump and in the javelin throw, with Shahoud claiming fifth in the long jump. Brooklyn Watt was fifth in the shot put, while teammate Savanna Keese finished 11th. Keese also claimed seventh in the discus throw and fifth in the hammer throw.
Senior Parks Edwards claimed third in the men’s 3000 meter run, while senior Westley Wilson took fifth. Freshmen Ned Kennedy and Ben Boerma earned eighth and ninth, respectively.
Freshman Thomas Garrigan paced six AU runners in the 1500 meters, placing third, with Edwards finishing eighth. Newcomer Boerma crossed the line in 10th, with fellow freshmen Jesse Patrick, Kennedy and Michael Burch finishing 12th, 13th and 17th respectively. Malik Brown crossed the line in fifth in the 100 meter hurdles.
Another freshman, Caleb Knight, claimed 17th in the men’s 200 meter dash, with junior Joshua Visi-Clark taking sixth in the men’s 800 meter. Freshman Jonathan Shorter captured fourth in the 400 meter hurdles, with freshman Eric Hoover taking ninth in the discus throw. Hoover also claimed second in the javelin throw.
The men’s 4x100 meter relay “A” team, consisting of Knight, Shorter, Brown and Hoover finished third, while Knight, Hoover, Shorter and Visi-Clark took third in the 4x400 meter relay in a time of 3:36.06. The Anderson “B” team of Garrigan, Boerma, Kennedy and Patrick finished fourth.
Buoyed by 17 season-best performances, the women’s track and field team captured second place last April in Hickory, behind Wingate and ahead of host Lenoir- Rhyne.
Watt captured a pair of first-place finishes (discuss throw and shot put) while also finishing second in the hammer throw. Baxter notched four top-seven finishes, earning second in the high jump with a season-best, while placing third in the long jump with a season-best distance. She finished seventh in the 400 meter with a season-best and posted fourth in the javelin throw.
D'Yandra Morris recorded her season best in the hammer throw with a fourth-place finish, while also finishing fourth in the shot put. She placed sixth in the discus throw. Keese earned third in the discus throw and fifth in the shot put, with season-best distances, while Guest finished second in the 800 meter run and fourth in the 400 meter with a season-best time effort.
Sydney Hazel finished third in the 1500 meter and fourth in the 800 meter, while Fisher finished the 1500 meter with a season-best time.
The men’s squad placed fifth overall a year ago, while setting numerous season-best marks.
Edwards and Visi-Clark are the lone returnees that competed a year ago, as Edwards placed fourth in the 5000 meter run in a season-best time, with Visi-Clark finishing 12th in the 400 meter dash with a time of 51.68 - narrowly missing the school record by three-tenths of a second.