Women in Second, Men Third at Big South Championships

Teka Simpson and Letitia Saayman each defended their conference championships on Thursday.


Teka Simpson
May 14, 2015

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HIGH POINT, N.C. - The Coastal Carolina track and field program's find themselves well within striking distance after one day of competition at the Big South Conference Championships in High Point, N.C. The women currently sit in second place with 51 total points, seven points shy of Liberty. The men are in third with 23 points, while Liberty and Campbell have 81 points and 31 points, respectively.

The day was highlighted by Teka Simpson's second consecutive Big South Championship in the women's long jump as she posted a personal-best mark of 5.96 meters (19-06.75), good for the second-best jump in Coastal Carolina history. Kelila Naules joined Simpson as an All-Big South honoree in the event with a third-place finish and a personal-best mark of 5.69 meters (18-08). Amirah Al-Bayyinah rounded out the Chanticleer point-getters in the event with an eighth-place finish and a jump of 5.57 meters (18-03.25). The trio combined to score 17 points for Coastal Carolina.

To cap off the day, Letitia Saayman earned the Chanticleers second individual title and defended her 2014 Big South Championship in the women's 10,000-meter run with a time of 34:54.43. Saayman's time set a new Big South Conference Championship and Vert Stadium record. Running mate Kyla van Graan placed third in the event with a time of 36:49.94. The duo earned 16 points.

Additionally, Chloe White set the school record in the women's javelin with a throw of 47.22 meters (154-11), surpassing Deborah Mattern's throw of 46.04 meters (151-00) from 2011. White finished second in the event, good for eight points, and earned All-Big South honors. Fellow throwers Tiffani Kuhn and Marissa Cain finished sixth and seventh, respectively, with marks of 40.26 meters (132-01) and 36.71 meters (120-05). Both throws were good for new personal bests, and the duo earned three and two points, respectively.

Also on the women's side, Cari Pallini began the day with a personal-best distance of 42.35 meters (138-11) to finish fourth in the discus throw and earn the Chanticleers five points.

In the 400-meter hurdles, Jessica Gelibert was the top qualifier with a time of 57.94 seconds and will have a chance to make it three straight conference championships in the event during Saturday's finals. Along with Gelibert, Olivia Coopwood and Christina Davis also qualified for Saturday's finals with times of 1:00.29 and 1:00.70, respectively. Coopwood's time was good for a new personal best.

A quartet of Chanticleers sprinters also qualified for the 200-meter dash finals on Saturday. Christal Green, Simpson, Camille Hurley and Symphony Thompson placed third and fifth through seventh in the preliminaries with times of 24.58 seconds, 24.61 second, 24.62 seconds and 24.92 seconds, respectively. Hurley's time was good for a new personal best.

Aynslee van Graan, who holds the Big South's fastest time in the 1500-meter run this season, turned in the top qualifying time in the event's prelims with a pace of 4:39.18.

For the men's team, a trio of Chanticleers earned a combined 13 points in the long jump as Raheen Frederick led the way with a second-place finish. His jump of 7.18 meters (23-6.75) not only earned the team eight points, but also earned Frederick All-Big South honors. The remaining five points in the event came from Mark Stembridge and Marquez Moore, who placed sixth and seventh, respectively, with jumps of 7.05 meters (23-1.75) and 6.93 meters (22-09).

Additionally, the duo of Robert Castellani and Nick Seabright earned a combined seven points in the javelin. Castellani finished fourth with a mark of 58.77 meters (192-09) on his sixth and final throw and earned five points. Seabright finished seventh with a mark of 53.20 meters (174-06) and earned two points.

Seabright then continued to compete in the first event of the decathlon, the 100-meter dash, and earned 685 points with a time of 11.83 seconds before injuring his hamstring and being forced to withdraw from the event.

Brinson Corn matched his season-best in the pole vault after clearing a height of 4.41 meters (14-05.5). He finished sixth in the event and earned three points.

All three Coastal Carolina student-athletes competing in the men's 400-meter hurdles advanced to Saturday's final. Carrington Fernandors was the Chanticleers' top-qualifier as he finished second in his heat with a personal-best time of 53.54 seconds. Jerome Coaxum Jr. and Tre Stanley followed as they posted times of 54.13 seconds and 54.98 seconds, respectively.

In the 200-meter prelims, Alexander Hass and Therius Styles turned in the top-two qualifying times after running races of 21.47 seconds and 21.57 seconds, respectively. Teammates Kahlim Denmark and DeAndra Lipscomb will also appear in Saturday's finals after posting times of 21.88 seconds and 22.06 seconds, respectively.

Although both the men and women trail Liberty at the moment, Coastal Carolina is in a formidable position to make up ground this weekend. Thus far, the women have qualified eight entrants for Saturday's finals to Liberty's five, while the men have qualified seven entrants to the Flames' three.

The Chanticleers will continue with day two of the Big South Conference Championships tomorrow, beginning with the men's discus scheduled for 11 a.m.

2015 All-Big South Performers (Women)
Teka Simpson -- long jump; champion
Letitia Saayman -- 10,000 meter; champion
Chloe White -- javelin; second
Kyla van Graan -- 10,000 meter; third
Kelila Naules -- long jump; third

2015 All-Big South Performers (Men)
Raheen Frederick -- long jump; second

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