Outdoor Track Primed For Big Season
With the CCU Chanticleers athletic programs set to join the Sun Belt Conference on July 1, 2016, Coastal Carolina men's track and field coach Jeff Jacobs looks forward to a solid finish to his team's tenure in the Big South Conference.
The team, which last won the conference in 2006, finished second the past six years in a row. Last year, Coastal's men's outdoor track & field team was a runner-up in the Big South Championship and a winner in the Battle of the Beaches.
The Chants had individual conference championships last season (High Jump, 200m, 110mHH, 4x100, 4x400), NCAA Qualifiers in multiple events, and the Big South Men's Field Athlete of the Year in All-American Reggie Nelson. 2015 was a wildly successful year, and the plan for the season ahead is to build momentum by winning the conference and advancing as many athletes as possible to the NCAA Championships.
"We would like to win the Big South Championship in our final year in the conference," Jacobs said of his team's goals for the spring season. "We last won in 2006 and have finished second the past six years in a row. We would also like to send a large representative group -- sprints, hurdles, jumps, relays, throws and distance -- of our team to the NCAA East Preliminary Round at the end of May in Jacksonville, Fla., and advance multiple athletes to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore."
The team has 18 returners from last season, including redshirt senior Desmond Wallace, who was an NCAA East Preliminary Round Qualifier and Big South Champion in 110m hurdles. Outside of Wallace, Jacobs expects redshirt sophomore Kevondre Hunt to be a force in hurdles, junior Derrick Kinloch and sophomore Brandon Richardson to continue their development in jumps, redshirt senior Ryan Minor and sophomore Rob Castellani to be veteran leaders in throws.
Additionally, redshirt junior Charles Bascom, who turned in two of the Chanticleers' top-five 800m performances in 2015, is expected to be a top performer in distance. Top newcomers to the program also include Braylon Wilkerson in the 400m, Dee Jennings in hurdles, Brandon Johnson and Deandre Baker in the long jump, Devontaye Edwards in the throws and Joshua Small in distance events.
The Chanticleers' men's outdoor track & field team opens the season on Saturday, March 5 at Battle of the Beaches XI. The meet, which features Coastal Carolina University, UNC Wilmington, The Citadel and Coker College, is set for 10 a.m. at the Coastal Carolina University Track & Field Facility.
See HERE for Battle of the Beaches XI meet information.