April 19, 2012
MYRTLE BEACH - Fueled by four All-Big South Conference-worthy performances, the Coastal Carolina women's track and field team sits atop the team leaderboard after the first day of the 2012 Big South Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
The defending champion Chanticleers scored 54 points on the day and lead Liberty (37) by 17 points.
In the first final of the championship, senior Shantelle Patterson claimed runner-up honors in the women's hammer throw. Patterson threw for 54.59m (179-01) to earn her third consecutive all-conference honor in the event. Senior Brittany Connor placed fourth overall with a throw of 51.62m (169-04). Anjulia Nicholson earned 14th, throwing for a distance of 45.77m (150-02) followed by Naomi Atkins in 15th with a 45.27m (148-06) effort.
The Chanticleers wrapped up 10 additional points in the javelin with finishes of fourth, sixth and seventh. Freshman Danielle England, who entered the event with the conference's best distance of the year, narrowly missed the podium as she finished fourth with a distance of 38.29m (125-07). Classmates Otessa Velasquez and Tiffani Kuhn wrapped up their Big South Championship meet debuts with tosses of 36.50m (119-09) and 36.40 (119-05), respectively. Velasquez's distance set a new personal-best.
Junior Erica Peake earned Coastal's first individual event title of the championship as she won the long jump. Peake, who had only competed in the long jump once prior to the meet, leapt for a career-best distance of 5.83m (19-01.50). Also picking up All-Big South honors in the event was senior Kierra Gabe. Gabe finished with a distance of 5.75m (18-10.50) to place second. Ashley Davis placed sixth with a leap of 5.64m (18-06.00) followed by Keegan Woodson in eighth with a distance of 5.55m (18-02.50). Both Davis' and Woodson's effort were career-bests.
Competing in only the second 10,000m run of her collegiate career, freshman Letitia Saayman led from the firing of the gun to the finish line to capture her first Big South crown. Saayman, who was trailed closely by second-place finisher Khristina Kanagy of Liberty for most of the race, pulled away from her pursuer over the final 200m on her way to winning the event in a time of 36:30.13. Sophomore Emily Marchini completed the 25-lap event in 38:19.91 to place 10th.
Day two of the 2012 Big South Championship resumes on Friday at noon with the decathlon 110m hurdles.