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Women's Indoor Track & Field Look to Defend Title at Big South Indoor Championship

The Chanticleers will go for their fifth Big South Indoor title Feb. 27-28 in Clemson, S.C.

Feb. 23, 2010

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BIG SOUTH INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIP
February 27-28 - All Day
Clemson Indoor Track and Field Complex
Clemson, S.C.
Meet will be video-streamed LIVE on the Big South Network

The Coastal Carolina University women's indoor track and field team returns to Clemson for the third weekend in a row to try for its fifth-straight Big South Conference Indoor Championship, presented by UCS, Penguin Sport-Wash and Musco Sports Lighting.  Last year, the Chanticleers totaled 176.66 points in a dominating win, finishing 50 points ahead of runner-up Liberty. 

TITLE DEFENSE
Coastal Carolina will look to defend its Big South Indoor Championships from last season and continue its streak after four consecutive championships dating back to the 2006 season.  At last season's championship, the Chanticleers totaled 176.66 points and a dominating win, finishing 50 points ahead of runner-up Liberty.  The Chants also saw four individual champions in Darriale Henley (60-meter dash), Ikeiylah Brown (200 meters), Amber White (400 meters) and LeAuna Sistrunk (60-meter hurdles). 

WOMEN GO FOR FIVE PEAT
The Chanticleers are the four-time defending Big South Conference Indoor Champions, having won five championships in the last six years.  Liberty is the only other Big South team to have won a team championship, including taking the league's first six. 

RETURNING FOR MORE

Two returning Big South Indoor champions in Ikeiylah Brown (200 meters) and Darriale Henley (60-meter hurdles) are back in action to defend their individual titles.  Also returning are 10 All-Big South athletes from last season in Brown, Henley, Christian Johnson, Kandisa Allicock, Brittany Connor, Robin Callan, Thomasina Smith, Santresa Jamison, Vondeeshia Humphries and Samantha Keenan

TIGER TUNE-UP SUCCESS
In the final meet before the Big South Indoor Championship, Coastal traveled back to Clemson for the second weekend in a row to compete in the Tiger Tune-Up Feb. 20.  The Chanticleers finished with eight top-three finishes, including event winners in Melissa Arango (60-meter dash) and Kandisa Allicock (high jump).  Shanace Issac and Estefania Ramirez joined Arango in the 60-meter hurdles, finishing second and third in the event.  The four third-place finishers were Melekia Simpson (60-meter dash), Christian Johnson (800 meters), Anjulia Nicholson (weight throw) and Mikaela Terry (high jump). 

ALLICOCK, ARANGO AND NICHOLSON ALL HAVE PERSONAL-BESTS
Three Chants recorded personal bests at the Tiger Tune-Up in Kandisa Allicock, Melissa Arango and Anjulia Nicholson.  Allicock had a personal best in the high jump after clearing 5'5" (1.65m) while Arango finished the 60-meter hurdles in 8.86.  Nicholson placed third in the weight throw with a personal-best throw of 44'2.5" (13.47m). 

CHANTS REPRESENT IN BIG SOUTH TOP-10

After five weeks of competition, the track and field team is representing Coastal Carolina well in the Big South's top-10 rankings, which can be found on the Direct Athletics web site.  Ikeiylah Brown ranks first in the 60-meter dash, along with Darriale Henley and Kierra Gabe who are first in the long jump and high jump, respectively.  The distance medley relay team, consisting of Rindi Wood, Samantha Keenan, Peggy Busbee and Joyce Curtin also rank number one in the Big South rankings.  In addition to four top ranks, the Chants have 31 total Big South top-10 marks, including 17 top-five marks. 

ALUMNA AMBER CAMPBELL LEADS WORLD IN WEIGHT THROW, LOOKS TO DEFEND TITLE AT NATIONALS

Former women's track and field All-American and current volunteer assistant coach Amber Campbell currently leads the world in the weight throw after a 79'9.5"(24.32m) mark at the South Carolina Invitational Feb. 20.  Campbell looks to defend her title at the U.S. Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. on Feb. 27, where she is the current three-time defending national champion in the indoor weight throw. 

COASTAL HAD GOOD SHOWING AT TIGER PAW INVITATIONAL
Coastal Carolina had a great weekend at the Tiger Paw Invitational, hosted by Clemson Feb. 13-14.  In day one, the Chanticleers captured nine top-10 finishes, including a win in the 60-meter dash by Ikeiylah Brown with a season-best time of 7.50.  Sierrah Oates earned two of the nine top-10 finishes after running a personal-best 8.99 in the 60-meter hurdles, finishing 10th overall, and tied for fifth in the long jump with a 18'1.75" (5.53m) mark.  On day two, the women added seven more top-10 finishes to the weekend.  Brown had another good run, but this time in the 400 meters, placing second overall.  Mary Lawrence led the field performers, tying for fourth in the pole vault with an 11'4.5" (3.47m) leap. 

BROWN WINS 60-METER DASH

Senior Ikeiylah Brown won her first event of the season at the Tiger Paw Invitational in the 60-meter dash with a season-best time of 7.50.  Her time ranks her No.1 in the Big South in the 60-meter dash. 

KEENAN AND HENLEY HAVE SEASON-BEST MARKS AT TIGER PAW

Darriale Henley and Samantha Keenan both had season-best times in the 60-meter dash with Keenan earning a personal best at the Tiger Paw Invitational.  Henley ran a 7.56 in the event, placing fourth, while Keenan had a personal-best time of 8.01. 

SYKES-SABOCK CHALLENGE CUP
Despite the snowy conditions outside, Coastal finished the Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup with nine top-10 finishes on the weekend and placed 11th overall as a team.  Mikaela Terry got the Chants started in the pentathlon, finishing ninth, while Darriale Henley and Sierrah Oates placed second and fifth in the long jump.  Shantelle Patterson placed ninth in the weight throw and Ikeiylah Brown and Henley finished day one off with third and eighth-place finishes in the 60-meter dash.  The second day saw three more top-10 finishes in Brown, who took fifth in the 200 meters and Santresa Jamison, who placed ninth in the 400 meters.  The final top-10 finish came from the 4x400-meter relay team of Brown, Jamison, Kierra Gabe and Vondeeshia Humphries

BROWN AND HENLEY EACH TAKE HIME TWO TOP-10 FINISHES
At the Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup, both Ikeiylah Brown and Darriale Henley each took home two top-10 finishes.  Brown ran a 7.57 in the 60-meter dash and a 24.38 in the 200 meters, finishing third and fifth, respectively.  Henley was the Chants' top finisher at the meet placing second in the long jump with a 18'10.75" mark and eighth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.66, a season-best in the event. 

HOME AWAY FROM HOME

This weekend marks the final of three meets for the Chants at Clemson this indoor season.  Coastal Carolina participated in the Tiger Paw Invitational and the Tiger Tune-Up the past two weekends to prepare for this weekend's Big South Indoor Championship.  

DICK TAYLOR CAROLINA CLASSIC CUT SHORT DUE TO WEATHER

The Dick Taylor Carolina Classic was forced to conclude early due to inclement weather in Chapel Hill, N.C. January 30-31, but the Chanticleers still had a good showing despite the second day of the meet being cancelled.  Shelby Donahue was Coastal's top finisher, placing third in the mile with a time of 5:13.51.  Christian Johnson finished close behind Donahue in the mile run, crossing the finish line in eighth.  Robin Callan was the top field participant for the Chanticleers, finishing 11th in the weight throw. 

ALUMNA AMBER CAMPBELL DOMINATED MILLROSE GAMES
Former women's track and field All-American and current volunteer assistant coach Amber Campbell dominated the weight throw  at the 103rd Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden January 29.  She won the meet with a top mark of 79'4.75 (24.20m) and five of her six throws were at least two meters farther than second-place finisher Erin Gilreath, whose best throw was 70'10.50" (21.60m).  Campbell's winning throw set a new meet record, previously held by Gilreath in 2005.  Campbell is the current three-time defending national champion in the indoor weight throw. 

BROWN COLLECTS FIRST BIG SOUTH HONOR OF THE SEASON
Senior Ikeiylah Brown earned her first Big South Conference Choice Hotels Women's Indoor Track Athlete of the Week honor of the season, the league announced Wednesday, January 20.  Brown crossed the finish line at 7.55 in the 60-meter dash to finish eighth and tie for the top spot overall in the Big South at the Virginia Tech Invitational.  She also helped the 4x400-meter relay team to a seventh-place finish after a 54.8 third leg led to a team time of 3:49.87, which currently ranks No. 1 in the Big South. 

TOP-10 IN BLACKSBURG
Over two days, the Chanticleers saw seven top-10 finishes, including one championship by Joyce Curtin in the 5,000 meters.  Senior Ikeiylah Brown was the first top-10 finisher of the weekend, placing eighth in the 60 meters.  Freshman Jessica Dennison joined Curtin in the 5,000 meters, finishing third overall while the 4x400-meter relay team made up of Brown, Santresa Jamison, Melekia Simpson and Vondeeshia Humphries took seventh.  In the field events, Mary Lawrence placed ninth in the pole vault, while Darriale Henley and Robin Callan finished seventh in the long jump and weight throw, respectively. 

OATES AND CALLAN SET SEASON-BEST MARKS AT VIRGINIA TECH INVITATIONAL
Junior Sierrah Oates and sophomore Robin Callan set new personal-best marks in long jump and weight throw, respectively.  Oates placed 12th in the long jump with a jump of 18'6" (5.64m) and Callan launched a 49'2.25" (14.99m) throw to finish seventh. 

IMPRESSIVE DEBUTS

Of the seven top-10 finishers at the Virginia Tech Invitational, two were making their collegiate indoor track debuts in Jessica Dennison and Melekia Simpson

COMING BACK FOR MORE

Of the four champions from a year ago, two return in sophomore Darriale Henley and senior Ikeiylah Brown.  Gone is three-time Big South Champions Amber White and LeAuna Sistrunk, but several promising newcomers will look to fill the void left by the departed champions.  In addition, the team returns 12 All-Big South athletes led by the distance runners Maranie Staab and Christian Johnson, sprinters Vondeeshia Humphries and Santresa Jamison and throwers Brittany Connor and Robin Callan

NEW FACES
Nine new faces can be seen on the Chanticleers' roster this season.  Distance runner Janel Reeves, who was All-Big South in cross country, and freshman sprinter Melekia Simpson look to strengthen the track events while Shantelle Patterson, a transfer from South Carolina who finished ninth in the SEC Championship last year, looks to add depth to the field events. 

UP NEXT

The Chanticleers travel back to Virginia Tech for the second time this season to participate in the Virginia Tech Last Chance meet March 6.