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

The Chanticleers are going for their third consecutive Big South title after winning five of the last six.

April 15, 2010

 

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The Coastal Carolina University women’s outdoor track and field team heads to Charleston Southern to defend its 2009 Big South Outdoor Championship title. Coastal is looking to win its third consecutive Big South Championship after winning five titles in the last six years.

This Week’s Meets:
Name: Big South Outdoor Championship
Where:  Charleston, S.C.
Date:  April 15-17
Time:  All Day

Live video
Meet Schedule

2010 BIG SOUTH MEET PREVIEW
The Coastal Carolina University women’s outdoor track and field team heads to Charleston Southern to defend its 2009 Big South Outdoor Championship title.  Coastal is looking to win its third consecutive Big South Championship after winning five titles in the last six years.  Ikeiylah Brown is back as the 2009 Big South Most Outstanding Track Athlete of the Year and looks to defend all four of her titles. 

100-meter Dash
In the 100-meter dash, the Chanticleers bring back the defending champion Ikeiylah Brown, who set a meet record with a time of 11.59 at last year’s championship.  Her top challenger could be Natalie Pearson from UNC Asheville, who currently leads the Big South in the event.

200 Meters
Ikeiylah Brown will also be back to defend her 200 meters title after setting a meet and all-time Big South record at last year’s Big South Championship.  Natalie Pearson of UNC Asheville will be Brown top competitor as they are both ranked in the nation’s top 30 with Brown ranked 16th nationally. 

800 Meters
Christian Johnson looks to be a contender in the 800 meters after finishing second in last year’s Big South Championship.  Johnson is currently ranked fourth in the Big South top-10 rankings. 

1,500 Meters
The Chanticleers return both Shelby Donahue and Christian Johnson in the 1,500 meters who finished second and eighth in last year’s championship, respectively.  Both Donahue and Johnson are ranked in the Big South top-10 in the event.  Liberty’s Rebekah Ricksecker is expected to do well as she leads the conference in the event. 

5,000 Meters
Both Shelby Donahue and Joyce Curtin will try to bring home the title for the Chants in the 5,000 meters.  At last year’s championship, Curtin finished ninth, but looks to improve upon her performance this season.  Radford’s Lori Crotts and VMI’s Hannah Granger will also look to make an impact in the field. 

100-meter Hurdles

In the indoor season, Melissa Arango surprised the field by winning the 60-meter hurdles and she is back in the 100-meter hurdles to try to pull the upset again.  Arango currently ranks fifth in the Big South rankings and will have stiff competition in the event with Winthrop’s Rebecca Holmes, as she claimed the top spot in the top-10 rankings. 

4x100-meter Relay

Coastal Carolina is defending its Big South 4x100-meter relay title after setting a meet and all-time conference record last season with a time of 45.28.  This season, the Chants hold the fastest time, 46.26, but both Liberty and Charleston Southern are expected to contend as well. 

4x400-meter Relay

The Chanticleers have yet another title to defend in the 4x400-meter relay with Ikeiylah Brown, Vondeeshia Humphries, Santresa Jamison and Darriale Henley doing the work.  Both Coastal and Liberty are top contenders in the event. 

High Jump

Kierra Gabe will try to make a sweep of the high jump this year after being crowned the 2010 indoor champion in the event.  The defending champion from High Point, Christina Fenske, will give her some tough competition, having cleared a conference-best 5’7” this season.  Gabe currently ranks third in the Big South. 

Shot Put
Brittany Connor took the lead in the Big South top-10 rankings in the shot put after her 41’9.25 throw at the Joe HIlton Carolina Invitational but will be challenged by Ashley Howard of Winthrop, who won the indoor title this year. 

Discus
Brittany Connor will try to defend her 2009 title in the discus and will face off against the current 2010 discus leader in Ashley Howard from Winthrop.  Both Connor and Howard hold down the one and two spots in the Big South top-10 rankings. 

Javelin

Deborah Mattern will look to defend her 2009 Big South title in the javelin with teammates Caitlin Lupo and Bridget Garrity close behind.  The trio could potentially finish 1-2-3 at the Championship.

CHANTS TO LOOK TO REPEAT
Coastal Carolina will look to defend its 2009 Big South Conference Outdoor title this season and go for an outdoor three-peat.  Coastal has won five outdoor titles in the last six years, including two consecutive in 2008 and 2009. 

COMING BACK FOR MORE
Of the eight outdoor champions from a year ago, six return in Darriale Henley, Santresa Jamison, Ikeiylah Brown, Brittany Connor, Deborah Mattern and Vondeeshia Humphries.  Gone is seven-time Big South Champion LeAuna Sistrunk and four-time Big South Champion Amber White, but several promising newcomers will look to fill the void left by the departed champions.  In addition, the team returns 17 All-Big South athletes led by distance runners Shelby Donahue and Christian Johnson, sprinters Ikeiylah Brown and Darriale Henley and throwers Brittany Connor and Deborah Mattern

CONNOR PUTS ON A SHOW
Junior Brittany Connor had a superb weekend at the Carolina’s Cup and Joe Hilton Carolina Fast Times Invitational April 9-10.  She started off the weekend by winning the hammer throw at the Carolina’s Cup, hosted by Winthrop, with a 161’1” (49.07m) throw.  She followed that performance by winning the discus at the Joe Hilton Carolina Fast Times Invitational with a throw of 145’6” (44.19m).  Connor also placed third in the shot put with a season-best 41’9.25” (12.49m) mark to move her into first place in the Big South Conference top-10 rankings in the event. 

THREE’S COMPANY

At the Joe Hilton Carolina Fast Times Invitational, the Chants went 1-2-3 in the discus with Brittany Connor taking the top spot with a 138’2.66” (42.13m) throw. Tenasia White took second while Anjulia Nicholson placed third with 133’3.21” (40.62m) and 125’ (38.10m), respectively.

CHANTS POST 10 TOP-10 FINISHES AT NORTH CAROLINA
The Chanticleers picked up 10 top-10 finishes at the Joe Hilton Carolina Fast Times Invitational, including 1-2-3 in the discus.  Deborah Mattern led the javelin throwers with a second-place finish and a 135’10” (39.87m) mark while Caitlin Lupo finished right behind in third after throwing 130’7” (39.80m) and Bridget Garrity came in seventh with a 110’5” (33.67m) mark.  Brittany Connor finished third overall in the shot put with a 41’7” (12.82m) throw.  Samantha Keenan placed eighth in the 400 meters with a time of 58.71 while Jerica Howard crossed the line at 59.17 to finish ninth in the event.  Melissa Arango earned a top-10 finish in the 100-meter hurdles, placing sixth with a time of 14.68.  In the final event of the night, Coastal took 1-2-3  in the discus as Brittany Connor won the event with a 138’2.66” (42.13m) throw.  Tenasia White took second while Anjulia Nicholson placed third with 133’3.21” (40.62m) and 125’ (38.10m), respectively. 

BROWN RANKED 16TH NATIONALLY IN THE 200 METERS

At the Pepsi Florida Relays, senior Ikeiylah Brown ran a 23.64 in the 200 meters to rank her ninth in the East Region and 16th nationally.  Her current ranking has qualified her for the first and second rounds of the NCAA National Track and Field Championship. 

4x100-METER RELAY HIT SEASON-BEST MARK
The 4x100-meter relay squad, consisting of Darriale Henley, Ikeiylah Brown, Santresa Jamison and Vondeeshia Humphries, had a season-best mark and a Big South Conference-leading time of 46.26 to finish 16th overall at the Pepsi Florida Relays.

DISTANCE RUNNERS MOVE UP IN BIG SOUTH RANKINGS
Both Joyce Curtin and Christian Johnson moved up in the Big South rankings after the Duke Invitational.  Curtin finished 16th overall and 12th against collegiate competition in the 5,000 meters after posting a time of 18:11.30 and moving up into the sixth spot in the conference.  Johnson moved up in both the 800 meters and 1,500 meters after the Duke Invitational.  She ran a season-best time of 2:18.36 in the 800 meters to rank fourth in the Big South and 4:48.98 in the 1,500 meters to rank eighth in the conference. 

POLE VAULTERS PERFORM WELL AT DUKE
Day one at the Duke Invitational was highlighted by pole vaulter Mary Lawrence, who cleared 11’5.79” (3.50m) in the event to finish seventh overall and sixth out of the collegiate competitors.  Jocelyn Starinshak placed 11th in the event with a new personal-best of 10’11.88 (3.35m). 

WHITE THROWS PERSONAL-BEST
Freshman Tenesia White was the top Chanticleer to finish at Duke in the discus, placing sixth overall and fourth out of the collegiate competitors with a personal-best throw of 135’4.40” (41.26m). 

JAVELIN THROWERS KEEP TOP SPOTS IN BIG SOUTH

The Coastal javelin throwers have had great success so far this season.  Deborah Mattern holds the the top spot in the Big South and threw a 125’3.54” (38.19m) at the Pepsi Florida Relays to finish 15th.  Teammates Caitlin Lupo and Bridget Garrity also participated in the event at Florida, throwing 123’3.92” (37.59m) and 117’9.38” (35.90m), respectively. 

VOLUNTEER ASSISTANTS REPRESENT WELL AT DUKE INVITATIONAL
Current volunteer assistant coaches Amber Campbell and Zola (Budd) Pieterse both competed at the Duke Invitational April 2.  Campbell, a former Coastal All-American, participated in the hammer throw, winning the event and setting a new Wallace Wade Stadium record with a 227’10.64” (69.46m) throw.  Meanwhile, Pieterse competed in the 5,000 meters, finishing ninth overall with a time of 17:55.13.  

WEEMS BASKIN RELAYS
In the Weems Baskin Relays March 27, the Chanticleers were successful in the field events as Caitlin Lupo came in second with a throw of 120’2” (37.62 meters) in the javelin throw. Teammate Bridget Garrity finished fifth with a mark of 117’3” (35.74 meters). In the high jump, Kierra Gabe jumped 5’3” (1.60 meters), taking fifth in the event.  Christian Johnson placed fourth in the 800 meters with a time of 2:20.32, while Peggy Busby finished in 10th at 2:24.97. Joyce Curtain placed third in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 11:52.47, and Kathryn Zenowitz came in seventh with a time of 13:12.71.

ASICS WINTHROP INVITATIONAL
Ikeiylah Brown took first place in the preliminaries of the 100 and 200-meter dash at the Asics Winthrop Invitational March 26, as she ran 11.83 in the 100 meters and 24.24 in the 200 meters. Darielle Henley finished third in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.91, and ran 25.14 in the 200-meter dash, taking sixth place. Kierra Gabe finished at 26.38 in the 200 meter dash to place 13th.  In the heptathlon, Mikaela Terry earned a personal-best 3564 points, taking eighth place in the event and teammate Jenna Kazmierczak participated in her first heptathlon, gathering 3156 points for 12th place.

CCU/SHAMROCK INVITATIONAL SETS WEEKEND RECORD
The CCU/Shamrock Invitational was dubbed the largest track meet on the East Coast with a record field of 38 universities and 1,280 athletes participating at Doug Shaw Stadium in Myrtle Beach. 

THROWERS HAVE STRONG PERFORMANCES AT SHAMROCK INVITATIONAL
At the CCU/Shamrock, the Chanticleers had a strong performance in the throwing events as Deborah Mattern took second in the javelin with a season-best throw of 143’ (43.59m). Teammate Caitling Lupo followed Mattern in fourth place, throwing 131’6” (40.09m), while Bridget Garrity took fifth with a throw of 129’2” (39.37m).  In the discus throw, Brittany Connor and Tenasia White had top-10 finishes in eighth and ninth, respectively. Connor had a throw of 131’10” (40.18m), while White earned a mark of 128’4” (39.12m). Connor also took sixth in the hammer with a throw of 171’ (52.13m) and 13th in the shot put with a mark of 40’4” (12.29m).

TOP IN THE BIG SOUTH
The Chanticleers have six athletes and two relay teams in the top-three of the Big South rankings. The 4x100-meter relay team of Ikeiylah Brown, Samantha Keenan, Darriale Henley and Melekia Simpson are currently No. 1 in the Big South for their 46.56 performance in the CCU/Shamrock Invitational. Deborah Mattern is also is ranked first in the javelin with her throw of 143’ in the meet. The Chanticleers 4x400 relay team is second in the Big South from also from their performance in the Shamrock. Brittany Connor is third in both the shot put and discus, while also in third is Simpson in the 100 meters.

ALUMNA AMBER CAMPBELL HOSTS AND THROWS IN THE “AMBER CAMPBELL INVITATIONAL WOMEN’S HAMMER THROW”
Current volunteer assistant coach and former Coastal Carolina track and field All-American Amber Campbell held “Amber Campbell Invitational Women’s Hammer Throw,” during the Shamrock Invitational. The invitational was her first outdoor competition this season as she threw 224’ (68.27m) to win the event. Joining Campbell in the hammer throw from Coastal was Brittany Connor who finished sixth and had a new personal best mark of 171’ (52.13m) and Shantelle Patterson placed eighth with a throw of 161’8” (49.28m). Anjulia Nicholson and Tenasia White placed 18th and 20th in the hammer throw, respectively.

CCU INVITATIONAL A SUCCESS
With a partial squad in action, the Coastal Carolina University women’s track and field team wrapped up competition in the 2010 Coastal Carolina Invitational (March 13). The Chanticleers welcomed 1,400 athletes from 37 schools and four clubs.  Coastal earned nine top-10 finishes on the day.

CONNOR HAS GOOD SHOWING AT CCU INVITATIONAL
Brittany Connor had a good showing at the CCU Invitational March 12-13.  She started the weekend by placing second in the weight throw after throwing 166’7” (50.77m) and concluded the meet with a win in the discus with a 145’6” (44.35m) mark. 

MATTERN TAKES TOP SPOT IN JAVELIN
Deborah Mattern posted her first individual win at the CCU Invitational in the javelin.  She threw 135’8” (41.36m) to win the event. 

ALUMNA AMBER CAMPBELL WINS FOURTH CONSECUTIVE USA INDOOR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Former Coastal Carolina women’s track and field All-American and current volunteer assistant coach Amber Campbell took home her fourth consecutive USA Indoor Track & Field Championship in the weight throw, Feb. 28, at the third and final event of the USA Track & Field’s 2010 Indoor Visa Championship Series in Albuquerque, N.M.  Campbell opened the meet with a 81’0.5” (24.70m) throw, which is the third-farthest throw ever in history to eventually win her fourth consecutive U.S. Indoor title.  The mark was also a new Championship meet record and ranks her number one in the world in the event.  At the end of the meet, Campbell was also awarded the prestigious Visa Championship Series Outstanding Track and Field Athlete award after leading the event with 1,213 points, one point ahead of sprinter Carmelita Jeter.  With the award, Campbell received a $30,000 bonus from Visa. 

CHANTS TO LOOK TO REPEAT

Coastal Carolina will look to defend its 2009 Big South Conference Outdoor title this season and go for an outdoor three-peat.  Coastal has won five outdoor titles in the last six years, including two consecutive in 2008 and 2009. 

COMING BACK FOR MORE
Of the eight outdoor champions from a year ago, six return in Darriale Henley, Santresa Jamison, Ikeiylah Brown, Brittany Connor, Deborah Mattern and Vondeeshia Humphries.  Gone is seven-time Big South Champion LeAuna Sistrunk and four-time Big South Champion Amber White, but several promising newcomers will look to fill the void left by the departed champions.  In addition, the team returns 17 All-Big South athletes led by distance runners Shelby Donahue and Christian Johnson, sprinters Ikeiylah Brown and Darriale Henley and throwers Brittany Connor and Deborah Mattern

BROWN NARROWLY MISSES NCAA INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS

Senior Ikeiylah Brown ran a new Coastal Carolina indoor track and field record 24.17 in the 200 meters at the Virginia Tech Last Chance meet.  She narrowly missed the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship, finishing only .06 seconds from qualifying. 

2010 BIG SOUTH INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Coastal Carolina finished the 2010 Big South Indoor Championship in second behind Liberty.  In a fight to the finish, the spread between the two teams was 37.50 points with Liberty finishing with 182.5 and Coastal recording 145.  Overall, the Chanticleers finished with six individual conference champions and 15 All-Big South honorees.  

BROWN BRINGS HOME TWO TITLES
Senior Ikeiylah Brown came home with some new hardware from the 2010 Big South Indoor Championship after winning the 60-meter dash and the 200 meters Saturday, Feb. 28.  Brown ran a preliminary time of 7.51 in the 60-meter dash and bettered it in the finals to 7.48 to win the title.  In the 200 meters, she ran a season-best 24.38 and captured her second-consecutive conference title.  

HENLEY WINS LONG JUMP
Sophomore Darriale Henley had a good showing at the Big South Indoor Championship as she took the individual title in the long jump with a leap of 18’10.5 (5.75m).  She also placed second in the 60-meter dash, earning All-Big South honors, and was fourth in the 200 meters.  

GABE BRINGS HOME THE TITLE
Sophomre Kierra Gabe won the high jump in style by setting a new conference championship meet record with a jump of 5’7.75” (1.72m).  

RELAY TEAMS HAVE GOOD SHOWING
The 4x400-meter relay  and the distance medley relay teams had good showings at the Big South Indoor Championship with the 4x400-meter relay team, consisting of Santresa Jamison, Vondeeshia Humphries, Ikeiylah Brown and Samantha Keenan, taking home the title in a time of 3:49.64.  The distance medley team in Rindi Wood, Thomasena Smith, Peggy Busbee and Christian Johnson combined for a time of 12:40.04, placing fourth.  

ARANGO UPSETS COMPETITION IN 60-METER HURDLES
Melissa Arango upset the final field in the 60-meter hurdles at the Big South Indoor Championship by running a season-best 8.72 to win the event.  Before the finals, Arango was seeded fifth, but had a superb performance.  

ALL-BIG SOUTH HONORS
The Chants had 15 All-Big South honorees at the Big South Indoor Championship Feb. 28 in Ikeiylah Brown (60-meter dash, 200 meters, 4x400-meter relay), Darriale Henley (60-meter dash and long jump), Santresa Jamison (400 meters and 4x400-meter relay), Melissa Arango (60-meter hurdles), Vondeeshia Humphries (4x400-meter relay), Samantha Keenan (4x400-meter relay), Kierra Gabe (high jump), Kandisa Allicock (high jump), Mary Lawrence (pole vault), Sierrah Oates (long jump) and Shantelle Patterson (shot put). 

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.  

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.  

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 head to High Point, N.C. for the Vertklassee Meeting Sunday, April 25.