2019 South Atlantic Conference Men's Indoor Track & Field Championship Preview

2019 South Atlantic Conference Men's Indoor Track & Field Championship Preview

ROCK HILL, S.C. (TheSAC.com) – The 2019 edition of the South Athletic Conference men's indoor track & field championship will take place on Saturday and Sunday (Feb. 23-24). All 11 teams will compete in Winston-Salem, N.C. at the JDL Fast Track to determine who takes home the trophy.

Anderson was unranked in the USTFCCCA preseason rankings, but reached a high of No. 78 in week one. For three out of the four weekly southeast region rankings, the Trojans have been tabbed to finish 20th. At the Gamecock Inaugural on Jan. 18, the distance medley relay team of Luke Horne, Jordan Anderson, Cameron Owens-Hunter, and Philip Quillen finished in a time of 10:31.60, good for fourth in the SAC. In the 400-meter dash, Anderson finished in 50.61 seconds, two seconds off of the NCAA Division II provisional time and ninth in the event at the USC Open Indoor last weekend. Owens-Hunter finished 11th in the 800-meter at the same event in a time of 1:58.40.

Carson-Newman was picked to finish 59th in the USTFCCCA preseason poll and rose to a high of 57 in week one. The Eagles have risen to No. 4 in the southeast, but are currently fifth. Devon Moore, the reigning SAC Men's Indoor Track & Field Freshman of the Year,  has collected two provisional times in February: 21.53 seconds in the 200-meter at the USC Open Indoor and 6.79 seconds in the 60-meter at the Buccaneer Track & Field Invitational. The times are first and second in the conference, respectively. Kristofer Potts-Howard, the 2018 SAC Men's Field Athlete of the Year, ranks first in the conference in the long jump, recording a leap of 7.09 meters (23' 3.25") at the Buccaneer Invitational. The Eagles earned the top-3 marks in the event throughout the conference. Luke Greer has a provisional mark in the 5,000-meter race (14:16.82), good for first in the SAC. He also has three other top-5 SAC marks in various events: second in the 3,000-meter (8:28.27), fourth in the mile (4:17.64), and fifth in the 800-meter (1:56.22).

The Catawba Indians reached national recognition in week one of the USTFCCCA poll, earning a top-125 ranking. The team started week one in the regional rankings at No. 13, but have risen to No. 9 for the past two weeks. Darius Turner, Brien Pittman, and Rashaun Noble each rank fifth in the SAC in their respective event. Turner ran a 6.92 second 60-meter dash. Pittman ran the 400-meter in 49.88 seconds. Noble finished the 60-meter hurdles in 8.55 seconds.

Coker was a preseason top-110 pick by the USTFCCCA poll, reaching a high of 109 in week three. The Cobras have climbed from a week one and two southeast ranking of 15th to 13th in weeks three and four. Tony McElveen and Brandon Mullins have both earned a fourth-place time across the SAC. In the 60-meter dash, McElveen ran the distance in 6.90 seconds, just .02 seconds off of the provisional mark. In the 800-meter race, Mullins crossed the line in 1:55.75. Sage Lilly ranks highly in two events: second in the 400-meter (49.46) and sixth in the 200-meter (22.28).

The Bears of Lenoir-Rhyne have been in the USTFCCCA national poll every week, with a high of 35th in week four. The team has been the consistent No. 3 team in southeast all four weeks. In the weight throw, Lenoir-Rhyne holds the 1, 3, 5, 6, and 10 spots with Zane Johnson claiming the top spot with a toss of 16.75 meters (54' 11.5"). In the pole vault, Chris Reichenbach holds the top SAC spot with an effort of 4.40 meters (14' 5.25"), with the Bears earning the 1, 2, and 4 places. P.J. Lotharp has earned one provisional qualifier and is just shy of an automatic bid. In the 200-meter, he crossed the line in 21.57 seconds, a provisional time, and is good for second in the SAC. In the 60-meter dash, Lotharp ran it in 6.73 seconds, the top mark in the conference, and is a provisional time. It is .01 seconds off of an automatic qualifier.

In the USTFCCCA week one poll, Lincoln Memorial was placed in the top-120 in Division II. The Railsplitters started the season ranked No. 12 in the region, but currently sit at 15th. Jaeden Douglass has the third-fastest time in the SAC in the 400-meter at 49.51 seconds. In the 800-meter, Roberto Fajardo has the third-quickest mark in the conference in a time of 1:55.06. Jamaal Wiggins sits in 10th across the conference in the 200-meter (22.52).

Sitting at No. 21 for two weeks in the southeast is Mars Hill. Noah Allison has two top-10 marks in the SAC. In the 5000-meter, he crossed the line in 15:34.29 (ninth), and in the 3000-meter, he sits in 10th with a time of 8:45.56. Tyrize Claud ran the ninth-fastest time in the conference in the 60-meter hurdles (8.64).

Newberry has been ranked 17th in the southeast the past two weeks. In the 60-meter hurdles, Edwards Collins crossed the finish line in 8.52 seconds, good for fourth in the SAC. Kayshon Mitchell sits in sixth across the conference in the weight throw, tossing a mark of 15.28 meters (50' 1.75"). James Glenn has run two top-6 times: fifth in the 200-meter (22.10) and sixth in the 60-meter (6.94).

The current leader in the southeast poll, Queens has been ranked as high as 17th nationally in the week four poll. The Royals have been the No. 1 team in the region the past three weeks. As a team, the Royals have 11 provisional qualifying marks among nine student-athletes across seven events. Daniel Wallis has earned two provisional times, in the mile (4:06.64) and the 3000-meter (8:11.86). Felix Wammetsberger has also provisionally qualified in two events: the mile (4:06.06) and the 5000-meter (14:24.60). In the field, Martin Knauer has a shot put mark of 17.57 meters (57' 7.75") to reach a provisional qualifier.

Tusculum has never dropped below 65th nationally, with their high of No. 47 coming in the week three poll by the USTFCCCA. In the regional rankings, the Pioneers have risen from a No. 14 pick in week one to No. 11 in weeks three and four. Will Cronin is seventh in SAC standings in the 5000-meter race (15"19.82). Widchard Guervil has earned a provisional time in the 60-meter dash (6.79), .07 seconds off of an automatic time, and sits second in the SAC. In the 200-meter, he has earned the third spot, running the event in 21.58 seconds. Guillaume Devries has claimed a provisional mark in the high jump of 2.10 meters (6' 10.75"), which is merely .05 meters away from an automatic qualifier and second in the conference. He is also fourth in the long jump with a leap of 6.93 meters (22' 9").

The Wingate Bulldogs have not dropped below No. 30, earning a national ranking every week, with a high of 25th in the preseason and week one polls. In the southeast, the men started at No. 4 in week one, but have been No. 6 the last three weeks. Isaiah Kyle has automatically qualified for nationals in the high jump with a mark of 2.20 meters (7' 2.5"). Darius Weathers has earned a provisional mark in the triple jump with a try of 14.89 meters (48' 10.25"). Elliot Zirwas has two second place marks in the SAC in field events: 15.57 meters (51' 1") in the shot put and 16.73 meters (54' 10.75") in the weight throw.

The pentathlon and heptathlon segments were held on Feb. 12 as part of the Queens University Combined Events, where the SAC schools competed in an open event to collect championship points. As it stands, Queens leads with 31 points, Lenoir-Rhyne is second with five points, and Wingate is third with three points.

The first event will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 23) to start the men's conference tournament. The South Atlantic Conference Indoor Track & Field Championship Central can be found at http://thesac.com/championships/Indoor_Track_-_Field/index.

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