ROCK HILL, S.C. (TheSAC.com) – The 2019 edition of the South Athletic Conference women'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. 97 in week one. The Trojans rose from 18th in the southeast to 14th between weeks four and five. In the 800-meter, Kamryn Osterbind has the fifth-fast time across the SAC, finishing in 2:22.17. JoLyn Copeland is fourth in the weight throw with a toss of 15.34 meters (50' 4"). In the pentathlon, Katie Landry earned 2761 points to sit in the fourth position.
Carson-Newman was picked to finish 106th in the USTFCCCA preseason poll. The Eagles maintained a No. 14 placement for four weeks in the southeast, but are currently No. 15. Samantha Gudger has the farthest long jump in the conference at 5.55 meters (18' 2.5"). Third in the SAC in the pole vault is Amy Zadroga with a height of 3.25 meters (10' 8"). Amanda Lowe has earned the fourth spot in the 60-meter dash, crossing the line in 7.80 seconds.
The Catawba Indians started week one at No. 22, rose to 12th in week two, and sit in 17th after week five. MeKayla White leads the team in the field events with a triple jump of 11.30 meters (37' 1") to sit in third and seventh in the long jump with a mark of 5.25 meters (17' 2.75"). Kierra McNeill crossed the line of the 60-meter dash in 7.80 seconds, fourth in the SAC. With sixth-place times in the 3000-meter (10:34.33) and 5000-meter (18:35.34) is Hannah Mercer.
Coker was unranked by the USTFCCCA preseason poll, but come into the championship tabbed 86th. The Cobras come into the championship with their highest regional ranking of the season at No. 11. Kaylah Ruff ran a NCAA Division II provisional 60-meter hurdle time of 8.67 seconds. Lauren Mustapher has top-5 conference times in three events: third in the 60-meter (7.78 seconds), fourth in the 200-meter (25.57 seconds), and fifth in the 400-meter (58.62 seconds).
The Bears of Lenoir-Rhyne have been in the USTFCCCA national poll nearly every week, with a high of 98th in week one. The team has been the constant No. 3 team in southeast all five weeks. The pentathlon team earned a national ranking of 12th in the week five squad rankings. Paiton Fair has a provisional time of 2:13.83 in the 800-meter to lead the conference. Saidah Hardwick leads the SAC in the 400-meter in a time of 57.19 seconds and is fifth in the 200-meter (25.68 seconds). Savannah Watkins is second in two events, the 60-meter hurdles (9.12 seconds) and the pentathlon (3031 points).
Lincoln Memorial started the season ranked by the USTFCCCA as No. 21 in the region and have risen to their second-highest ranking of the season at No. 20. In the field, Morgan Salyers ranks second the conference in the triple jump with a mark of 11.34 meters (37' 2.5"). Chloe Harp leads the Railsplitters in the 800-meter, seventh in the SAC, with a time of 2:24.64. In the 60-meter hurdles, Anna Verdu Cobo is seventh, crossing the line in 9.52 seconds.
Starting the season as the tied 108th national preseason pick by the USTFCCCA was Mars Hill. In the region, the Lions have ranged from 15th to 18th between the five weekly polls, but hold the No. 16 slot going into the weekend. At second across the conference in the high jump is Kylee Peck, with a mark of 1.60 meters (5' 3"). Shaniqua Stevens and Tiffany Holloway are fourth in the SAC in their respective events of triple jump and shot put. Stevens had a mark of 11.24 meters (36' 10.5") and Holloway tossed a distance of 12.67 meters (41' 7").
Newberry has been ranked 24th in the southeast for all five weeks. D'Arion Johnston is seventh in the conference in the triple jump at 10.76 meters (35' 3.75") and 11th in the long jump with a mark of 5.18 meters (17' 0"). Also in the field, Octavia Grandy is 10th in the weight throw event with a distance of 13.43 meters (44' 0.75"). In the 60-meter hurdles, Tahleebah Martin is 11th with a time of 10.09 seconds.
The consistent No. 2 in the southeast poll, Queens has been ranked as high as 72nd nationally in the USTFCCCA preseason poll. The Royals have been the second team in the region all five weeks. In the 3000-meter event, the team has been ranked as No. 7 across Division II for three different weeks, while in the 5000-meter event, Queens has been as high as third. The Royals have at least two top-five times across the SAC in four events. Gabby Schultz is first in the SAC in the shot put with a provisional mark of 14.70 meters (48' 2.75") and is second in the weight throw at 16.07 meters (52' 8.75"). Elise Ulseth placed first in the pentathlon with a provisional qualifying 3415 points, along with top-five marks in three other events. Last year's SAC Women's Indoor Freshman of the Year To'mara Carmichael sits second in the shot put at 13.06 meters (42' 10.25") and third in the weight throw at 15.95 meters (52' 4"). The Women's Indoor Track Athlete of the Year in 2018 Hannah Wolkenhauer is currently second in three events: the mile (5:00.70), the 3000-meter (10:05.05), and the 5000-meter (17:47.14).
Tusculum has been ranked in the top-115 nationally for three weeks of the season, with their high of No. 106 coming in the week two poll by the USTFCCCA. In the regional rankings, the Pioneers have been placed in eighth for four consecutive weeks. Nicole McMillen's mile time of 4:58.23 leads the conference and is a provisional qualifier. She also leads the SAC in the 3000-meter (10:03.99) and is fifth in the 5000-meter (18:20.63). I'Keriah Day has the top time in the 200-meter (25.36 seconds) and sixth-highest mark in the long jump at 5.26 meters (17' 3.25"). Destini Wilson's height of 1.57 meters (5' 1.75") in the high jump and distance of 5.30 meters (17' 4.75") in the long jump are both enough for fifth across the SAC.
The Wingate Bulldogs have not dropped below No. 44, earning a national ranking every week, with a high of 35th in the week one poll. In the southeast, the women currently sit at No. 6, but have been tabbed as high as fourth in week three and four. Last year's SAC Women's Indoor Field Athlete of the Year Vanisha Wilshire has captured a provisional mark of 1.75 meters (5' 8.75") in the high jump, just .01 meters shy of an automatic qualifier. Tamerah Sebree has a provisional time of 7.67 seconds in the 60-meter dash to lead the SAC, while being second in the 200-meter (25.49 seconds). Leading the conference in the weight throw, Hannah Hinson has hit the provisional qualifier with her heave of 17.25 meters (56' 7.25"). She has a sixth-place mark in the shot put with a toss of 11.97 meters (39' 3.25").
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 18 points, Lenoir-Rhyne is second with 13 points, Anderson is third with five points, and Tusculum is fourth with three points.
The first event will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 23) to start the women'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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