Banner Elk, N.C.--The Lees-McRae College women's track and field team finished out their season in grand fashion at the 2nd annual Tri-Conference Championship/Bobcat Open. Altogether, the women's team finished with two overall event winners and placed second among Conference Carolinas teams. This year's event featured 383 athletes representing 20 colleges and three conferences at the Arthur-Lauritsen-Sanders Track & Field Complex on the campus of Lees-McRae College.
Despite the overcast conditions and sporadic rain, there were 17
NCAA Division II or NAIA national qualifying performances during
the meet. "I think we have one of the fastest tracks in the
southeast region," added Head Track Coach Scott Myers. "This is
the second year in a row that we've had multiple national
qualifying marks at our meet."
There were several excellent performances by the Lady Bobcats during the meet. Leading the way was freshman hurdler Shantra McCoy (Stafford, Va.). McCoy darted out of the starting blocks to win the women's 100m high hurdles in 16.75 seconds. That turned out to be LMC's second event crown that day. Earlier in the competition, fellow freshman Candice Corbin (Boone, N.C.) out-jumped the competition to win the women's pole vault with a height of nine feet even.
Sophomore Erin Tyler (Branford, Fla.) had a very busy weekend. Tyler competed in seven events throughout the two day competition. Among her highlights include a second place overall in the women's javelin throw where she nearly eclipsed the 30m barrier, a fifth place in the women's shot put with a personal best performance of 9.36m, a sixth place place in the women's 100m hurdles, and an eighth place finish in the women's high jump. "Erin's main event is the heptathlon so I knew that she could perform well in multiple events. She routinely raises her game at the biggest meets of the year," commented Coach Myers.
Senior KC Robinson (Lyman, S.C.), competing in her final collegiate track meet, came up big with a pair of quality performances. Robinson finished eighth in the women's javelin throw, but really shined brightly in the women's discus. In her best event, Robinson captured fourth place in the women's discus throw and infused the women's team with some much needed points in that event.
Two of the gutsiest performances belonged to the women's long distance runners. Freshman Erica Fovenesi (Rochester Hills, Mich.), despite running with a foot injury and limited training, pushed herself to a tenth place finish in a highly competitive 10,000m run. Sophomore Gina Valenti (Washington, N.C.) also ran in the 10,000m and finished sixth overall. The very next day, Valenti mustered up the strength to compete in the women's 5,000m, claiming tenth overall to complete the grueling double with personal best performances in both events.
April Harris (Jonesville, Va.) continued her attack on the women's 3,000m steeplechase. Harris paced her way to a second place finish and personal best performance in one of the most grueling races on the track.
"I'm very proud of the way our women's team came together for this meet. Most of them participated in multiple events and gave it their all," said Coach Myers.
The Lady Bobcats will be back in action on May 4th at the Duke Twilight Invitational meet.
Pictured: Shantra McCoy