Photos courtesy of Chris Colangelo, Brett Page
CENTRAL, S.C. - The Lees-McRae College men's and women's track and field teams wrapped up the Conference Carolinas Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday (Apr. 27), highlighted by four all-conference performances, three broken records and one provisional national qualifying mark. The men finished seventh as a team, while the women's team took ninth.
Men on Day One - Cooper Abernathy led the men with a third-place finish and earned third team all-conference honors in the javelin throw of 48.44 meters, while Alex Heck finished fourth with a distance of 47.17 meters. Blake Radder also finished 12th with a distance of 40.38 meters. Keith Holmes Jr. finished 13th in the long jump with a mark of 5.91 meters, while Logan Styers also finished 16th at 5.09 meters. Abernathy finished 10th in the hammer throw with a mark of 39.13 meters, while Radder finished 11th with a distance of 36.65 meters. Jason Saintizaire finished seventh in the high jump at 1.85 meters.
Women on Day One - Bayle Wood led the day off for the women with a 12th-place finish in the hammer throw at 37.87 meters. Millie McCoy would finish 16th in the long jump with a mark of 4.55 meters, while Mikali Smith also finished 19th at 4.17 meters. Brea Forbes would finish ninth in the long jump at 1.45 meters, while Jessica Reeves would finish 12th (1.35) meters and Smith would also notch a height of 1.35 meters. Wood would land herself on the all-conference first team winning the javelin throw, breaking both a Lees-McRae outdoor record as well as a Conference Carolinas Outdoor Championships record with a throw of 41.17 meters. She breaks the previous record at Lees-McRae of 39.35 meters that she herself set at last year's Conference Carolinas Outdoor Championships, while the championship record of 39.80 meters had been held by Madison Fulford of Limestone since 2015. This marked the second straight year that Wood has won a conference championship, broken a school record and been named to the all-conference first team.
Men on Day Two - Abernathy led off the day with a seventh-place finish in the shot put with a throw of 12.91 meters, while Radder finished 13th with a mark of 10.77 meters. Abernathy would go on to finish sixth in the discus event with a throw of 40.28 meters, breaking the Lees-McRae outdoor discus record of 38.93 meters previously set by Ryan Trask on Mar. 22, 2013 at the HPU Vert Klassie Meeting. Nolan Capps finished eighth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 10:39.86 as the lone Bobcat in the event. The quartet of Saintizaire, Kerry Richardson, Holmes and Williams finished seventh in the 4x100-meter relay in 45.08 seconds. Andrew Garrett Ybarra finished fifth in the 800-meter run in 1:59.74 as the lone Bobcat in the event. Bertie would place ninth in the 5,000-meter run in 16:14.41, while Aiden Hall would finish 14th in 17:33.02 and Capps would also finish 18th in 18:34.04. The foursome of Saintizaire, Anton Ledell, Joshua Hall and Ybarra also finished sixth in the 4x400-meter relay in 3:26.77.
Women on Day Two - Reeves started the day with a 13th-place finish in the triple jump with a mark of 9.13 meters. Mya Roberts placed ninth in the shot put with a throw of 11.17 meters, while Sariah Dempaire-Salomon finished 11th at 10.65 meters. Madison Cantrell would finish tied for third and garner third team all-conference honors in the pole vault with a mark of 2.90 meters, while Megan Guess also finished eighth with a height of 2.60 meters. Wood also finished sixth in the discus throw with a mark of 37.22 meters, while Dempaire-Salomon finished 12th at 33.70 meters. Jordyn Halvorsen took eighth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 13:57.91 as the lone Bobcat in the event. Britney Augustin would have a big day in the 400-meter hurdles winning the event in 1:01.92 to earn first team all-conference honors. The mark sets a new Lees-McRae outdoor record and also matches the provisional national qualifying standard, while also being just .07 off the Conference Outdoor Championships record. Meagan Thornton had held the previous record of 1:03.32 since Mar. 24, 2012 when she set the mark at the High Point Invitational. The quartet of Augustin, McCoy, Heard and Bowman would also finish eighth in the 4x400-meter relay in 4:18.19.
Up Next - The Bobcats are back in action on May 12 at the Lenoir-Rhyne qualifier in Hickory, N.C.