Cougars T&F Prepared for CAA Championships in Elon
CHARLESTON, S.C. - The College of Charleston track & field team will compete in the CAA Championships for the third time in program-history this weekend, which will take place on May 6 and May 7 in Elon, N.C.
The Cougars finished seventh in both of their previous CAA Championships. This will mark their first such meet that takes place outside of Virginia, after last year's meet was hosted by William & Mary, and the previous year was at James Madison.
The CAA Championship will mark the first time in over 12 years that the College's track and field program makes the journey to Elon. The last time they were there, CofC finished second at the Elon Invitational in April of 2004.
Jumping for Joy
Without question, the jumps have been the Cougars' specialty this season, and it is where head coach Amy Seago will be counting on a plethora of points to be generated from. Reigning CAA high jump champion Julisa Tindall is poised for another strong showing, and will enter the meet as the top-billed competitor in the event with a conference-best height of 1.73m this season. If she can match that, or better yet, approach her career-best of 1.84m, she may be looking at a repeat.
Tindall's counterpart in the triple jump is senior RoShani Glover, who holds the CofC record and the best mark in the CAA this season at 12.32m. That jump is only 6cm better than second-place Carrie Abraham of Elon, so Glover will need to bring her A-game if her goals include a triple jump crown.
In addition to their specialty-events, both Glover and Tindall are threats to score points in the long jump, where Glover ranks sixth in the CAA (5.70m) and Tindall stands at tenth (5.62m).
The Cougars will look to overwhelm the javelin throw with numbers, as they have four student-athletes who are capable of scoring in the event. Freshman Jenny Martin ranks fourth in the CAA with a season-best throw of 39.89m, while senior Ciera Holston is a tried and true source of production, having scored for the Cougars last season in the event. Freshman Nicole Lane (ninth) and graduate senior Mackenzie Maples (11th) also figure to threaten for points.
In the discus, junior Alex Coyle ranks 14th in the CAA with a season-best of 39.58m, while freshman Courtney Brooks holds the same standing in the hammer with a PR of 44.92m.
Middle Distance: long sprints to some, short runs to others
Sophomore Marissa Small-Towns has steadily improved all season long, and enters the CAA Championships at fifth-best in the conference. Given her propensity for speeding up race-to-race (she reset her PR six times over the course of the indoor and outdoor seasons), she has the capability of finishing a few spots above her fifth-place billing.
Carlee Cassidy posted the school's best time in the 1500m this year with at 4:39.98. With an improvement of only a few seconds, she could find herself in a position to score for CofC...
And I ran, I ran so far away
...however, Cassidy may not be called upon in the 1500m, given that her specialty is the grueling 3000m steeplechase. With a school record time of 10:32.95, the Canadian junior is ranked second in the CAA, with her time standing just under five seconds back of top-ranked Tereza Novotna of Elon.
One of the more fascinating dilemmas for coach Seago will be watching how she proceeds with decorated distance runner Cara Butcher, who ranks sixth in the steeplechase and fifth in the 5000m run with times of 10:45.29 and 16:55.50 respectively. She's been able to post exquisite times all season, but has not yet been called upon to compete in two taxing races in back-to-back days.
Relays and Hurdles and Sprints, Oh My!
The Cougars' relay teams enter the meet with times of 47.62 in the 4x100m and 3:54.17 in the 4x400m, which places them sixth and seventh respectively. Freshman breakout Kennay Agnew is a prominent member of both teams, and both are projected to score for CofC. In addition, Agnew ranks ninth in the CAA in the 400m dash with an altitude-adjusted time of 57.40. If she can shave half a second or more off of that time, she will project to score valuable points for the Cougars.
Freshman Katherine Linn has steadily improved in the 400m hurdles this season, and with a collegiate-best time of 1:06.70, enters the CAA Championships ranked 17th in the conference.
Heptathlon, the $13 All-You-Can-Eat Buffet of Track Events
A difficult event to gauge due to the lack of participation thus far through the outdoor season. On the one hand, freshman Jenny Martin ranks first in the CAA with a score of 4299 back in mid-March, followed by Sarah Lynch in fourth (3948 Pts) and Julia Petruch in fifth (3859 Pts). On the other hand, the College is one of only three schools in the CAA to even compete in the event this year, leaving Elon, UNCW, JMU, Northeastern and Delaware rather enigmatic. Most notably absent, Emily Dixon of Elon who was last season's event-champion has not participated in a heptathlon yet this season. However, if Martin's PR was performed at last year's CAA Championships, it would have been good enough to score for the Cougars. Lynch meanwhile finished just outside of scoring range in 2015 with a ninth-place score of 4227 points.