On Saturday the NC Wesleyan track and field teams competed in the 1st ever USA SOUTH Track and Field Conference Championships located at Berea College, KY on a rainy cold day.
BEREA, Ky. - The day started off with sophomore Jeff Black, Cameron Achilles, Jeshon Smith, and Raquan Harris running the 4x100 meter relay. This was just the 2nd time this season that they had ran this relay, and they were in 1st place after 2 baton exchanges. Unfortunately there was a bad exchange between the 3rd and 4th runners that disqualified the relay team from that race.
After racing in the 4x100, Achilles, a sophomore, competed in the 400 meters and the 400 meter hurdles races. In the 400 meter run, Achilles finished 7th out of 20 runners, and finished with a school record of 51.26. He quickly turned around and prepared himself for another NC Wesleyan record setting performance in the 400 hurdles, which saw him finish 11th (out of 14 runners) with a time of 1:04.
In the 800 meters race there were multiple runners performing, and they were led by sophomore all-conference third teamer Christian Tippette who finished with a time of 2:06. Freshman Keyonte Williams had the best performance of the day in this race, as he ran his personal best time of 2:12, and beat a competitor whom he had a friendly challenge with. Following closely behind him was freshmen Jeshon Smith (2:14) and Terenthen Parker (2:25).
The 1500 meters race was the highlight race of the meet for the Men's Championships, and the best performance (9th out of 28 runners) was from Tippette, who broke his own NCWC school record with a time of 4:13. Following close behind him was freshman Connor Hayes who finished 15th with a time of 4:18. Parker (4:34) and Williams (4:38) wrapped up the 1500 with strong finishes.
The most challenging race of the day was the 5000 meters and there were 2 males and 1 female runner competing in this grueling race. The men were led by Hayes (17:09) and followed by sophomore Tyler Bird (19:23) who has competed hard all season. "This is the 1st season that Bird has ever competed in any track meets, and he has accepted all challenges head on." said coach Leonard.
Haley Sheehan finished 14th out of 19 runners in the 5000 meters race and ran a new NCWC record time of 21:49. She had a race plan, and she followed it perfectly, which led her to a 45 second improvement from the last time she raced it.
The meet was concluded with the 4x400 meter race that was ran by Achilles, Tippette, Parker, and Harris. This was only the 2nd time they have raced the 4x400 this season, and they finished 8th as they worked hard to compete with more experienced runners.
"This was the conclusion of our season, and I feel extremely blessed to have coached these student athletes," said head coach Marshall Leonard. "They have competed hard and have been noticed by other coaches in our conference as solid performers. The future is bright for the Track & Field program and we are expecting great things in the near future, as our incoming recruiting class will bring NCWC talented athletes that will be led by our now experienced runners."