THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2012
Track & Field goes for seventh straight A-Sun Outdoor title Friday
Another title defense begins Friday for the JU track & field team as it competes in the Atlantic Sun Outdoor Championships at North Florida’s Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville.
The Dolphins have won the last six outdoor championships, tying UCF (2000-05) for the most consecutive conference titles. Another title would put the Dolphins one shy of UCF’s record eight overall A-Sun championships.
“It is readily apparent that the A-Sun conference has gotten significantly stronger and deeper in recent years,” JU head coach Ron Grigg said. “There is a lot of parity amongst the top individuals and top teams. This championship will be the most competitive ever. It will require a full team effort of excellent performances to earn this championship. Whichever program can produce that effort will leave with the team trophy.”
Senior Alana Walker kicks off the meet Friday with the heptathlon at 9:30 a.m. She will compete in the long jump, high jump, shot put and 200 meter portions before finishing Saturday at 10 a.m. with the long jump, javelin and 800-meter. Last season, Walker placed with 4,195 points in the event.
Friday’s afternoon session starts with senior Laura Phillips and juniors Akeela Bravo and Sara Schunter and freshman Sally Marie Futch in the hammer throw at 3:30 p.m. Bravo, Phillips and Schunter will close the day in the shot put at 6:30 p.m.
Phillips redshirted during the 2011 outdoor season, but finished second in the hammer (158’5”) during his last championship appearance in 2010. Bravo has the program’s best mark this season in the hammer (173’3”) and the shot put (44’0.5”).
The long jump starts at 6:30 p.m. with senior Stacey Young, junior Charlene Charles and freshmen Courtney Walker and Shanique Walker.
Young led the Dolphins in the long jump last year with a leap of 18’5.75” for second place. It was the first time a Dolphin had not won the long jump since the 2005 championship. Charles was JU’s last winner in 2010 with a leap of 18’11.25”.
Young, Charles and Shanique Walker along with freshman Petra Munkacsy will run in the 100-meter hurdles preliminaries at 7 p.m. The finals are scheduled for Saturday at 5:50 p.m. Young (13.53, 2011) and Charles (13.91, 2010) are the last two A-Sun champions for this event.
Courtney Walker runs in the 100-meter preliminaries at 7:50 p.m. looking to earn a spot into Saturday’s final at 6:35 p.m.
Sprinkled inside of the time trails will be sophomore Svenja Meyer running in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at 7 p.m. She ran a time of 10:51.64 in this event earlier this season at the Pepsi Florida Relays on April 6.
Following the heptathlon on Saturday, the Dolphins will start the final session with the triple jump and discus at 3 p.m.
Young and Shanique Walker will go for the Dolphins in the triple jump, while Bravo, Schunter and Phillips are scheduled discus throw.
Young is the returning champion for the triple jump with a leap of 40 feet in 2011. Bravo won the discus (141' 11”) in 2011, while Schunter earned points by finishing fourth.
The Dolphins will compete in the first of two relays at 5:05 p.m. with the 4x100-meter. JU has won the last three 4x100-meter relay, including posting a meet record 44.82 in 2009. They will look for their third straight 4x400-meter relay title later in the day at 8:45 p.m. The Dolphins posted a championship record time of 45.60 last season.
Pierre, Meyer, junior Morgan Keel and freshman Sarah Bailey are scheduled to run in the 1,500-meter at 5:25 p.m. Junior Bienna Freeman and senior Amalia Vogler will join Pierre and Bailey in the 800-meter at 6:55 p.m.
Pierre is the returning champion in the 1,500-meter and broke the program record earlier this season while competing at UNF with a time of 4:25.05. Freeman also won the 800-meter in 2011 and has broken the program mark this season by running a 2:07.16 at the Pepsi Florida Relays.
Charles wraps the championship with the high jump at 6 p.m. and the javelin an hour later. She was third in the event in 2011 with a leap of 5' 5".
The Dolphins will send junior LaTonya Payne, freshman Alexis Taylor, Young, Shanique Walker and Alana Walker to fill the shoes of three time champion Unique Singleton in the 400-meter hurdles at 7:25 p.m.
Payne had the team’s best time 1:00.45 at the Pepsi Florida Relays, while Shanique Walker ran the program’s fourth-fastest 400-meter hurdle time (1:00.59) at the Seminole Invitational on March 14th.
Payne will also be in the 400-meter earlier at 6:25 p.m. with freshman Shadaey Campbell. Courtney Walker ends her first outdoor meet with the 200-meter at 7:45 p.m.
Fans can follow the live results through the conference championship page on atlanticsun.org. There will also be a special live blog during the meet on JUDolphins.com.