January 17, 2009

Upstate Track and Field Continues To Shine With Strong Performances and New Records

Jan. 17, 2009

BOONE, N.C. - Complete Meet Results

The USC Upstate track and field program competed in their second meet of the season and their first of 2009 on Saturday at Appalachian State.

Upstate and ETSU were the only A-Sun teams competing at the Appalachian Limited, among other opponents which included Western Carolina, UNC Asheville, High Point, Gardner-Webb, Limestone, Jacksonville State, King College, Emory University, Mars Hill, Lees-McRae, Milligan and Montreat College.

The Spartans continued to accomplish many new Division I firsts, including setting numerous personal and team records. While in December's meet it was the field events that saw many new team records, Saturday brought success and saw records from both the distance and field events.

"Overall, I'd say we had a really good performance today and I'm proud of the team," said head coach Jimmy Stephens. "Though we hadn't competed since the beginning of December, there were many improvements across the board in both the running and field events. I was impressed with the way that many of our newcomers came in and competed for the first time and really held their own."

Emily Tangwar sparked the Spartans with a first-place finish in the women's 800-meter event, leading all finishers with a time of 2:20.76 and setting a new school record. She achieved a new personal best time, beating her time from last year of 2:21.78. Caroline Chelulei and Joan Tangwar also competed in the 800-meter run, finishing in 2:29.83 and 2:32.33, respectively, and earning new second- and third-best times for the university.

"The distance runners had a great meet today," said assistant coach Ed Schlichter. "We went out treating it like it was a practice so we could see where we're at. Emily came out of the gate strong and ran well in the 800-meters and dominated the field today. Caroline and Joan both also put up strong performances."

Also earning a new university record was sophomore Joe Holzinger, who accomplished a new school record in the 800-meter run. James Jackson and Kevin Brabham also competed in the 800-meters for Upstate.

"Joe recorded a nice school record for us in the 800-meters, which was great to see," said Schlichter. "I'm proud to see him come out of the gate strong and refreshed from the off-season."

Both Jemeli Sang and Conrad Goeringer also set new Spartan records in the 1000-meter runs, both finishing in fifth-place out of the women and men. Lauren Walker, Matt Henderson, Derek Winslett and Brent Durden also competed for Upstate in the 1000-meters.

"Conrad demonstrated a great determination to put himself in the race and finished strongly," Schlichter said. "I also think that Jemeli looked great in the 1000-meters, an event that our women's team had never competed in, and did a nice job of getting up front and keeping it close for a while."

"It's nice to open January with a win," Schlichter said.

The Spartans had many sprinters returning from last year's team competing in the short-distance running events. Kathryn Neely and Alesha Dawson competed in the women's 55-meter dash, Graham Long ran in the men's 200-meter dash, Ashley Moore and Shakoka Jemison ran the women's 200-meter dash and Sheliah Williams competed in the 400-meter dash.

"Sheliah had a great performance today in the 400-meters," said Stephens. "Their indoor track is very difficult to run because of the odd configuration but I think she handled herself well and gave a good fight with a time of 1:03."

Cross country runners Maria Ruvalcaba Trigueros, Nicole Yancey and Jillian Finney all competed in the women's one mile indoor run for the Spartans, where Ruvalcaba Trigueros led all Spartan women and set a new personal best time for the indoor mile run.

In the field events, Perrish Goggins continued to show his athleticism and dominance, tying for first with Appalachian State's Darius Purcell in the men's high jump with a jump of 2.06 meters (6-09.00). He also earned a fifth-place finish of 23 competitors in the long jump with a 6.66-meter finish (21-10.25). Ricky Harris of Appalachian State took first-place in the long jump with 7.24 meters.

For the Spartans, Reggie Thompson also competed in the men's high jump and 55-meter hurdles, while Erin Tyre and Angie Varnum represented the women in the high jump.

"Reggie just became eligible from a transfer and has only been practicing with us for a week," Stephens said. "The numbers he put up today are very impressive and go to show that he has some remarkable potential."

James Miles once again led the Spartans in the men's shot put with a seventh-place finish of 40 opponents and a throw of 13.87 meters (45-06.25). Marc Wartenberger, who also competed in the men's long jump and 55-meter dash, earned a 15th-place finish with a toss of 12.49 meters (40-11.75), setting a new personal best.

Miles also finished strong in the men's weight throw event, setting both a personal record and school record with a throw of 14.22 meters (46-08.00) and finishing seventh overall. He previously held the school record with a 13.11-meter throw. Eric Chapman also gave a good effort for the Spartans, reaching 12.62 meters (41-05.00).

"James is continuing to get stronger and improve for us," Stephens said. "He set another personal record in the weight throw, beating his throw here last month which is great to see. Marc Wartenberger set a new personal best in the indoor shot put and Eric Chapman also did very well in his first meet. These things are all very encouraging as a coach and I expect to see some great things from these guys in the near future."

Dee Dee Allen finished first among the Spartan women in the shot put and weight throw with respective tosses of 9.39 meters (30-09.75) and 11.74 meters (38-06.25). LaTerrica Blocker and Kayla Speed also competed in the shot put, and Stacie Sewell also tossed in the weight throw.

Justin Crawford and Terry Squibbs competed in the men's pole vault event for the Spartans where Crawford shined with a sixth-place finish.

The Spartan track and field team will have a week to prepare for the UNC Classic next Saturday, Jan. 14th, in Chapel Hill, N.C.

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