Elon Heads to Spartanburg for SoCon Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships

Posted by Press Release on April 25, 2014 at 2:01 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University women’s track and field team travels to Spartanburg, S.C., this weekend, April 26-27, for the 2014 Southern Conference Outdoor Championships at Spartanburg High School. This will be the final SoCon championship meet for the Phoenix before moving to the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) next season.

Live Coverage
Live results, daily recaps, daily photos and video highlights from this weekend will be available on the Southern Conference website, soconsports.com. Additional updates of the Phoenix will be posted on Twitter at @ElonScores or the program’s handle at @EU_XCTF.

Elon at the SoCon Outdoor Championships
Elon returns eight All-SoCon performers from last year’s league championships, where the maroon and gold tied its highest finish ever with a fourth-place standing with 111 points.

The Phoenix also had three conference winners from last season and swept the podium in an event for the first time ever in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Senior Kimberlyn Holt (hammer throw) is the lone returning outdoor conference champion that will compete this weekend for Elon.

On the SoCon outdoor performance list, Elon has 14 marks in the top five, including five event leaders. Sydney Griffin (100-meter hurdles, 13.72), Allyson Oram (10,000-meters, 34:49.59), Tereza Novotna (3,000-meter steeplechase, 10:33.40), Megan Kirschling (high jump, 5’8.75” (1.75m)) and Jennifer Esposito (400-meter hurdles, 1:00.57) currently lead their respective events.

Along with Holt, the Phoenix will go into the league meet with the throwing roster of Kayleigh Birks, Charlise Morgan, Breanna Warren, Jennifer Jarvis and Brianna O’Grady. Birks ranks third in the SoCon in the hammer throw with a personal-best throw of 172’6” (52.58m) while Morgan is second in the shot put with a heave of 45’8” (13.92m). Warren has also stood out during her freshman campaign as she stands ranked second in the discus with a mark of 145’4” (44.30m).

“The throwing group looks to culminate the already good performances from this season to produce their best performances at the championship and help contribute to the teams overall performance,” said Elon assistant track and field and throwing coach Michael Gusbeth. “The throwers looked poised to reach the finals and score across all four throwing events.”

Griffin, Esposito, along with senior captains Bria Bell and Veronica Luedke headline a strong sprint and hurdle group this weekend. Bell is second in the 400-meters on the league’s performance list and has been an All-SoCon performer in the past for the Phoenix. Luedke earned All-league accolades last season in the 400-meter hurdles.

Simone Jackson will also look to make an impact this weekend in the 100-meter dash. Jackson set a school-record in the event earlier this season after clocking in a time of 12.18.

Both the 4×100-meter and 4×400-meter relay teams currently rank third in the league with times of 46.99 and 3:47.61, respectively.

Elon head cross country and assistant track and field coach #Christine Engel# will look to have another successful SoCon outdoor championship will her harriers after sweeping the podium in the steeplechase last season and currently having two members leading their respective distance events going into this weekend.

“We are certainly looking forward to the SoCon Championships this weekend,” said Engel. “We anticipate great competition in every event and are excited for the challenge. We hope to represent the program well.”

Oram and Novotna are having strong outdoor campaigns this season, with Oram setting the school-record in the 10,000-meters at the prestigious Stanford Invitational. Novotna also set a program record at the Stanford Invite in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and was the runner up in the event at last year’s championships.

Along with Oram and Novotna, the Phoenix distance roster this weekend includes Elyse Bierut (10,000-meters), Shelby Cuddeback (10,000-meters), Jackie Madden (800-meters), Kimberly Johansen (1,500-meters), Kaitlin Snapp (3,000-meter steeplechase) and Emily Dunne (5,000-meters). Oram, Novotna, Snapp, Bierut and Cuddeback will also race in the 5,000-meters.

Jumps and Field
In the high jump, the trio of Kirschling, Carrie Abraham and Haley Laird will represent the maroon and gold this weekend. Kirschling broke her previous school record in the event at the UNC Wilmington Seahawk Invitational earlier this season.

Claire Smith is the Phoenix’s lone representative in the pole vault. Smith set a new personal-record at the Aggie Invitational on April 12, clearing the bar at 11’5.75” (3.50m), the second-best performance on the program’s all-time list.

Abraham and Marie Borowycz will compete in both the long and triple jumps for the Phoenix. Jayna Coyle will also represent Elon in the triple jump. As a freshman, Abraham has broken into the program’s top-five list in both the long and triple jumps.

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