Elon Track and Field Set For 2014 SoCon Indoor Championships

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University track and field team will travel to Winston-Salem, N.C., this weekend to compete at the 2014 Southern Conference Indoor Championships. The Phoenix will look to improve its fourth-place standing of a year ago inside the JDL Fast Track Indoor Complex.

Follow the Phoenix
Be sure to follow results of the meet through live results through elonphoenix.com on the track and field schedule page. Fans can also go to the SoCon website at soconsports.com and visit the league’s tournament central page. Updates will also be provided on Twitter at the handle @ElonScores or the program’s handle @EU_XCTF.

Indoor Championship History
This is the Phoenix’s 11th and final competition at the SoCon Indoor Championships. The maroon and gold has never finished higher than fourth at the league meet and will look to crack the top-three for the first time in program history. Last season, the Phoenix was second after day one, before falling to fourth with 81 total points.

Sophomore Sydney Griffin is Elon’s lone returning champion from last year’s championships after capturing the 60-meter hurdles title. Griffin is also one of four returning All-SoCon indoor performers along with Bria Bell (400-meters), Megan Kirschling (high jump) and Charlise Morgan (shot put).

Last Time Out
Due to weather conditions in the surrounding area, the maroon and gold competed twice last week, first on Monday, Feb. 17, at the Liberty Quad and then on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21-22, at the Virginia Tech Challenge.

Griffin broke her own school-record in the 60-meters at both meets, winning the event and clocking a time of 8.60 at the Liberty Quad. The Marietta, Ga., native bested that time at the Virginia Tech Challenge and ran a time of 8.56 and finished third overall in the race.

Kirschling tied a meet record in the high jump with a mark of 5’7” (1.70m) at Liberty, winning the title in the event. She cleared the bar at 5’8” (1.73m) at Virginia Tech, a season-best.

Bell, Jennifer Esposito and Jennifer Pash ran their best times in the 400-meters this season at the Virginia Tech Challenge. Esposito ran the second-fastest time in school history with a time of 56.09 while Pash set a new personal-record with a time of 56.70. Bell clocked in a season-best time of 57.03.

In Competition This Weekend
Sprints and Hurdles
Along with Griffin, Bell, Esposito and Pash other members of the Phoenix expected to compete in the sprints and hurdle events are Simone Jackson, Bria Turner and Veronica Luedke.

Griffin’s time of 8.56 is the best in the conference this season as she was recognized as the league’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Week on Thursday, Feb. 27.

Esposito currently owns the third-best time in the SoCon in the 400-meters while Pash (sixth) and Bell (eighth) join her in the top-ten on the league’s performance list. Griffin and Esposito are also in the top seven in the 200-meters at fifth and sixth place, respectively.

The Elon distance group has had a record-breaking 2014 indoor campaign this season and will look to continue their success during league competition. Senior Allyson Oram heads the distance squad this weekend along with Jackie Madden, Kimberly Johansen, Tereza Novotna, Kaitlin Snapp and Elyse Bierut.

Oram has set new a school-record in three events this season – the one-mile, 3,000 and 5,000-meters – ranking among the top-five on the SoCon’s performance list in each event.

Johansen has also rewritten the school-record books during her freshman indoor campaign. The Chelmsford, England, native became the second-fastest peformer in program history in the one-mile race at the UCS Invite on Feb. 15, with a time of 4:58.41. She set the school-record in the 1,000-meter race with a time of 2:54.55.

Kirschling heads the high jump group along with Haley Laird and Carrie Abraham. Kirschling is currently second on the SoCon list in the event with a mark of 5’8” while Abraham and Laird are tied for sixth at 5’5”.

Abraham will also compete in the long and triple jumps with teammates Marie Borowycz and Jayna Coyle. Abraham currently sits fourth on the SoCon list in the triple jump with a leap of 38’2.75” (11.65m).

Claire Smith is the Phoenix’s lone representative in the pole vault. The Berkeley Heights, N.J., native set a new personal-best in the event with a cleared height of 10”11.75 (3.35m) at the Virginia Tech Challenge on Feb. 21.

Morgan sits second on the SoCon performance list in the shot put for Elon. The Upper Marlboro, Mass., native was just .02m away from winning the shot put title a year ago at the league championship meet.

Joining Morgan in the throwing events this weekend will be Kimberlyn Hot, Kayleigh Birks and Breanna Warren. Birks and Holt will compete in the weight throw while Warren will join both Morgan and Holt in the shot put.

Birks is in the top-10 in the weight throw in her second full season competing in the throwing events. Warren is also in the top-10 in the shot put with a toss of 42’4” (12.90m).