HARRISONBURG, Va. – Behind over 30 points scored in the 5,000-meters and three individual champions on day two, the Elon University women’s track and field team was able to pull away for a 17.5-point victory at the 2021 Colonial Athletic Association Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday, May 1 at Sentara Park.
The Phoenix won its third CAA championship out of the past seven seasons and capped off a CAA women’s cross country and women’s track and field title sweep for the first time at the Division I level this season.
“It’s such an amazing time to watch all these young ladies and all of their amazing work,” said Elon Director of Track and Field/Cross Country Mark Elliston. “It was so great watching them compete. I have to give credit to my coaching staff as well. They are such an amazing group and they worked hard to prepare their athletes to compete as well. It was wonderful the way we all came together to get this done.”
The Phoenix ended the two-day meet with five individual conference champions, topped by double victories for senior Scolasticah Kemei in the 10,000-meters and the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Another senior, Melissa Anastasakis, won her third straight CAA title in the 1,500-meters while Maria Ahm claimed Elon’s fourth distance title in the 5,000-meters. Sophomore Lauryn Carlton took the win in the women’s discus to round out the individual medalist honors for the Phoenix.
Ahm, Anastasakis and Kemei helped lead the Phoenix in the 5,000-meters as Elon took the top-five spots overall in the race. Ahm came in first with a time 16:52.48 followed by Anastasakis at 17:06.10. Kemei was third with her time of 17:06.56 while sophomore Maggie Springer was fourth overall with a time of 17:12.68. Leandra Lorenz completed the top-five sweep with her time of 17:14.44 while Hannah Preeo also earned a top-seven standing in the race and her time of 17:16.19.
Kemei won her second event of the meet in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. The Eldoret, Kenya, native had a time of 10:32.31 while Preeo was fourth overall at her time of 10:45.69. Hannah Miller also finished in the top-five with her time of 10:45.93.
Anastasakis ran a time of 4:26.34 in the 1,500-meters to win her third CAA title in the race. Anna Twomey was the runner-up and crossed the line with her time of 4:27.45 while Lorenz was fourth overall at 4:30.11.
Carlton won her first CAA title after winning the discus throw. The Elon, N.C., native threw a personal-record of 45.36m while Kathleen Collins was fourth overall with her toss of 43.61m. Kristine Strazdite was sixth at her heave of 42.49.
Elon also had three runner-up finishes on the second day. Piper Jons earned the silver in the 400-meters with her time of 55.51. Jons later helped the Phoenix’s 4×400-meter relay team of herself, Aliya Barrows, Gabriela Varisco de Oliveira and Alex Tudor take second in the race with a time of 3:47.36. In the 100-meter hurdles, freshman Kayla Clark was the runner-up in the race with her time of 14.34.
Other Notable Performances
• Stephanie Lair earned All-CAA honors in the 800-meters after leading the Phoenix with a third-place finish with her time of 2:13.31
• Madison George also earned All-CAA accolades in the pole vault as the sophomore cleared the bar at a height of 3.80m.
• Tessa DiPierdomenico was fifth in the 400-meter hurdles with her personal-best time of 1:04.18.
• Senior Elyse King also set a personal-best in the triple jump, finishing seventh overall with a jump of 11.75m.
Select individual athletes for the Phoenix will compete at the Liberty Twilight Qualifier for a chance to qualify for the NCAA East Preliminaries. That meet is slated for next Wednesday, May 5.
Elon – 191.5
Towson – 174
Delaware – 130
Northeastern – 97
William & Mary – 83
James Madison – 71
UNCW – 52.5
College of Charleston – 13
Hofstra – 6