SALEM, VA - The Montreat College track & field team traveled to Virginia over the weekend to compete in the Finn Pincus Invitational, hosted by Roanoke College. The Cavaliers made the most of the trip, coming through with 16 top-10 finishes while setting nine new school records.
On the women's side, Lydia Wilson (FR/Smithfield, VA) continued to shine during her breakout freshman campaign, winning the mile in a school-record time of 5:16.16. Wilson came back later to take 7th in the 800m with a time of 2:27.59. That mark also set a new school record. The women's team also got new school record performances from Nyaisha Burrell (FR/Richmond Hill, GA) (60m - 8.40), Katie Colenda (FR/Grimesland, NC) (400m - 1:07.12), and Isabel Salinas (FR/Resaca, GA) (600m - 1:49.60). On Friday night, Chelsea Davis and Colenda made their debuts in the high jump, with both finishing with a school-record mark of 1.38m. MiKayla Poulter (JR/Hickory, NC) placed 7th in the 5,000m (21:20.40) while Samantha Gaskill (SR/Wilmington, NC) was right behind, placing 8th (21:21.84).
The men's team came through with 11 top-10 finishes while breaking three school records. On Friday night, Emanuel Beckett (FR/Hingham, MA) made his collegiate debut in the high jump and he did not disappoint, taking third place with a program best mark of 1.91m. Also on Friday night, Rylan Hincher (SO/North Wilkesboro, NC) placed 4th in the 5,000m with a new personal-best time of 16:01.14. In the second section of the 5k, a quartet of Cavaliers packed together and took the top four sports. Jacob Parker (FR/Elkin, NC) led the way with a time of 16:39.68, while Brandon Welborn (JR/Traphill, NC) (16:40.02), Holden Dixon (SO/Chocowinity, NC) (16:46.91), and Frank Bartholow (FR/Lexington, NC) (16:47.11) were close behind.
On Saturday, Elijah Mitchell (SO/Milledgeville, GA) set the tone for a great day, placing 2nd in the 600m with a school-record time of 1:23.60. Jeb Phillips (FR/Mooresville, NC) took 5th in the same event (1:28.38) while Eli Hall (SO/Columbus, NC) (6th - 1:28.40) and Daniel Lancaster (JR/Jacksonville, NC) (10th - 1:28.81) also had strong performances. Earlier in the day, Lancaster placed 6th in the mile with a season-best time of 4:35.70 while Phillips finished the same event in 4:41.06. Connor Duncan (FR/Lawrenceburg, KY) placed 3rd in the 500m with a time of 1:12.24 while Marcus Medina-Artis (FR/Kenly, NC) was 4th in 1:13.36. Duncan would later go on to race to a personal-best time of 23.62 in the 200m while Medina-Artis came through in 23.71. Brien Lancaster (JR/Jacksonville, NC) took home a 4th place finish in the 3,000m with a time of 9:11.13 and the 4x400m relay team of Medina-Artis, Duncan, Hall, and Mitchell placed third with a school-record time of 3:29.66.
In the field events, Beckett led a trio of jumpers in the long jump. After his first and best jump was marked incorrectly, Beckett rebounded to post a top effort of 6.08m while Tyler Hensley (FR/Black Mountain, NC) jumped to a lifetime best 6.01m. Melvin McCleave (FR/Lincolnton, NC) got his first action of the season and finished with a best jump of 5.56m.
"It was a strong weekend for the team," said Director of Cross Country/Track & Field Jason Lewkowicz. "At this time of year, we are looking to see some breakthroughs and we got a lot of that. With our program being relatively new, it is exciting to see these athletes come out and set new standards. We want to continue to raise the bar for what we expect out of our team and continue to do our best to represent Montreat well. We have a hard working bunch that will continue to improve as the season goes on."
The team will wrap up the regular season this weekend with a pair of meets. The team will compete in the Appalachian Athletic Conference Challenge on Friday at the JDL Fast Track complex in Winston-Salem, NC. A portion of the team will remain in town to compete in the UCS Invitational at JDL the following day.
WINSTON-SALEM, NC – A select group of members of the track & field team traveled to Winston-Salem over the weekend to take part in the highly competitive 2017 Camel City Invitational, hosted at the JDL Fast Track Complex.
Highlighting the effort for the women was Lydia Wilson (FR/Smithfield, VA), who took 8th place in the 5,000m with a time of 18:11.06. This effort took 37 seconds off of her debut and school-record time from two weeks ago and hit the "A" standard for the 2017 NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships. In doing so, Wilson became the first women's track & field athlete to qualify for indoor nationals in a running event and only the second overall, joining Montreat alum Charnay Ryland (2015 – triple jump). Isabel Salinas (FR/Resaca, GA) also competed for the Cavaliers, finishing the 800m in a time of 2:32.12.
On the men's side, the quartet of Daniel Lancaster, Marcus Medina-Artis (FR/Kenly, NC), Elijah Mitchell (SO/Milledgeville, GA), and Brien Lancaster (JR/Jacksonville, NC) set a new school record in the Distance Medley Relay. Their time of 10:42.36 was good for 8th place overall. Danny Lancaster led a group of Cavaliers in the 800m, finishing with a time of 2:02.43. Jeb Phillips (FR/Mooresville, NC) made his collegiate track debut in the event and finished in 2:04.35. Brien Lancaster raced to a time of 8:53.25 in the 3,000m while Holden Dixon (SO/Chocowinity, NC) completed the mile in a new personal-best time of 4:40.42. Elijah Mitchell finished the 400m with a time of 52.25 while Connor Duncan (FR/Lawrenceburg, KY) ran a 53.05.
"Our group got some good experience over the weekend," said Director of Cross Country/Track & Field Jason Lewkowicz. "We had a tough week of training in all disciplines and came into a Friday meet with heavy legs. It was good to see the team go out and have to push through some adversity and I believe it will benefit them in the long run."
On the record-setting effort of Lydia Wilson Lewkowicz added, "What a treat it was to watch that performance. Lydia is still really new to the sport but she has a natural toughness and determination that is forming her into a great competitor. She took out the first mile really fast but held it together through a tough last mile and punched her ticket to indoor nationals."
On the effort of the weekend, Head Track & Field Coach Britten Olinger said, "We had some good highlights during the meet. Everyone knows where we are in our training and still went out and competed with great effort and attitude. We walked away having learned just how capable we can be in our abilities, just as long as we believe it. We had a great performance from Lydia Wilson in the 5k running a personal best and punching her ticket to NAIA Nationals. Our men's DMR broke the school record and ran well. Also, we had a few more individual personal bests. We will be in a groove these next few weekends as we have consecutive meets."
The full team will hit the road again next weekend when they compete in the Finn Pincus Invitational at Roanoke College February 10th & 11th.
NEW ORLEANS, LA - The Montreat College track & field teams made a splash last weekend at the Liberty University Kickoff and the results were not overlooked as both teams earned recognition in the inaugural region rankings of the United States Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
This week's rankings list the Cavalier men as 3rd in the South Region with 294.62 points. The Appalachian Athletic Conference had a sweep of the top-three spots in the region with Milligan and Tennessee Wesleyan holding the top two spots ahead of Montreat. The ranking came after a weekend where Brien Lancaster (JR/Jacksonville, NC) delivered top-25 national performances in the 3k (11th) and Mile (24th). Lancaster is also ranked 13th in the 5,000m. Rylan Hincher (SO/North Wilkesboro, NC) is ranked 18th in the 5,000m after his top-10 performance at Liberty and Elijah Mitchell (SO/Milledgeville, GA) is ranked 39th nationally in the 400m.
The Montreat women were ranked 12th in the South Region with 127.91 points. The Cavaliers were one of four AAC teams in the top-12 and were bolstered by the tremendous debut of Lydia Wilson (FR/Smithfield, VA), who has the 7th best time in the NAIA in the 5,000m after her third-place finish at Liberty.
You can see the full rankings from the USTFCCCA HERE.