Davidson’s Grace Loehr said it best in her Instagram post: “Track! is! back!”
Track and field rarely gets any love, unless it is an Olympic year. Indoor track and field acts as the tuneup for the outdoor season. Competition opens up early in December, but must contend with an often long lapse in competition, because of exams and holidays. However, the holidays are over, and a new semester has begun. Get to know some of the collegiate athletes running, throwing and jumping across the Charlotte area. Perhaps a few of them will earn Olympic glory next summer in Tokyo.
Charlotte 49ers-NCAA Division I
Conference: Conference USA
Director: Bob Olesen
The 49ers finished third as a program during the 2017-18 indoor conference championships. Another shot at the crown comes Feb. 16-17 in Birmingham, Alabama. Take a look at how things have gone thus far.
Charlotte opened the season on Dec. 1 at the JDL College Kick-Off Classic in Winston-Salem. Junior Isis Welch took second in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.84. Senior Amaka Awuruonye placed second in high jump, with a height of 1.7 meters. Freshman Riley Felts tied for second in pole vault (3.50 meters). Sophomore Jade Jordan’s 11.75 meters in triple jump took the cake. Freshman Jasmine Jenkins finished third in shot put, throwing 12.87 meters. Needless to say, the 49ers put on a good show. They return to competition in Blacksburg, Virginia at the Virginia Tech Invitational Jan. 11-12.
Davidson Wildcats-NCAA Division I
Conference: Atlantic 10
Director: Jen Straub
The Wildcats placed seventh in Rhode Island during last season’s championships. George Mason hosts this season’s events Feb. 23-24 in Fairfax, Virginia. Take a look at how things went for the Wildcats in their season opener.
Davidson took eight top three medals at the JDL Early Birds Dual in Winston-Salem on Dec. 2. Junior Katie Hines’ 25.63 performance in the 200-meter earned her first place. Senior Tori Long took second in the 400-meter, running a 57.91. Sophomore Eleni Daughters won the 800-meter with a 2:15.2. Senior Sophia Mills also finished first in the mile, running a 5:01.91 (can you say, “goals!”). Caroline Yarbrough, a senior, ran a 9:58.44 3,000-meter, which took the crown. Freshman Meghan Corso’s 9.24 in the 60-meter hurdles earned her third place. Makayla Binter, a junior, placed second in long jump (5.45 meters).
Next up for the Wildcats, a trip to Winston-Salem for the Wake Forest Invite.
Winthrop Eagles-NCAA Division I
Conference: Big South Conference
Head coach: Ben Paxton
Winthrop finished seventh out of eight teams during last season’s indoor championships in Lynchburg, Virginia. They return in search of vindication Feb. 15-16.
Senior Taryn DeLeon placed third in high jump (1.6 meters) as the Eagles opened the season on Dec. 1 at the Appalachian Open.
Johnson C. Smith Golden Bulls-NCAA Division II
Head coach: Lamont Johnson
The Golden Bulls are familiar with track and field success at the collegiate level, and internationally. Former coach Lennox Graham trained Shermaine Williams, who competed at the 2012 Olympic games in London, but what does this version of the program look like?
Last season, they finished fourth during the CIAA indoor championships in Winston-Salem.
competed on Dec. 1 at the JDL College Kick-off in Winston Salem, where sophomore Sah-Jay Stevens finished second in shot put (13.44 meters). Fellow sophomore Delicia McDuffie placed second in the 200-meter, running 25.50.
The Golden Bulls head to Columbia for the USC Challenge Jan. 18-19 to begin 2019 competition. Indoor concludes Feb. 10-11 at the championships, which return to Winston-Salem.
Queens Royals-NCAA Division II
Conference: South Atlantic Conference
Director: Jim Vahrenkamp
The Royals, like the Golden Bulls, opened their season at the JDL College Kick-Off in Winston-Salem, while throwers went to Boone for the Appalachian Open. The team also went to Allendale, Michigan for the GVSU Holiday Open on Dec. 7. Sophomore Aintzane Castarlenas tied for second in pole vault in Winston-Salem, with a height of 3.5 meters. In Michigan, juniors Natane Deruytter and Mandi Moxie placed 22nd and 34th in the 5,000-meter, respectively. Deruytter ran a 17:38.40, and Moxie finished with at 17:57.93.
Queens return to the championships, defending last year’s title, in Winston-Salem Feb. 23-24.
This article is one of many we’re doing to highlight the Charlotte women doing great work to make our town the vibrant, growing, exciting place we all call home. While we are focused on female athletes here, we promise, at scoop we are all about the QC women, so you’ll be hearing a lot more from us on the topic of women who work in CLT over the next months. If we missed one or more of your favorite notables in this article, please share in the COMMENTS section below, so all can see and support.