NEW ORLEANS – With dozens of athletes competing at any given time in track & field, coaching them is certainly a team effort. With Salisbury University looking forward to the national championship meet and the possibility of one of its largest qualifying pools, two of the program's coaches were honored on Friday as the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced its regional awards.
Bataille's focus lies with the sprinters and hurdlers and has helped build the group to national recognition, as the men's team has climbed into the USTFCCCA national computer rankings, reaching as high as No. 10, currently sitting at No. 15.
Salisbury's men's sprinters and hurdles currently have five student-athletes with times in the top 20 in the nation, including sophomore Tyler Austin's 100-meter dash time of 10.55 seconds, which ranks third in the nation this season.
Austin's blazing time came at the Capital Athletic Conference Championships, where Bataille's sprinters won the 100- and 200-meter dashes with meet records, and claimed the top spot in the 110- and 400-meter hurdles and the 4x100-meter relay. Her sprint and hurdle group gained 108 points that day, allowing the Gulls to collect their ninth CAC title in the past 10 years.
Price's specialty lies in the throws, where he has also helped Sea Gull student-athletes excel. Salisbury currently has two women's throws, both by senior Chelsea Tavik, ranking in the top 12 in the nation. Tavik's 48' 4.75" effort in the shot put at the Penn Relays is not only a school record, but also stands as the second-best distance in the country this year.
Price's throwers were also key in the women claiming their fourth-straight CAC championship earlier this month. Salisbury claimed the top spot in all four women's throwing events and took five of the top six positions in the javelin throw at the CAC championships, as part of 74 points for the SU women's throwers.
With a handful of NCAA qualifying student-athletes expected to be announced this weekend, Bataille and Price will be looking to lead their charges to LaCrosse, Wis., next week on a national stage.