SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's and women's track & field teams are set to vie for another Capital Athletic Conference championship as the teams begin competition in the CAC outdoor track & field championships at Christopher Newport University on Saturday.
The meet begins on Saturday at 3 p.m., with a number of field events, and will continue through the early evening hours. On Sunday, the bulk of the meet will take place, beginning at 10:30 a.m., culminating with the awards ceremony at 4:30 p.m.
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Defending the titles
The Salisbury men have won 14 CAC outdoor championships, including nine of the last 10. The Salisbury men have won three consecutive outdoor championships, and with the inclusion of the CAC indoor championship (which began in 2012), Salisbury's men's track & field athletes have won five-straight track & field titles. The women's team has claimed four outdoor championships, having won each title since the 2010 season.
Last year at the championships
The women won by 100 points, scoring 257 to the University of Mary Washington's 157. A senior at the time, current assistant coach Chelsea Tavik won four individual titles and was named the CAC Athlete of the Year. The men earned the championship by a sizable margin as well, scoring 261 points, with Mary Washington in second, with 167. Luke Campbell earned the CAC's Rookie of the Year award after three all-conference performances. Head Coach Jim Jones collected both the men's and women's Coach of the Year awards. The championship sweep is the third time in school history that the men's and women's teams each won their respective titles.
Leading the men
Salisbury will be led this weekend by Campbell, the defending CAC and NCAA champion in the 110-meter hurdles. Campbell posted the third-fastest time in the nation during the 2014 season last weekend, with a school-record time of 14.21 seconds. Campbell is also the top-seeded runner in the CAC in the 400-meter hurdles, and ranks seventh nationally, with a time of 53.20 seconds. Thomas Burke holds the top time in the CAC this season in the 800-meter run, while Dylan Burkett holds the top CAC performance this season in both the shot put and discus.
Leading the women
The Sea Gulls enter the championships with the top-seeded performance in four different events. Kara Tolson holds the league's top time in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes. Sophomore Shannon Gilligan holds the top effort in the CAC this season in the javelin by nearly 10 feet over the closest competitor and freshman Sarah Taylor, who holds the school record, is tied for the top spot in the conference in the pole vault.
The championships at Christopher Newport will allow the Sea Gulls to make a familiar trip. The Salisbury teams have traveled to CNU for five competitions during the 2013-14 season. Four of those events were held during the indoor season, including the CAC indoor championships, but Salisbury also competed in the Captains' Classic just two weeks ago at POMOCO Stadium.
The Sea Gulls have a pair of last chance meets on the schedule, planning to go to the SWAT Last Chance Meet, at Swarthmore College, on May 12 and hosting the Salisbury Last Chance Meet on May 16.