Salisbury track & field heads to CAC championships with high expectations

Salisbury track & field heads to CAC championships with high expectations

SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's and women's track & field teams head to Christopher Newport University on Sunday morning for the Capital Athletic Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships; the meet is set to begin at 10 a.m., on February 21.

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How we got here

The Salisbury men's and women's teams have competed in four meets so far this season leading up to Sunday's title meet, including two trips to CNU already under their belt at the CNU Holiday Open on December 5 and the Vince Brown Invitational on February 6. The Gulls have already experienced success at Christopher Newport; in the previous two meets at the Freeman Center, the men's and women's teams combined for 61 individual performances that currently ranking in the top 20 for the CAC.

CAC Championship history

The Salisbury men's team has enjoyed success ever since the CAC began holding an indoor championship meet in the 2011-12 season, as the Sea Gulls have won all four previous title meets. The team also boasts the past three CAC Indoor Athletes of the Year and Coaches of the Year. The women's team took home the 2011-12 conference championship, while earning two CAC Indoor Athletes of the Year. The Gulls have also earned two CAC Coach of the Year awards for the women.

Last year's championship

Last season, the Salisbury men captured their fourth-straight CAC title with 147.33 points, while the women finished second in the meet with 96 points. Senior Luke Campbell led the men with conference individual titles in the 200- and 400-meter dashes and the 60-meter hurdles. He also helped the 4x400-meter relay team, teaming with sophomores Zach Schmelz and Eric Halton and junior Jerel Madison, to a first-place finish.

The Sea Gull women were led by the jumps with three first-place finishes. Junior Meghan McGowan took first in the high jump with a 5' 5" effort. Sophomore Christine Randall set a personal best in the triple jump (36' 4") to take first in the event. Junior Sarah Taylor rounded out the efforts in the pole vault with an 11' 1.75" leap to finish first, also setting a personal record.

Triple threat

Campbell comes into this year's CAC title meet leading the conference in three different events, including the 200- and 400-meter dashes and the 60-meter hurdles. In the 200, he set a 22.41-second time, while setting a personal record with his time in the 400 of 49.07 seconds. Campbell brings the nation's best time in the 60 hurdles to the meet of 8.00 seconds. After winning all three events in last season's championships, he looks to defend all three titles this year.

Jumping to the top

The jumps look to be a strength for Salisbury again this season in the championships, with McGowan and Taylor leading the women. McGowan ranks first in the conference with a top high jump of 5' 5.25", and Taylor paces the league in the pole vault with a 10' 8" leap. In the triple jump, Randall currently ranks second in the CAC with a 34' 10.5" jump, and junior Ashley Jackson sits at No. 3 with a 34' 7.75" effort.

On the men's side, sophomore Matthew Adedeji ranks first in the conference in the triple jump with a distance of 44' 9.75". He also is third in the high jump with a leap of 6' 2.25".

The competition

Salisbury's men's team will be pushed by Christopher Newport, as the Captains have had a combined five CAC Athletes of the Week; freshman Jonathan Graham has been named the league's Field Athlete of the Week three times and currently leads the conference in the pole vault (15' 3"). Sophomore Ryan Scott was named Track Athlete of the Week, as he currently sits in the top 10 of four events; his time of 22.43 seconds in the 200-meter dash trails Campbell by just .02 seconds. In the distance runs, Jeffrey Dover ranks third in the 800-meter run (1:57.95) and seconds in the mile run (4:16.40).

The Captains will also give the Sea Gull women good competition, having won four-of-six CAC Track Athletes of the Week. Logan Harrington won the award three times and ranks No. 1 in the conference in the 800 (2:15.66) and the mile (5:05.67). Jennifer Westerholm will challenge the Gulls in the jumps, as she sits No. 2 in the high jump (5' 2.5"), behind McGowan, and second in the long jump (16' 4.5").

Mary Washington's Taylor Cockerille, a two-time conference Field Athlete of the Week this season, ranks No. 1 in the shot put (41' 8") and No. 3 in the weight throw (45' 7.25").

What's next

Following the CAC championships, the Sea Gulls will travel to George Mason University for the second time this season on Sunday, February 28 for the George Mason Winter Games; the meet is set to begin at 9 a.m.

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