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May 13, 2010
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The USC Upstate track and field team will travel to Jacksonville, Fla. for the two-day Atlantic Sun Outdoor Championships. The championship event will kick-off on Friday morning at 9:00 a.m. with the women's heptathlon at Hodges Stadium on the campus of the University of North Florida. Saturday's events will also begin at 9:00 a.m., as the day will begin with the final five events of the men's decathlon.
"Our athletes have worked really hard these season and we have had a lot of strong performances over the course of the outdoor season," said head coach Jimmy Stephens. "We are still a young program, but I feel we have come a long way since we started the program just a few years ago. I am excited to see what each of our athletes can do on Friday and Saturday."
A season ago, the men's team recorded a fourth-place finish, while the women's team finished sixth-overall. The men's team will look to a host of freshman to help them improve on last season's finish, while the women's team will count on several familiar faces to help lead them to a higher finish in 2010.
Leading the men's team a season ago was Justin Crawford (Elgin, S.C./Lugoff-Elgin). Crawford won the pole vault after clearing a height of 15-01.00. His victory earned him first-team all-conference accolades.
Michael Meissner (Cottage Grove, Minn./UW-River Falls) and Eric Chapman (Cowpens, S.C./Broome) recorded a pair of top-five finishes. Meissner finished fifth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 49.51, while Chapman finished fifth in the hammer throw with a mark of 146-11.00.
Leading the way for the women's team was a quartet of distance runners. Jemeli Sang (Eldoret, Kenya/Biwott Ngelel-Tarit) had two strong performances at the championship event. Sang finished second in the 10,000-meter run with a time of 36:54.73 and recorded a fourth-place finish in the 5,000-meter run after a time of 17:55.34. In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Lauren Walker (Columbia, S.C./Lugoff-Elgin) finished fourth with a time of 11:56.47.
Joan Tangwar (Eldoret, Kenya/St. Joseph's Girls) and Carolyne Chelulei (Eldoret, Kenya/Alliance Girls) also had strong performances. Tangwar finished third in the 1,500-meter run (4:38.02) and finished fourth in the 800-meter run (2:18.60). Meanwhile Chelulei finished fifth in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 18:13.59. She followed that up with a sixth-place finish in the 1,500-meter run after a time of 4:45.09. Sang (second-team) and Tangwar (third-team) earned all-conference accolades at the championship event.
Joining Upstate at the A-Sun Outdoor Championships will be Belmont, Campbell, ETSU, Jacksonville, Kennesaw State, Lipscomb and host-institution North Florida.