Troy State men repeat as A-Sun track and field champs

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 21, 2002

From Special Reports – Two familiar faces captured team titles at the Atlantic Sun Conference Track & Field Championships on Saturday, with the Troy State men and UCF women repeating as champions on a steamy afternoon at Troy State’s Memorial Stadium.

The team title is the third straight for UCF and its fifth in the last six seasons, while Troy State captured its second consecutive crown and fourth in five seasons.

The TSU men overcame a 16-point, first-day deficit to finish with 242 points and pull past Samford, which led after Friday’s events. The Bulldogs finished second with 199 points. Belmont finished third with 54 points, followed by Georgia State (49) and Campbell (49).

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"It was a war," Troy State Director of Track Bob Lambert said. "(Samford was) out in front of us after the first day. We made some moves in the sprints, and they came back in the distances. We made some moves in the hurdles, and they came back in another distance race. It was just a see-saw battle all day. For a team that was 60 percent freshmen (TSU), I can’t say enough about our effort."

The UCF women stretched their first-day lead and finished with 08 points, ahead of second-place Belmont (101), Troy State (79), Florida Atlantic (64) and Georgia State (60). Samford finished sixth with 37 points, followed by Campbell (28), Jacksonville (22) and Jacksonville State (20).

"I’m ecstatic," UCF head coach Marcia Mansur-Wentworth said. "We made it up over 200 points and had a fantastic meet. We have some great athletes here at UCF."

After three record-setting performances on Friday, five more conference marks fell on Saturday, highlighted by Samford’s Josh Jones, who’s jump of 15’1" in the men’s pole vault bettered his previous A-Sun record of 15 feet, set in 2000. Jones, who finished with 30 points in the two-day championship, also earned male Most Outstanding Performer honors.

Samford’s Chad Johnson also established a new A-Sun record on the men’s side, running the 3000-meter steeplechase in 9:21.60. The effort bettered the previous best of 9:23.26 by Samford’s Aaron Bishop in 2000.

A pair of Belmont athletes enjoyed record-setting performances as well on Saturday, with William Kemey setting a new mark in the men’s 5000-meter (14:48.60) and Katie Curtis posting a record jump of 11’6" in the women’s pole vault. The previous best in the 5000-meter was 14:51.52 by Troy State’s Michael Green in 1999, while Curtis’ mark in the pole vault bettered the 11’6" vault by Jacksonville’s Sara Robertson in 2000.

Campbell’s Eric Bergemann also posted a record-setting mark, jumping 7’" in the high jump, bettering his previous best and A-Sun record of 6’9<" in 2001. He finished second in the balloting for Most Outstanding Athlete honors, compiling 26 points.

Emery Vickers was third on the men’s side in individual points, compiling 24.5.

On Friday, Troy State’s Michael Acree set a new mark in the long jump (23’4"), while TSU’s Takia Shoats blasted the record in the women’s hammer (152’11") and Belmont’s Keely Weaver obliterated the previous mark in the 10,000-meter (35:55.17).

Acree earned Most Outstanding Freshman Performer honors after posting 23.5 points in the championship. Florida Atlantic’s Vicki Briggs won the honor on the women’s side, finishing with 22 points.

UCF Senior Valerie Beaubrun won Most Outstanding Female Performer honors, despite three of her UCF teammates finishing with 24 individual points. Beaubrun won the women’s 400-meter and 800-meter events, her only two events of the meet.

Lambert and Manseur-Wentworth won men’s and women’s Coach of the Year honors, respetively.