Women’s Track and Field Wins Appalachian State’s First Sun Belt Title

Published Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 11:09 am
The Mountaineers scored 11 points in the final field event, the triple jump, to move in front of the field and take the title. Courtesy: Sun Belt Conference

The Mountaineers scored 11 points in the final field event, the triple jump, to move in front of the field and take the title. Courtesy: Sun Belt Conference

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Appalachian State University women’s track and field captured the school’s first Sun Belt Conference title by winning the SBC Indoor Championships on Tuesday night with a team score of 101.5 points, two points better than second-place Texas State and 5.5 more than Arkansas State in third.

App State trailed the Red Wolves by six points before gaining 11 points in the final field event of the night, the triple jump, by taking third- and fourth-place in the triple jump. Arkansas State didn’t have anyone competing, which allowed the Apps to move in front and capture the title.

“There is no doubt in my mind that this championship comes down to the level of student-athletes that we’ve been able to recruit here,” said head coach John Weaver. “Those student-athletes have bought in to what we’re teaching and because of that, we were able to accomplish this goal faster than we thought we would. This is a very special group of young women.”

The Black and Gold racked up their total with 20 scoring marks spread out amongst 13 events. Tristin Van Ord (Chapel Hill, N.C./Chapel Hill) led the way for App State with 20 points thanks to a pair of individual trophies in both the 3,000 on Monday and the 5,000 on Tuesday. Van Ord now has three career Sun Belt indoor titles after winning the 5,000 last season as well.

Van Ord was one of eight Mountaineers to score in multiple events including Darlene Girardeau (Hope Mills, N.C./North Carolina Central/South View), Shelby Howell (Wilmington, N.C./New Hanover), Torre Moser (Cary, N.C./Apex), Elisa Sargent (Cary, N.C./Green Hope), Kaytlyn Gill (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian), Brianna Tate (Summerfield, N.C./Grimsley), and Chelsey Hargrave (McLeansville, N.C./Williams). The other student-athletes to earn team points for Appalachian were Samantha Campanaro (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mt. Tabor), Hunter Welborn (Booneville, N.C./Starmount), Sarah Hoffert (Cary, N.C./Cary), Makayla Roten (Wilkesboro, N.C./West Wilkes), Libby Florence (Cedar Grove, N.C./Cedar Ridge), and Taylor Drummonds (Boone, N.C./East Carolina/Watauga).

Weaver continued, “It’s exciting knowing this is the first Sun Belt team title at Appalachian State, but the fact that we were the ones to get it done makes it that much more special. This is what we were striving for and we thought it would take a couple years, but we did it, and I couldn’t be prouder. This championship helps to verify our move to the Sun Belt and the higher level of competition.”

Girardeau showed her versatility as the only Mountaineer to score in three different events as she placed third in the 60-meter dash, sixth in the 200-meter dash and seventh in the long jump to collect a total of 11 points.

Howell secured a seventh-place finish in the 800 and was also part of the distance medley relay team that took home second on Monday. The other three members of that DMR team were Hoffert, Moser (also fourth in the mile) and Sargent (also sixth in the mile).

Girardeau was just a small part of the damage that Appalachian State did in the field events. Drummonds turned in the fourth-best height for the pole vault. In the high jump alone, H. Welborn was second, Roten was third and Florence tied for seventh. That was one of two events in which three Apps were able to score for the team along with the long jump in which Girardeau was joined by Hargrave in third and Gill in fourth. For the triple jump, Gill was third and Hargrave was fourth while Tate placed fifth in the weight throw and sixth in the shot put.

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