Davis Claims Second Championship; Lady Bucs Strong in Sprints

Box score

ROCK HILL, S.C. - Another championship in the throws coupled with a school record in the 400m hurdles, and a dominant showing in the sprints has the Lady Bucs near the top of the team race after two days of the 2008 New Balance Big South Track and Field Championships.

All four Lady Buc participants in the 100m dash qualified for Saturday's finals, with Misha Morris claiming top spot with an 11.89-second finish. Jessica Thomas was close behind with a time of 11.91 seconds, each winning their respective heats. Canchettar Delamar finished just behind Morris, and will be in the fourth-seed in the finals, having run the event in 11.98 seconds. Alicia Bennett's time of 12.82 seconds claimed the eighth and final spot in the finals, guaranteeing additional team points for CSU on Saturday.

With a regional qualifying time of 23.86 seconds, Dionne Gibson dominated the 200m prelims, claiming the top seed for tomorrow's finals, leading the way for four more Lady Bucs to claim team points. Thomas finished just behind Gibson to automatically make the finals with a time of 24.52. Morris and Delamar also finished one-two in their heat with times of 24.48 and 24.60, respectively.

The run continued for CSU in the 400m dash, with Gibson winning her heat in a time of 55.05 seconds, just .06 off the school record, and the fastest time run by CSU this season. Ebony Muller also made the finals, finishing with the fourth-best time of 56.09 seconds, again every entry in the event made it to the finals.

Kim Allen and Bennett each claimed their spot in the 100m finals, with Allen getting an automatic bid based on her 14.68-second time which was the third-best in her heat. With the seventh-best overall time of 15.11 seconds, Bennett also claimed a spot.

Setting the school record in the process, Chidi Walsh won her heat of the 100m prelims with the day's fastest time of 1:01.41. Amerikorie Odey ran 1:05.28, which was the fourth-best overall time, putting her squarely into the finals of the event.

Scoring a much-needed team point in the 3,000m steeplechase, Brittany Owens finished eighth with a time of 12:42.13, while teammate Alicyne Smith was ninth in a time of 13:07.65.

Tying for the top height in the high jump, Bridgette Copeland ranked fourth based on number of attempts to clear 1.62m (5-3.75). Christi English cleared 1.57m (5-1.75), which placed her in a tie for fifth. Octavia Bests cleared 1.47m (4-9.75) which was the third-best distance but put her in a tie for ninth.

Davis claimed her second championship in as many days, winning the shot put even with a distance of 13.76m (45-1.75), edging out teammate Marie Doan, who tossed it a personal best 13.19m (43-3.25). Tia Habbersham just missed out on team points with a ninth-place distance of 10.38m (34-0.75). Davis repeats history she made yesterday by winning a throwing event and getting an automatic bid to the NCAA East Region, marking first time in school history that CSU has had a thrower qualify.

Continuing on Thursday's success in the heptathlon, Channel Futrell finished fourth in the 800m run (2:37.91) and the long jump (4.91m, 16-1.5), while finishing second in the javelin throw with a distance of 27.55m (90-5). Octavia Best picked up second in the long jump (5.20m, 17-0.75), sixth in the 800m (2:45.89) and eighth in the javelin (13.50m, 44-3).

The Lady Bucs, with a big day set up for Saturday, stand in third place overall with 62 team points, but are just two points behind Liberty. The Lady Bucs haven't finished second since the 1996 season, when Head Coach Tosha Ansley was in her freshman debut for CSU. Along with the seedings set from today's preliminary races, the Lady Bucs hold the top seed in the 4X100m relay, and will be third-seeded in the 4X400m relay.

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