CHARLESTON, S.C. - Tamisha Foster set the school record in the outdoor triple jump and became the first jumper to qualify for the NCAA Preliminary Round since 2005 as for the first time in recent memory the Lady Buccaneer track and field program was paced by the jumpers and throwers.
Daisy Whitaker led a very balanced throwing attack, setting an indoor freshman record of 40-1.25 in the shot put in her first event of the year, the Virginia Tech Hokie Invitational. Tenasia White earned a top-10 finish in the weight throw in the same meet.
White went on to win the same event at the Gamecock Open the next week, and the team continued to build on their performances leading up to the 2011 Big South Indoor Championships.
At that meet, Patria Norman seemed to do a little of everything, finishing as the runner-up in the pentathlon, claiming third in the 60m hurdles, just 0.02 seconds off Coach Tosha Ansley's school record, and fourth in the shot put. Whitaker earned second in the shot put, marking the first time under Coach Josh Aydlette that a freshman has earned a medal. Also in the event, Breeann Guerra posted a personal best throw, finishing fifth overall after entering the meet ranked 14th in the conference. The Lady Bucs had all four throwers finish in the top 10 in the conference in the shot put, marking the first time it has been done in CSU or Big South history.
The entire championship seemed to see personal-best after personal-best for CSU as they finished with 55 team points, good enough for fourth place. Adrienne Cuff earned all-academic honors as well.
With the indoor season behind them, Ansley knew there were more positive things ahead during the outdoor season, and she was correct. In all, CSU set a pair of school records and a meet record during the outdoor campaign.
Tia Habersham started the season off on the right foot with a meet-record 47.63m throw in the hammer in the first outdoor event of the year, the Palmetto Classic. She won the event, while CSU had a clean sweep of the top four spots in the event. Guerra went on to win the discus competition at the meet, with CSU claiming first, third, fourth and fifth in that event.
Traveling to Coastal Carolina the next day, Brittney Greer posted one of her best performances of the year to finish third in the 100m dash, while Cuff claimed second in the 3,000m steeplechase. Deona Jones and Foster claimed second in the long jump and triple jump, respectively, at the same meet.
The team continued to work toward the Big South Outdoor Championships, with Foster picking up another victory for the blue and gold at the Chanticleer Classic, winning the triple jump event the week before the championships.
At the meet, CSU again seemed to peak at the right time as they continued to post personal bests en route to a third-place team finish. Norman earned Most Outstanding Field Performer honors, while Cuff was again named to the all-academic team.
Greer ran a season-best in the 100m dash to finish fourth, while a makeshift 4x100m relay team of Greer and three jumpers (Foster, Jones and Norman) combined to finish third and earn all-conference honors.
Foster earned all-conference honors with a runner-up finish in the triple jump, while Whitaker again earned a spot on the medal stand with a second-place finish in the shot put and the discus. Her mark of 42.67m was a new school record in the discus, and she broke the outdoor freshman record in the shot put with a mark of 13.05m.
After setting the school record with a championship mark of 5.96m (19-6.75) in the long jump, Norman finished off another busy meet with a runner-up finish in the heptathlon, winning three of the seven events, and finishing as the runner-up in two more events. She posted a total of 4,698 points, just 30 points shy of her school record.
Knowing she would need to increase her stock to earn a trip to Bloomington for the preliminary rounds, Foster took a week off for finals then exploded for a school-record 12.50m mark in the triple jump at the Bob Pollock Spring Invitational, hosted by Clemson. That mark was good enough to get her a ticket to Indiana.
Although she wasn't able to advance, she did improve six spots with a 12.21m finish at the NCAA Championships, finishing 32nd overall and bringing the 2011 outdoor season to a close.