NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana will seek a fourth consecutive team title Saturday in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Tad Gormley Stadium.
The Gold Nuggets return champions in four events and, based on this season's times and distances, are seeded first in six events.
The one-day, five-school meet will begin with field events at 8:45 a.m. The final event, the 1,600-meter relay, will begin at 4:45 p.m. Team awards will be presented at 5:15 p.m. Admission is free.
Competing with Xavier for team and individual honors will be the women and men of Dillard, Edward Waters, SUNO and Talladega.
"I like our chances of repeating," XU coach Joseph Moses said, "if we take care of the events where we have depth and our high seeds maintain their spots Saturday. We could score a lot of points. But we expect another competitive meet that may not get decided until late in the day."
Returning champions for the XU women are Terri Cunningham in the 400-meter hurdles and high jump, Drew Chatters in the javelin and Tylor Row in the 100 hurdles. The Gold Nuggets' top seeds are Chatters, Cunningham (high jump), Maliya Vaughan in the 1,500, Dionysia Love in the 5,000 and 3,000 steeplechase and the 3,200 relay team of Love, Chinyere Jones, Brianna Pace and Vaughn.
In six previous GCAC meets (2004, 2011-15), the Gold Nuggets won the team title five times, missing only in 2012. Xavier surpassed 200 points each of the past two seasons and won by 44 points over runner-up Edward Waters a year ago.
For the Xavier men, Christopher August is a defending champion in the 5,000. The Gold Rush's lone top seed is Brent Kitto in the 1,500. Kitto won that event in 2014.
Edward Waters is the defending men's team champion and won that title three of the past four years. The Tigers scored 156 points in 2015, 35 more than runner-up Dillard.
Other student-athletes to watch include:
• SUNO's Shantae Green, the NAIA's third-ranked woman in the 400 hurdles.
• SUNO's Leonie Robinson, No. 4 in the NAIA in the women's 200 and the GCAC defending champion.
• Dillard's Danielle Glover, two-time defending champion in the women's hammer.
• SUNO's Jahnoy Thompson, the No. 3 NAIA male in the 400 and No. 5 in the 200.
• Edward Waters' Mikevion Hall, No. 3 in the NAIA in the men's long jump.
• SUNO's Chad Thomas, a two-time defending GCAC champion in the men's 400 hurdles and No. 4 in the NAIA.
The meet schedule:
|8:45 a.m.||Men's Hammer (women to follow) — outside stadium|
|9:30 a.m.||Men's High Jump (women to follow)|
|9:30 a.m.||Women's Long Jump (men to follow)|
|11 a.m.||Men's Javelin (women to follow) — outside stadium|
|11 a.m.||Women's Shot Put (men to follow)|
|1:45 p.m.||Men's Discus (women to follow) — outside stadium|
|1:45 p.m.||Women's Triple Jump (men to follow)|
|1:45 p.m.||Men's Pole Vault (women to follow) — warm up at 1 p.m.|
|Track Events (in meters)|
|9:30 a.m.||3,000 Steeplechase Women/Men|
|10:55 a.m.||National Anthem|
|11 a.m.||400 Relay Women/Men|
|11:20 a.m.||1,500 Run Women/Men|
|11:50 a.m.||100 Hurdles Women|
|Noon||110 Hurdles Men|
|12:15 p.m.||400 meters Women/Men|
|12:45 p.m.||3,200 Relay Women/Men|
|2 p.m.||100 Women/Men|
|2:20 p.m.||400 Hurdles Women/Men|
|2:45 p.m.||800 Women/Men|
|3:15 p.m.||200 Dash Women/Men|
|3:30 p.m.||5,000 Run Women/Men|
|4:45 p.m.||1,600 Relay Women/Men|
|5:15 p.m.||Awards and Presentations|
|GCAC Championships Team Scoring|
|2011||Dillard||161 1/2||Edward Waters||136|
|2012||Dillard||218||(tie) Edward Waters, SUNO||142|
Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director
XAVIER UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA