Saturday, April 23, 2016

Gold Nuggets win 4 events at GCAC Championships

NEW ORLEANS — Drew Chatters and Terri Cunningham repeated as champions, andDionysia Love won a pair of titles to lead Xavier University of Louisiana's women Saturday in the seventh annual Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Track and Field Championships at Tad Gormley Stadium.
The Gold Nuggets, winner of the past three GCAC team titles and five of the previous six, finished third with 131 points. Dillard won the women's title with 176 points, and Edward Waters was second with 159.
In men's team scoring, Xavier placed fifth with 30 points. Edward Waters repeated as team champion with 200 points.
Chatters won the javelin on her final throw, 32.81 meters (107 feet, 8 inches). Cunningham won the high jump in 1.51 meters (4-11 1/2), a half-inch better than her 2015 mark. Love, one of six freshmen to score for the Gold Nuggets, won the 3,000-meter steeplechase in the morning in 12 minutes, 44.70 seconds, then won the 5,000 late in the afternoon in 22:28.57.
Two XU freshmen finished second — Maliya Vaughan in the 1,500 (5:18.03) andBrianna Pace in the 5,000 (22.32.34).
The Gold Nuggets placed second in two relays (400 and 3,200) and third in the other (1,600). At 400 meters, Chelsea JamesDestini ThomasAlexis Milton and Martina Wrightproduced a school-record 47.04 seconds that met the A-qualifying standard for next month's NAIA National Championships. At 3,200 meters, an all-freshman quartet of Love,Chinyere Jones, Pace and Vaughan finished in 10:24.59. In the 1,600, Kailey Williams, Clarke Allen, Jones and Kayla Quincy produced a season-best 3:58.07.
Nuggets newcomers accounted for 80 points, nearly two-thirds of their team total. XU freshmen scored 70 1/2 points. Love (23 points), Vaughan (20) and Cunningham (15) were the Nuggets' leading scorers.
The Xavier men did not win any events but got a runner-up finish from freshmanKeairez Coleman in the triple jump (13.68 meters/44-10 3/4) and thirds from Christopher Kennie in the long jump (6.83/22-5) and Christopher August in the 1,500 (4:19.03). Coleman's mark is the best by a Gold Rush jumper in the last four seasons. Kennie's long jump was his best since 2013.
Coleman, the leading Gold Rush scorer with 10 points, placed sixth in the long jump (6.31/20-8 1/2) and shot put (10.20/33-5 3/4).
Xavier and SUNO were co-hosts of the GCAC Championships. Next competition for Xavier will be the HBCU National Classic May 13-14 at Huntsville, Ala.

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