Sunday, April 23, 2017

Records Fall, Edward Waters Tigers Dominate at 2017 GCAC Track and Field Championship

New Orleans – With expectations high of each school, competitive energy was through the roof at the 2017 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Track and Field Championship, sponsored by Triple B's Cajun Corner and LCMC Health.

Several meet records fell at the annual track and field competition, many at the hands of the Edward Waters (Fla.) College Tigers. Thrower Greg Bradshaw took down the meet record of 37.91 meters in the men's hammer with a throw of 41.94 meters to start the Tigers off with a win to begin the day. Coming in to the championship, hurdler Carl Elliott, III was ranked No. 8 in the nation, but rose to No. 2 with a 14.24 second performance to win the top spot in the 110-meter hurdles.

The Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) Knights again proved their dominance in the sprints. Shadae Gylton took town fellow Lady Knight Orenthia Bennett's 2015 54.94 400-meter record in 2015 with a time of 54.17. The Lady Knights 3200-meter relay team of Shantae Green,

Kimona Smikle, also broke the meet record held by the 2012 Lady Knights relay team. Shadae Hilton took down fellow Lady Knight Orenthia Bennett's 2015 400-meter dash record with a time of 54.17. The Lady Knights' 3200-meter relay team beat the Conference record by a second, coming in at 9:54. Sprinter Jahnoy Thompson took first in the men's 100-meter, 200-meter and 400-meter dashes.
Conference records were also broken in the field events. Dillard University's Quamel Sessoms destroyed the previous meet record of 7.09 meters in the long jump with a final distance of 7.67 meters. Ellexsie Haughton, representing Edward Waters College, brought down the women's shot putt record of 12.21 meters with a final mark of 12.36 meters.

Three teams saw their campaigns for national glory kept alive. All three men's 400-meter relay teams from Edward Waters (Reginald Wright, Dontae LeCorn, Heiden Cummings and Wayne Richardson), SUNO (Chadwayne Vidale, Danielle Richards, Brian Smith and Jahnoy Thompson) and Dillard University (Quamel Sessoms, Larry Trimble, Tyrone Barrow and Artis McCoy) hit National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Outdoor Nationals qualifying times in the event. Individually, Edward Waters' Hieden Cummings hit an NAIA-B qualifying time of 21.56 in the men's 200-meter dash. Dillard's Kahlia Columbis qualified for NAIA Outdoor Nationals in the women's 400-meter dash with a time of 56.35 in her third place finish.

The Edward Waters Lady Tigers and Xavier Gold Rush battled for the women's championship throughout the day, until the strength of the Gold Rush distance corps pulled away in the women's 5000m. The top 4 runners in the event were Taylor Price, Dionysia Love, Brianna Pace and Maliya Vaughn, respectively, earning the Gold Rush 26 points in the event to Edward Waters' 3, and bringing their totals to 183 and 177 points as the day wound to a close.

On the men's side, strong performances by the Tigers placed them solidly in first place early, and they simply never let up. Edward Waters nearly doubled the total points earned by their nearest competitors, the scrappy Dillard University Bleu Devils. In the end, Edward Waters finished with 303 points to Dillard's 149.

Full meet results are available at


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