WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW Sports)– Not even the ravages of Hurricane Florence or the extended construction of a new facility could dampen the resiliency of the UNCW men’s and women’s track teams.
The squads battled obstacles all year long, but are primed and ready to tackle this week’s Colonial Athletic Association Track & Field Championships at Elon’s Jerry and Jeanne Robertson Track and Field Complex. The meet runs Friday and Saturday, May 3-4, 2019. Conditions are expected to be warm in Elon, with possible thunderstorms on Saturday.
“It’s been a great year,” said Austin Davis, UNCW’s first-year head coach. “We’ve had to deal with a lot of adversity, but the student-athletes stuck to it. They took to heart everything we said and now everything’s looking good heading into the outdoor championship.
“We’ve checked all the boxes along the way. Now we get a chance to reap the benefits of the early sacrifices and hard work we’ve made.
“A successful weekend will mean winning as many individual championships as we can. We’re a small team, but I believe we’re small and elite. We’re ranked high in a lot of events in the conference and have a lot of depth in some events
“We’re going to go out there and finish the way we’re ranked. Bringing back titles to our program is what we’re looking for. We want to go to win, beat people and for those who have the ability to make the regionals, to execute to be in the top-48 on this side of the country. We’re pretty close…now we just to get it done.”
The Seahawks finished third in the men’s standings and seventh in the women’s competition last year at Wililam & Mary’s Zable Stadium. Northeastern captured the its fourth consecutive men’s championship by edging the host Tribe and Northeastern edged Elon for the women’s crown.
The Seahawks collected four golds, six silver and two bronze medals in the two-day competition. Courtney Cefalo (Women’s Long Jump), Dylan Wood (Men’s High Jump) and R.J. Russell (Men’s 400 Meters) came back to the North Carolina Coast with first-place finishes.
The Seahawks will carry 18 women and 18 men to the meet this year. Three teams will compete on the men’s side (UNCW, Northeastern, William & Mary), while eight (UNCW, Charleston, Delaware, Elon, James Madison, Northeastern, Towson, William & Mary) will battle in the women’s competition.
The Seahawks have participated in six meets this spring, including the Duke Invitational two weeks ago in Durham.
UNCW enters the meet with the top marks in the CAA this season in several events, including the three best heights in the Men’s High Jump and Men’s Long Jump events.
Defending CAA champion Dylan Wood (6-4.75), Owen Pelletier (6-4.75) and Moe Holmes (6-4) are ranked 1-2-3 in the High Jump, while Holmes (23-9), Da’Rod Crutchfield (22-8) and Jonathan Stephens (22-7.25) have posted the best heights in the Long Jump.
Sprinter E.J. Green should be a force in the hurdles. He owns the best times this spring in the 110 Hurdles (14.40) and 400 Hurdles (53.92).
Holmes, who racked up 36 points behind three gold medals and one bronze two years ago before sitting out last season, looks to be a factor again in his final CAA meet. In addition to his high jump and long jump marks, he also brings in the second best distance in the Triple Jump (47-4.25).
On the women’s side, defending gold medalist Courtney Cefalo returns to defend her crown in the Long Jump. She owns the second best mark this season, leaping 19-0.75 in East Carolina’s Bill Carson Invitational.
Sophomore Sarah Timberlake is seeded third in the Women’s High Jump after claiming silver in last year’s meet. She jumped 5-7 in the season-opening Wendy’s Invitational back in early March.
UNCW First Place Finishes | 2019 Regular Season Meets
Women’s 4×400 Relay (Farwell, Christian, Hanna, Spencer), 4:11.45, JDL College Kick-Off
Classic, Dec. 1, 2018, Winston-Salem, N.C.
Courtney Cefalo, Long Jump, 18-06.50, Wendy’s Seahawk Invitational, March 8, 2019
Sarah Timberlake, High Jump, 5-07.00, Wendy’s Seahawk Invitational, March 9, 2019
Courtney Cefalo, Long Jump, 18-04.25, Charlotte Invitational, Apr. 13, 2019
Da’Rod Crutchfield, Long Jump, 22-08.00, Wendy’s Seahawk Invitational, March 8, 2019
E.J. Green, 110 Hurdles, 14.51, Wendy’s Seahawk Invitational, March 9, 2019
Dylan Wood, High Jump, 6-04.75, Wendy’s Seahawk Invitational, March 9, 2019
E.J. Green, 110 Hurdles, 14.40, Charlotte Invitational, Apr. 13, 2019
2018 UNCW CAA Individual Champions
Courtney Cefalo, Women’s Long Jump, 19-06.25
Dylan Wood, Men’s High Jump, 6-03.50
R.J. Russell, Men’s 400 Meters. 47.28
Men’s 4×400 Relay (Rian Fowler, E.J. Green, Josh Cooper, R.J. Russell), 3:13.90
2018 UNCW CAA Medalists
E.J. Green, 1st, 4×400 Relay, 3:13.90
E.J. Green, 2nd, 4×100 Relay, 42.60
E.J. Green, 2nd, 110 Meter Hurdles, 14.50
R.J. Russell, Men’s 400 Meters. 1st, 47.28
R.J. Russell, 1st, 4×400 Relay, 3:13.90, 3:13.90
Rian Fowler, 1st, 4×400 Relay, 3:13.90
Rian Fowler, 2nd, 4×100 Relay, 42.60
Caleb Mathis, 3rd, Men’s Long Jump, 22-08.00
Caleb Mathis, 3rd, Men’s Triple Jump, 43-05.75
Courtney Cefalo, 1st, Women’s Long Jump,
Dylan Wood, 1st, Men’s High Jump, 6-03.50
Josh Cooper, 1st, 4×400 Relay, 3:13.90
Sarah Timberlake, 2nd, Women’s High Jump, 5-07.00
KeAndre Yeoman, 2nd, 4×100 Relay, 42.60
Cobi Loyd, 2nd, 4×100 Relay, 42.60