Montreat College
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WINSTON-SALEM, NC - The Montreat College track & field teams continued to show steady progress as they competed in two meets at the JDL Fast Track complex over the weekend, setting eight new school records along the way. 

On Friday, the Cavaliers took part in the Appalachian Athletic Conference Challenge. With an official conference indoor track & field championships slated to begin in 2018, eight conferece school joined together for a preview of what is to come. While resting some athletes for the following day, Montreat still got several strong performances. In the sprints, Patrick Kizer (FR/Raleigh, NC) set a new school record in the 60m dash, placing 9th in a time of 7.32. Connor Duncan (FR/Lawrenceburg, KY) (23.35) and Marcus-Medina-Artis (23.43) both had a season-best effort in the 200m while Eli Hall (SO/Columbus, NC) set a new personal best in the 600m, placing 6th with a time of 1:27.59. The Cavaliers saw three harriers earn personal best and top-10 efforts in the 3,000m. Brandon Welborn (JR/Traphill, NC) (6th - 9:28.02), Holden Dixon (SO/Chocowinity, NC) (7th - 9:28.06), and Jacob Parker (FR/Elkin, NC) (8th - 9:30.18) ran together as a pack and wrapped up their indoor season in fine form. In the women's 3,000m, Samantha Gaskill (SR/Wilmington, NC) placed 8th overall (12:12.03) while MiKayla Poulter (JR/Hickory, NC) (12:26.08) and Aalona Kosenko (12:28.62) both had personal best finishes. 

The team set two school records in relays on Friday. The women's 4x80m relay of Isabel Salinas (FR/Resaca, GA), Madeline Sides (FR/Denver, NC), Abigail Chevalier (JR/Swanton, VT), and MiKayla Poulter placed second in the event with a time of 11:02.40. In the men's 4x800m relay, the team of Daniel Lancaster (JR/Jacksonville, NC), Jeb Phillips (FR/Mooresville, NC), Brien Lancaster (JR/Jacksonville, NC), and Elijah Mitchell (SO/Milledgeville, GA) recovered from a baton drop to run to a second-place time of 8:09.82. 

In the field events, Melvin McCleave (FR/Lincolnton, NC) placed 9th in the triple jump with a new school record leap of 12.41m. Emanuel Beckett (FR/Hingham, MA) placed 5th in the high jump with a best effort of 1.80m while Dillon Hensley (SO/Black Mountain, NC) placed 10th in the shot put with a season best mark of 10.41m. 

On Saturday, a handful of Cavaliers competed in the UCS Invitational. Marcus Medina-Artis (FR/Kenly, NC) highlighted the effort in the 400m, placing 6th overall in a time of 50.93 while Elijah Mitchell finished 13th in 51.55. Brien Lancaster took part in a competitive mile field and finsihed 16th in 4:28.27. Lydia Wilson (FR/Smithfield, VA) also competed in the mile, placing 14th with a time of 5:10.36. That mark broke the school record she set a week ago and qualifies her in the event for the 2017 NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships. 

Emanuel Becket returned to compete in the high jump and placed 4th overall with a leap of 1.81m. The men's 4x400m relay quartet of Medina-Artis, Connor Duncan, Daniel Lancaster, and Mitchell placed 6th in the event with a school record mark of 3:26.95.

Lydia Wilson will now go on to represent the Cavaliers at the 2017 NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships, to be held March 2nd-th in Johnson City, TN. 

NEW ORLEANS, LA - The United States Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) released their updated regional rankings and, after a solid performance at Roanoke College over the weekend, the Montreat College track & field teams jumped up in the polls.

The men's team moved up two spots into the #3 position with 349.80 points, behind Milligan and Webber International. The Cavaliers have 11 individuals and two relays ranked in the top-10 in the South Region. Brien Lancaster (JR/Jacksonville, NC) is ranked in three events highlighted by his second place ranking in the Mile. Lancaster is also ranked 4th in both the 3000m and 5000m. Elijah Mitchell (SO/Milledgeville, GA) is ranked 3rd in the 600m while Jeb Phillips (FR/Mooresville, NC) is ranked 3rd in the 1000m. The Distance Medley Relay is ranked 1st in the region while the 4x400m relay is ranked 4th.

The women's team moved up six spots to the #4 position in the South Region with 196.51 points. The Lady Cavaliers are ranked in six events with Lydia Wilson (FR/Smithfield, VA) ranked in three of them. The freshman holds the 2nd spot in the 5,000m and the 3rd position in the Mile, to go along with the 8th place position in the 3,000m. Isabel Salinas (FR/Resaca, GA) is the top ranked performer in the 600m while Chelsea Davis (FR/High Point, NC) and Katie Colenda (FR/Grimesland, NC) are tied for 7th in the high jump. 

You can see the full USTFCCCA Region Rankings HERE

SALEM, VA - The Montreat College track & field team traveled to Virginia over the weekend to compete in the Finn Pincus Invitational, hosted by Roanoke College. The Cavaliers made the most of the trip, coming through with 16 top-10 finishes while setting nine new school records.

On the women's side, Lydia Wilson (FR/Smithfield, VA) continued to shine during her breakout freshman campaign, winning the mile in a school-record time of 5:16.16. Wilson came back later to take 7th in the 800m with a time of 2:27.59. That mark also set a new school record. The women's team also got new school record performances from Nyaisha Burrell (FR/Richmond Hill, GA) (60m - 8.40), Katie Colenda (FR/Grimesland, NC) (400m - 1:07.12), and Isabel Salinas (FR/Resaca, GA) (600m - 1:49.60). On Friday night, Chelsea Davis and Colenda made their debuts in the high jump, with both finishing with a school-record mark of 1.38m. MiKayla Poulter (JR/Hickory, NC) placed 7th in the 5,000m (21:20.40) while Samantha Gaskill (SR/Wilmington, NC) was right behind, placing 8th (21:21.84). 

The men's team came through with 11 top-10 finishes while breaking three school records. On Friday night, Emanuel Beckett (FR/Hingham, MA) made his collegiate debut in the high jump and he did not disappoint, taking third place with a program best mark of 1.91m. Also on Friday night, Rylan Hincher (SO/North Wilkesboro, NC) placed 4th in the 5,000m with a new personal-best time of 16:01.14. In the second section of the 5k, a quartet of Cavaliers packed together and took the top four sports. Jacob Parker (FR/Elkin, NC) led the way with a time of 16:39.68, while Brandon Welborn (JR/Traphill, NC) (16:40.02), Holden Dixon (SO/Chocowinity, NC) (16:46.91), and Frank Bartholow (FR/Lexington, NC) (16:47.11) were close behind. 

On Saturday, Elijah Mitchell (SO/Milledgeville, GA) set the tone for a great day, placing 2nd in the 600m with a school-record time of 1:23.60. Jeb Phillips (FR/Mooresville, NC) took 5th in the same event (1:28.38) while Eli Hall (SO/Columbus, NC) (6th - 1:28.40) and Daniel Lancaster (JR/Jacksonville, NC) (10th - 1:28.81) also had strong performances. Earlier in the day, Lancaster placed 6th in the mile with a season-best time of 4:35.70 while Phillips finished the same event in 4:41.06. Connor Duncan (FR/Lawrenceburg, KY) placed 3rd in the 500m with a time of 1:12.24 while Marcus Medina-Artis (FR/Kenly, NC) was 4th in 1:13.36. Duncan would later go on to race to a personal-best time of 23.62 in the 200m while Medina-Artis came through in 23.71. Brien Lancaster (JR/Jacksonville, NC) took home a 4th place finish in the 3,000m with a time of 9:11.13 and the 4x400m relay team of Medina-Artis, Duncan, Hall, and Mitchell placed third with a school-record time of 3:29.66. 

In the field events, Beckett led a trio of jumpers in the long jump. After his first and best jump was marked incorrectly, Beckett rebounded to post a top effort of 6.08m while Tyler Hensley (FR/Black Mountain, NC) jumped to a lifetime best 6.01m. Melvin McCleave (FR/Lincolnton, NC) got his first action of the season and finished with a best jump of 5.56m.

"It was a strong weekend for the team," said Director of Cross Country/Track & Field Jason Lewkowicz. "At this time of year, we are looking to see some breakthroughs and we got a lot of that. With our program being relatively new, it is exciting to see these athletes come out and set new standards. We want to continue to raise the bar for what we expect out of our team and continue to do our best to represent Montreat well. We have a hard working bunch that will continue to improve as the season goes on."

The team will wrap up the regular season this weekend with a pair of meets. The team will compete in the Appalachian Athletic Conference Challenge on Friday at the JDL Fast Track complex in Winston-Salem, NC. A portion of the team will remain in town to compete in the UCS Invitational at JDL the following day. 

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