Track & field prepares to host CAC championships

Track & field prepares to host CAC championships

SALISBURY, Md. – For the first time since 2013 the Capital Athletic Conference Track & Field Championships return to the Eastern Shore of Maryland and the friendly confines of the Salisbury Track & Field Complex. The two-day event will bring athletes from all 10 conference schools to compete in the championships and a chance to claim the conference title. On Friday events will begin at 2 p.m. while everything will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning.

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How we got here

The Sea Gulls have competed in five different events this outdoor season including two hosted by Division I programs in the Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational hosted by Coastal Carolina University and the Towson Invite hosted by Towson University. The maroon and gold also saw their fellow competitors for this weekend on two separate occasions competing in the both meets held by defending CAC champion Christopher Newport University.

On average, Salisbury broke at least one record at every meet it has competed at this outdoor season including five in the three days at Coastal Carolina. Overall, this outdoor season the Sea Gulls have broken 10 records including one on the women's side which had stood since 1997.   

Last time out

Salisbury last competed in the 124th Penn Relays last week as both the men's and women's 4x400-meter relay teams made the trip as did Duncan Ferrin, who competed in the weight throw. Ferrin turned in an outstanding performance at the relays posting a new record in the hammer throw recording a distance of 191' 4", which earned him a sixth-place finish among some of the nation's best athletes.    

The team of Alex Hardman, Mickey Van Gieson, Tyler Hardman, and Ethan Binnix earned a victory in their heat posting a time of 3:20.35. With that time the team not only defeated teams in its heat such as Division II opponent Lock Haven University but also managed to post a better time than Division I competitors Fordham University, Farleigh Dickinson University, St. Joseph's University, and Atlantic Coastal Conference member Boston College.

The women's team of Ashley Luton, Glory Ebinama, Caitlyn Rishell, and Jamie Farley completed the race in a time of 4:04.37 to place fifth in their heat. With the time the team managed to edge out Division I opponent Lafayette College.   

Salisbury at the championships

Combined the men's and women's track & field programs have won 20 CAC championships. The most recent title of the men's program was back in 2015 with the last time for the women coming back in 2013. The women's team earned four straight titles from 2010-13 while the men's program managed to capture seven-straight titles stretching 2004-2010. The programs have also managed to sweep the championships three times in their history with the last time coming back in 2013.  

Last year at the championships

At the 2017 CAC championships the men's program earned a second-place finish while the women placed third overall both finishing behind champion Christopher Newport. Overall, 11 members of the maroon and gold earned all-conference honors for their performance at the championships led by then senior Meghan McGowan.

McGowan, who captured a first-place finish in the high jump, posted a jump of 5' 7.25" to earn the win and repeat as CAC high jump champion. Sophomore Kyleigh Dumas, who also was a first team all-conference selection, earned a victory in the pole vault clearing the bar at a height of 10' 10".

Alison Schwartz earned second-team honors after placing second in the 10,000-meter run posting a time of 39:32.83. Shea McCloskey captured a second-place finish in the 800-meter dash coming home in a time 2:22.05 to earn second-team honors.

On the men's side Jeffrey McInnis captured a victory in the long jump, posting a mark of 23' 1.25" to earn the win. Ferrin also turned in a solid performance earning a fifth-place finish in the discus while garnering a sixth-place finish in the shot put.

Malcolm Milton was also impressive for the Sea Gulls at the championships last season in the distance events picking up a fourth-place finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Déjà vu

Five years ago the championships came to the Eastern Shore and Salisbury University, which brought not only great competition and a great atmosphere to compete in but it also brought a clean sweep of the championships by the Sea Gulls.

During the 2013 season the program saw numerous records fall starting in North Carolina over St. Patrick's Day weekend, which is also when the records began to fall during this outdoor season in the same state. The Sea Gulls also saw a 20-plus year record go down that year, which occurred earlier this season on the women's side as well.    

Record setters

Both Ferrin and Dumas have found their ways into the record books numerous times this season. Dumas has broken, tied, and reset the mark in the pole vault while also breaking the CAC conference meet record after she posted a vault of 12 feet just two weeks ago at the Captains Classic.

Ferrin has been equally as impressive breaking the school record in the hammer throw three times this season. His latest record came at the Penn Relays when he recorded a throw of 191' 4".  

Up next

The Sea Gulls will return to action on Monday, May 14 when they travel to Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania for the Swat Last Chance Meet. The meet is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.  

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