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Lady Braves repeat as Classic championsBy Joel Beachum
With a final score of 160 points, the Lady Braves captured the Carolinas Classic Track and Field crown for the second year in a row held on the campus of UNC Pembroke. “It was a very good performance for both the men’s and the women’s teams. What made a difference for the women was that Aleisa Walters scored a lot of points,” said Rodgers.
The women repeated as champions and the men repeated its third place finish. Many of the points, according to UNCP track and field head coach Larry Rodgers, were due to the points from the field events.
“Field events made the difference no doubt about it,” said Rodgers. “We had five first place finishes, a couple of second place finishes and a fourth and fifth place finish.”
Earlier in the season, Walters set a new school discus record with a throw of 137 feet 10 inches at the 2006 Livingstone Classic on April 8. She earlier threw her way into the record books with a first-place throw of 45 feet 11 inches at the Emory Classic on March 25.
Walters had previously set the shot put record at 44 feet 1.25 inches at the Vince Brown Invitational hosted by Christopher Newport, according to UNCP Sports Information.
“Each year, we have several individuals to set their own personal best in various events,” Rodgers said.
“School records for the men are a little more challenging. If someone would break a current men’s record, they would automatically qualify for nationals where the records stand.” Members of the Lady Braves team especially have found a great deal of success in 2006 with several first place finishes.
Top place finishers at the Carolinas Classic were Adriana Yanez who came in first in the 800 Meter Run with a time of 2:28.75. Jessica Autry finished in first place in the 400 Meter Hurdles with a time of 1:11:71. Laura Clark and Melissa Moore finished first and second in the 2000 Meter Steeplechase with times of 8:40:71 and 9:00:88.
Walters came in first place in the shot put with a throw of 13.15m. Walters was first in the discus with a distance of 40.26m. Michelle Kirvonak finished in second with a distance of 34.57m.
Walters was first in the hammer throw with a toss of 38.86m.
Rachelle Wilson placed second with a throw of 27.06m. Tierra Carpenter was first in the javelin with a distance of 32.82m.
On the men’s side, Michael Mitchell came in first in the 400 Meter Hurdles with a time of 54.09. Darrott Johnson finished first in the long jump for the Braves with a jump of 6.92m.
Ransom Walters won the hammer throw with a throw of 30.31m. Rodgers commented on the wrap-up of the home events for track and field in 2006, the success they have reached, and what they will look for in the future.
“Overall, we have had a very good season. At all of the meets, we have been competitive this year,” Rodgers said. “We still have some weaknesses that we have to work on for next year.”
Claflin University came in first in the men’s event with 148.50 points. Mars Hill College came in second with 129 points. UNCP was third with 107 points.
Both teams will next compete at the A&T Last Chance Invitational in Greensboro on May 12-13.