BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – The Gardner-Webb men's and women's outdoor track and field teams look to build upon a successful 2017 season as the squad readies to compete at the 2017 Big South Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
The Runnin' Bulldogs have 24 top-10 performances among Big South schools throughout the regular season.
Marcus Abraham will look to defend his title in the men's shot put, in which he won in 2016 with a toss of 16.59 meters. This season, he enters the Championships with a Big South-best toss of 17.09 meters at the 2017 Winthrop Invitational, which was a new personal best and 0.09 meters short of the school record. Abraham also had the second best result of the season in the discus with a personal best toss of 49.21 meters at the HPU VertKlasse Meeting.
A.J. White has the Big South-best mark in the men's discus, setting the bar at 50.91 meters at the Mountaineer Open, setting a new GWU record in the process. White also ranks second in the shot put at 16.16 meters, set at the Duke Invitational, and ranks second in the hammer throw at 50.53 meters, set at the 49er Classic.
Alex Bouwmans turned in the fourth best performance of the season in the men's shot put with a toss of 15.20 meters at the Mountaineer Open.
Clay Hamilton also posted top-10 performances in the men's discus and hammer throw, ranking eighth in the discus at a personal-best 42.82 meters at the Mountaineer Open and seventh in the hammer toss at a personal-best 40.30 meters at the Charlotte Invitational.
Elise Moffatt turned in the second-best performance of all Big South competitors in the women's pole vault at 3.70 meters at the HPU VertKlasse Meeting. Karin Sastre ranked ninth in event at 3.23 meters at the Mountaineer Open, her personal best.
In the women's hammer throw, Gardner-Webb has three of the top-10 performances of the year. Natasha Akbarizadeh ranks second with a toss of 59.29 meters at the Mountaineer Open. Petra Jakeljic has the fourth best toss of 58.44 meters set at the Charlotte Invitational. Cailen Blaire ranks ninth with a distance of 47.61 meters at the Charlotte Invitational.
Blaire also has the tenth best performance of the regular season in the women's discus, set at the 2017 Winthrop Invitational with a distance of 37.46 meters.
Jalin Lawson ranks second in the men's triple jump with a performance of 14.90 meters at the Duke Invitational, his personal best. He also ranks tenth in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.94 seconds at the 2017 Winthrop Invitational.
Seaver Wait turned in the second-best result in the men's high jump with a personal-best height of 2.03 meters at the Mountaineer Open.
In the women's javelin, Merideth Byl ranks seventh with a distance of 35.13 meters set at the 2017 Winthrop Invitational.
Gardner-Webb has two top-10 spots in the women's heptathlon rankings. Ashleigh Cleveland had the fourth best performance and Amanda Hall had the eighth best performance of the season, both taking place at the 2017 Winthrop Invitational. Cleveland had 3,932 points while Hall had 3,103 points.
In the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase, the Runnin' Bulldogs had two top-10 performances. Christopher Lile ranked eighth with a personal-best time of 9:56.42 at the Charlotte Invitational, while Ezekiel Martin ranked tenth with a time of 10:10.52 at the Duke Invitational.
Paige Peterson had the ninth best performance of the season in the 400-meter hurdles, clocking in at 1:05.14 at the Duke Invitational.
The 2017 Big South Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships will take place Wednesday, May 10 through Friday, May 12 at the Bagwell-Settle Stadium Track on the campus of Charleston Southern University.
Action begins Wednesday morning at 10:30 am with the first event of the decathlon and will wrap up late Friday afternoon with the women's 4x400 meter relay.
Live results can be found at http://www.timinginc.com/wp-content/uploads/liveresults/bigsouth2017/index.html