BIRMINGHAM, Ala. --- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams competed Friday afternoon at the Southern Miss Cupid Classic at the Birmingham CrossPlex. The women’s DMR A team placed second while the B team was fifth. The men’s DMR took fourth and seventh.
“We took a lot of the young runners to help them gain experience as they prepare for their first Southern Conference championships in a couple of weeks,” UTC head coach Bill Gautier said. “We had several do well and hopefully that will help get some on the podium in a couple of weeks.”
Freshman Jessica York (Normandy, Tenn.) led off the women’s A team followed by junior Gabby Cader (Cleveland, Tenn.), sophomore Kiaana Howard (Nashville, Tenn.) and junior Keeley Stewart (Winchester, Tenn.) ran the anchor to finish with a time of 12:34.49, just over three seconds of the lead pace set by Southern Conference foe Western Carolina. The B team finished fifth with a time of 13:00.62 and was led off by junior Jessica Philpott (Manchester, Tenn.). Junior Ambria Reese (Memphis, Tenn.) ran the second leg for the Mocs followed by freshman Chandler Rogers (Loudon, Tenn.) and anchored by sophomore Helenka Kis (Columbia, Tenn.).
The men’s A team, with a time of 10:22.24, was led off by senior Mark Cole (McKenzie, Tenn.) and featured sophomore Marquis Carter (Memphis, Tenn.) in the second position with sophomore Trevor Janssen (Jordan Station, Ontario) third and anchored by senior Nathan Wanuch (Mississauga, Ontario). The men’s B team, sophomore Zack Darby (Knoxville, Tenn.), sophomore DeQuantez Sandifer (Nashville, Tenn.), sophomore Matthew Marshall (Signal Mountain, Tenn.), and senior transfer Harry Smithers (Melbourne, Australia) was seventh with a time of 10:37.41.
“Mark [Cole] is a distance runner, so running the 1200 was not easy for him,” Gautier said. “But he did a good job. Nathan [Wanuch] ran a great leg too, but he was so far behind when it was his leg, that’s hard to make up all alone.”
With the Southern Conference championships just two weeks away, many of the younger runners were able to gain valuable experience and a few hit PR’s in their respective events.
York topped her previous best time in the 800 meter run with a 2:23.21, just getting edged by Rogers who also PR’d with a time of 2:23.17.
In the 400 meter run, Sandifer ran the event in a PR time of 51.85, shaving 2.99 seconds off his previous best set in December 2012 at the MTSU Christmas Invitational. Howard cut nearly two seconds off her 400 meter with a time of 1:00.76.
The inclement weather this past week also interfered with the Mocs ability to train and prepare.
“The men struggled a bit because they ran three straight weeks,” Gautier said. “Also the snow was a problem for us with the campus being closed. We couldn’t run outside and we were not able to get into the buildings we needed to be able to train because the campus shut down and we didn’t have access to the cardiovascular tools we require.”
Several of the veterans were rested for the week. The Southern Conference championships will take place Feb. 28-March 1 in Winston-Salem, N.C.
4 Chattanooga 10:22.24
1) Mark Cole 2) Marquis Carter
3) Trevor Janssen 4) Nathan Wanuch
7 Chattanooga 'B' 10:37.41
1) Zack Darby 2) DeQuantez Sandifer
3) Matthew Marshall 4) Harry Smithers
2 Chattanooga 12:34.49
1) Jessica York 2) Gabby Cader
3) Kianna Howard 4) Keeley Stewart
5 Chattanooga 'B' 13:00.62
1) Jessica Philpott 2) Ambria Reese
3) Chandler Rogers 4) Helenka Kis
61 Iman Isang Chattanooga 24.53
63 Geoff Nelson Chattanooga 24.84
71 Jasmine Snell Chattanooga 27.89
72 Jaya Turner Chattanooga 27.96
48 DeQuantez Sandifer Chattanooga 51.85 PR (54:84 - 12/8/12 – Christmas Invite)
64 Oluwatosin Ayotunde Chattanooga 53.52
53 Kianna Howard Chattanooga 1:00.76 PR (1:02.30 – 12/8/12 – Christmas Invite)
69 Ambria Reese Chattanooga 1:03.27
70 Jasmine Snell Chattanooga 1:03.28
20 Marquis Carter Chattanooga 1:57.78
24 Trevor Janssen Chattanooga 1:58.33
34 Patrick O'Brien Chattanooga 1:59.19
59 Austin Ethridge Chattanooga 2:04.50
34 Chandler Rogers Chattanooga 2:23.17 PR by more than 1 second
35 Jessica York Chattanooga 2:23.21
42 Jessica Philpott Chattanooga 2:25.59
52 Joanna Elmore Chattanooga 2:32.51
31 Madalyn Garland Chattanooga 11:09.00
32 Katie Ray Chattanooga 11:11.10