Junior Christian Ceccato, sophomore Javon Graham and senior Michael Powell all advanced to the finals in the 60-meter hurdles by cruising through each of the first two rounds of the event to highlight action for the Braves track and field team on the first day of the Buccaneer Invitational hosted by East Tennessee State on Feb. 2 and 3 at the Mountain February 15, 2018 Sports 7A Track and Field Update States Health Alliance Athletic Center.
Graham posted an NCAA provisional qualifying mark in the event for the fourth meet in a row, but also set a personal best (8.15) this time around on the way to finishing first place in both the preliminaries and the semifinals.
Ceccato finished third in both of the rounds, while Powell recorded a personal best on his way to finishing fourth in preliminaries and logged a fifth-place spot in the semifinals. Eight different Braves logged new personal bests in at least one discipline at the event.
Graham, Khalina Boyce, Mason Crawford and Juwan Manley all posted personal bests in multiple events on day one. On day two, Ceccato placed second in the finals of the 60-meter hurdles, while teammates Graham and Powell finished third and fourth as UNCP concluded its meets at the East Tennessee State-hosted Buccaneer Invitational.
Ceccato finished just .05 seconds behind the pace set by the firstplace finisher, but the Black and Gold trio still dominated each round of the event, finishing 1-3-4 in the preliminaries of the 60-meter hurdles and a 1-3-5 in the semifinal round.
Junior Logan Ward was another bright spot for the Braves as he covered the 3,000-meter run in a personal-best time of 9:00.69 on the way to a ninth-place finish.
Art and Mila Maillet UNC Open
Freshman J.C. Smith highlighted the Braves that performed at the Art and Mila Maillet UNC Open on Feb. 3. By posting a mark of 22.21 seconds, Smith outpaced 24 other runners in the 200-meter dash, while also finishing in fifth-place in the 60-meter dash.
Five other Braves combined to record seven other top-five finishes on the day for the Black and Gold, including freshman thrower Brandon Boyles who placed third in the weight throw and fourth place finish in the shot put.
Sophomores Kelsi Sheldon in the shot put and Dominic Foy in the 60-meter hurdles both achieved fourth-place finishes in their respective events, while senior Erica Williams and freshman Jathan DeBerry each finished fifth in the triple jump and high jump.