Joshua Chepkesir at the Raleigh Relays. UNCP Photo
By Nicole Cook, Reporter
The UNCP Track and Field teams came back after spring break ready to compete and as a result, they broke a school record, claimed multiple event titles and will now even send Joshua Chepkesir to the NCAA’s after he set a new personal-record at the Raleigh Relays.
Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational, March 18-19
The Braves traveled to Myrtle Beach, S.C. to compete in the Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational. The weekend went well for UNCP as several of the Braves team members broke personal records and even one school record during the competition.
Joshua Chepkesir, a redshirt junior, set the new school record and personal-best in the Mile Run with a time of 4:19.20. He finished in second place and only milliseconds behind the first place winner from Tiffin University.
Opening day saw newcomer Gabe Blackwelder and redshirt junior Chloe Phillips both set new person- al-bests for their outdoor collegiate careers in the Mile Run with both winning fourth-place. Blackwelder finished with a time of 4:39.47 for the men’s, and on the women’s side, Phillips ran a 6:17.71.
Freshman Travon Morrow placed sixth in the 100-meter Dash and set a personal record with fellow freshman Javion Seger finishing in 9th close behind with his own personal-best of 11.03. Morrow had another top-10 finish in the same race on the final day of the event for which he placed eighth and beat his personal-best from the day before with a time of 10.96.
Redshirt sophomore Delsin Burkhart also scored a top-10 finish of fifth place in the 800-meter run. Redshirt sophomore Brooklyn Johnson ran the 800-meter for the women and placed 13th.
Redshirt junior Raigan Evans set a personal-best for herself and won eighth-place in the Javelin Throw, marking 36.69m. Evans also boasted a top-10 finish in Shot Put placing ninth, while fellow redshirt junior Lillian Marino also set her own personal record at 11.81m and finished in 13th.
Chepkesir @ the Raleigh Relays, March 25
Joshua Chepkesir qualified for the Raleigh Relays held at the Paul Derr Track & Field Facility this past Friday where he recorded a new personal-best and his first NCAA provisional qualifying time, and nearly beat the 40-years upheld school record for the 10,000-meter Run. Chepkesir placed 35th out of the 133 runners, many of whom belonged to Division I teams, and finished with a time of 29:25.44. Not only does this time qualify for the NCAA’s, but it was also less than a minute away from breaking Pembroke’s school record in the 10,000-meter run of 28:47.00 which has been upheld for 40 years now by Gary Henry.
A native of Eldoret, Kenya, Chepkesir has been running for Pembroke since 2018, and in that time he’s made numerous collegiate accomplishments. To name a few, he was dubbed the PBC Men’s Freshman Track Athlete of the Year, the Southeast Region Athlete of the Year, the PBC Runner of the Year, the NCAA Southeast Region Male Athlete of the Year and an NCAA All-American.
Fifth Annual Adidas Trojan Challenge, March 25-26
At the University of Mount Olive’s Annual Trojan Challenge, Pembroke came out ready to compete and claimed multiple event titles, more personal-bests and several top-ten finishes.
Freshman DaMarr Harvey won first after running the 400-meter Dash in 48.89, and the Braves’ Orlandus Gamble, Caleb Baldwin, Jaidin Thomas, and Preston Coker won first place in the men’s 4×100 Relay with a time of 41.09. The women also claimed the title for their 4×100 Relay in a team effort from Jaela Thomas, Dy’Air McCormick, Quanterra Harrison and Azariah Stewart with a finishing time of 47.53.
The women’s track and field won two more event titles on the field as well. Caroline Flax, a redshirt sophomore, won first in the Pole Vault having reached 2.70-meters,while redshirt senior Savannah Watkins won the Long Jump with a mark of 5.33-meters.
Placing second in their events were redshirt sophomores Jeffrey Gunter for the 110-meter hurdles and Caleb Baldwin for the 200-meter Dash.
On the women’s side, redshirt junior Taya McKeithan finished in third-place in the Javelin Throw with a mark of 31.85-meters. Additionally, redshirt sophomore Brianna Sanders had a personal-best of 1.55 meters on the High Jump and won fifth place. Meanwhile, redshirt junior Lillian Marino and Raigan Evans placed in the top-10 for the Hammer Throw, with Marino in sixth place at 46.75-meters and Evans in 10th with 42.09-meters.
The men’s field saw newcomer Cedric Douglas place 10th in the Javelin Throw with his mark of 32.79-meters. Douglas also placed 13th in the Hammer Throw with a new personal-best of 36.90-meters. Freshman Justin Walker competed alongside Douglas in the Hammer Throw and finished in 11th place with a mark of 37.47 meters.
The track and field teams will head to William & Mary and ECU for the Colonial Relays and Bill Carson Invitational April 1 – 2.