Winthrop junior hurdler Alesha Love broke her own 400-meter hurdles school record on Wednesday night during the Duke Twilight Meet held at Morris Williams Stadium.
Love, a Columbia native, finished fifth in the event with a time of 59.47 seconds which bettered the mark of 59.89 she set a month ago at the Florida Relays. Men’s senior Andrew Chavous, of Aiken, had another strong performance in the men’s 400m hurdles as he also placed fifth with a time of 52.72. He holds the school record at 52.13. Senior thrower Jakeb Elliott had the sixth longest hammer throw with a distance of 49.73 meters
Winthrop will travel to Athens, Ga., this Saturday for the Georgia Invitational which is the final tune-up before the 2015 Big South Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships, May 14-16, at High Point, N.C.
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Coach Mark Cooke announced the promotion of Kendall Fuller to co-head coach.
“This is a well-deserved promotion,” said Cooke. “It is a reflection of the job that she’s done in her time here. She has been actively involved in every facet of our program since her arrival and has shown a great work ethic and commitment to Winthrop softball.”
The title change for Fuller became effective on May 1 as she is near the end of her third season and first as associate head coach.
The Eagles will make their first-ever NCAA appearance Friday at 7 p.m., taking on the seventh-seeded Virginia Cavaliers at Klockner Stadium.
The Eagles, in only their third year of NCAA competition, won the Big South title on Sunday with a 13-8 victory over the Liberty Flames. Winthrop is the first team other than High Point to represent the Big South and is the first Division I women’s team from South Carolina to make the tournament.
Winthrop enters the tournament on a three-game winning streak and with a 17-3 overall record. Virginia received an at-large big out of the ACC and sports an 11-6 record and fell to Notre Dame in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament on April 23, the team’s last game. This will be the first-ever meeting between the Eagles and Cavaliers.
Big South Attacking Player of the Year, Jenna Kasmarik continues to lead the NCAA with 77 goals this season and scored five in the Big South Championship. Big South tournament MVP Shannon Gallagher is second on the team with 53 goals. Freshman goalie Alaina Girani continues to impress with a .491 save percentage.
Seniors Liza Blue and Casey Bocklet lead the Cavaliers in scoring with 41 and 38 goals respectively. Fellow senior Courtney Swan leads the ACC with 32 assists and has also scored 29 goals. The Cavaliers start a freshman goalie in Rachel Vander Kolk who has a .428 save percentage while allowing 10.4 goals per game.
Winthrop has scored an average of 15.4 goals per game this year while Virginia scores 12.65 on average. The Eagles have allowed 7.5 goals per game with Virginia conceding 10.4.
The winner of Friday’s contest will face the winner of Penn State and Johns Hopkins who will meet Friday at 4 p.m. The two winners will play Sunday at 4 p.m.