SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The UNCG outdoor track and field team wrapped up day one of the 2014 Southern Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Spartanburg, S.C., Saturday, picking up points in three different events on both the women’s and men’s programs. Day two of the SoCon Championships begins Sunday morning at 10 a.m.
Senior Chelsea Sumney (Washington, Pa./Trinity) was the Spartans’ top point-getter of day one, picking up eight team points with a second place showing in the 3,000-meter steeple chase event. Sumney finished just outside the championship as she clocked in at a time of 10:51.59, trailing only Tereza Novotana of Elon at 10:41.08. Her second place showing ties her career-best finish in the outdoor track championships.
Sophomore Katherine Link (Avon Lake, Ohio/Avon Lake) was the Spartans’ other scoring runner on the women’s side, notching two points in the 10,000-meter distance. Link placed seventh overall with a personal-best time of 36:54.93 in the longest event of the championship.
Sophomore Eira Jensen (Holmveien, Norway/Sortland VGS) was one of 12 runners to qualify for the 1,500-meter finals, which will be run Sunday. Jensen placed 11th in the preliminary rounds with a time of 4:46.67 to advance to the finals for the second straight year. Last season, she finished seventh overall in the event, earning SoCon All-Freshman accolades and notching two points for the Spartans.
Senior Shannon Hall (Waldorf, Md./North Point) just finished outside the qualifying times for the 800-meter distance, placing ninth overall with a time of 2:13.45, less than a second outside the eighth and final qualifying time of 2:12.52.
The Spartan men picked up five points in the team standings on day one as junior Dylan Belles (Denver, N.C./East Lincoln) placed fourth overall in the 10,000-meter event. Belles posted his best career finish in the SoCon Outdoor Championships with a time of 31:16.03.
Senior Tyron Alston (Mebane, N.C./Eastern Alamance) qualified for the 1,500-meter finals Sunday as well, placing 11th overall as 12 runners advance to the finals. Alston finished win a time of 4:02.61 to move onto Sunday. He fell just short of qualifying for the 800-meter dash finals, placing ninth overall with a time of 1:55.97 behind the eighth and final time of 1:54.69.
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