York, Gilpin claim 1500 meter titles at WCU Catamount Invitation - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

York, Gilpin claim 1500 meter titles at WCU Catamount Invitational

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CULLOWHEE, N.C (GoMocs.com)--- University of Tennessee at Chattanooga senior John Gilpin (Nashville, Tenn.) and sophomore Jessica York (Afton, Tenn.) each outpaced the competition to claim the 1500 meter title at the Western Carolina Beynon Sports Surfaces Catamount Classic Track and Field Invitational in Cullowhee, N.C., Saturday.

Gilpin posted a personal best time of 4:00.51 to lead the Mocs finishing ahead of teammate junior Austin Casassa (Nashville, Tenn.) who was second with a time of 4:02.10 and sophomore Paul Stuart (Brentwood, Tenn.) placed fifth with a time of 4:05.56.

"John has been one of our best runners this year," Chattanooga head coach Bill Gautier said. "This was his second win this year and I'm glad to see him having success.

"Paul sacrificed himself today. After 400 meters he stepped up and brought John and Austin along and then he faded out at the end."

York beat out teammate, freshman Emily Drouin (Verona, Ontario) in the women's race by just less than two seconds at 4:41.46 for the top spot. Drouin was second at 4:43.22 and junior Keeley Stewart finished eighth at 4:51.99.

"Jessica and Emily had a strong race," Gautier said of his young runners. "Jessica is a really good runner and has done a good job all year."

In the women's 800 meter race, sophomore Maddison Melchionna (Normandy, Tenn.) finished second with a time of 2:11.60 with senior Amanda Cotter (Bristol, Conn.) just behind in third with a time of 2:12.38.

"This was our focus today. We've planned to run well in this meet," Gautier said. "Unfortunately, Rebecca Greenwall is injured. Maddison is just a really good runner at this distance. Amanda tried to catch her at the end, but she ran a smart race and held on."

Despite numerous injuries to the Mocs, UTC was able to field two teams in both the men's and women's mile relays. Gautier shifted the men's A team to include Geoff Nelson in leadoff followed by DeQuantez Sandifer. Trevor Janssen ran the third leg with Jacob Noorbergen at anchor. The team finished fourth with a time of 3:24.75. The B team ran a time of 3:35.83.

The women's A team finished seventh with a time of 4:02.79. Hannah Chamblin led off with Maddison Melchionna running the second leg. Amanda Cotter took the baton for the third leg and Jessica York anchored the team. The women's B team posted a time of 4:22.94.

Junior Iman Isang (Chattanooga, Tenn.), nursing a break in the offseason, opted to run hurdles in the men's final season at UTC and finished 16th with a time of 16.07. Freshman Drake Watson (Gallatin, Tenn.) finished 13th in the 110m hurdles just ahead of Isang and suffered an injury that kept him out of the 400m hurdles.

"We did what we came to do and had fun today," Gautier said. "We are trying to enjoy this season and we're looking forward to the conference."

Next up for the Mocs is the Southern Conference Championships will be held April 25 and 26 in Birmingham, Ala., hosted by Samford University.

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