Cotter tabbed All-Conference; 2 Mocs make all frosh team at SoCon finals
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (GoMocs.com)--- In her final Southern Conference Championship of her career, senior Amanda Cotter (Bristol, Conn.) earned all-conference honors in the women's 1500 meter run on the final day at the Samford Track and Soccer Stadium.
“I thought she had it won,” Chattanooga head coach Bill Gautier said. “She ran a great race and got beat out at the end.”
Cotter finished third in the middle distance race with a PR time of 4:29.43. She went on to score for UTC in the 5000 meter run placing eighth with a time of 18:06.25. Sophomore Jessica York (Normandy, Tenn.) scored for UTC placing seventh with a PR time of 4:36.01.
Freshman Emily Drouin (Verona, Ontario) placed eighth in the 5K earning all-freshman honors with a time of 17:50.83. Furman swept the event taking the top four spots and sixth. Sophomore Anna Kate Chance (Columbia, Tenn.) ran a PR 18:55.73 placing 12th overall.
“Emily is a stud,” Gautier said. “She was sore from yesterday and did a fantastic job.”
All three of the Mocs' in the women's 800 meter scored for UTC led by sophomore Maddison Melchionna (Afton, Tenn.) who was fourth with a time of 2:13.21 followed immediately by freshman Hannah Chamblin (Memphis, Tenn.) who posted a personal best in the event with a time of 2:14.41. Junior Rebecca Greenwall (Bogart, Ga.) was seventh at 2:15.33.
Junior Kiaana Howard (Nashville, Tenn.) scored for Chattanooga in the 400 meter finals placing eighth with a time of 1:03.78, but aggravated a previous leg injury and was pulled from the 4x400 relay.
The team consisting of Jessica York, Maddison Melchionna, Hannah Chamblin and Rebecca Greenwall finished sixth overall with a time of 4:00.83. Freshman Nicole Sumida (Chattanooga, Tenn.) placed 11th in the high jump in her first SoCon Championships with a height of 1.42 meters.
The women finished with 49 points placing sixth. Western Carolina claimed the title with 272 points followed by host Samford with 183 points. ETSU, in its return to the SoCon, was third with 91 points and Furman was fourth with 77 points. VMI placed just ahead of UTC with 75 points while The Citadel was seventh with 40 points. Mercer (8th-17), Wofford (9th-12) and UNCG (10th-3) round out the final three.
On the men's side, freshmen Drake Watson (Gallatin, Tenn.) and Jacob Noorbergen (Ooltewah, Tenn.) had good showings. Watson earned a spot on the all-freshman team with a fifth place finish in the 400 meter hurdles with a PR time of 54.06. Noorbergen ran a PR in the 200 meter finals with a time of 22.15.
“Drake gave a tremendous effort,” Gautier said. “He's a walk-on so we had to practice around his class and work schedule. He did a great job today.”
Junior Marquis Carter (Memphis, Tenn.) placed fifth in the 800 meter finals with a time of 1:52.79, just four-tenths of a second off his personal best.
“I'm telling you, that was the fastest race ever for the guys,” Gautier said of the speed of the race. “I bet that time would have won last year and would have been good enough in three of the last five years.
“It must have been the year of the 800 meter runner. Marquis ran exceptionally well. He had a tough year health-wise and this weekend was his first 800 race this year. Can't be disappointed at all.”
The highlight for the men was the 4x400 meter team with DeQuantez Sandifer, Geoff Nelson, Marquis Carter and Jacob Noorbergen. The team was fifth overall and was four seconds off the school record with a time of 3:18.42.
“They did everything they were supposed to do,” Gautier said. “They maxed out and did a great job.”
Junior Geoff Nelson (Brentwood, Tenn.) scored for the Mocs in his first-ever high jump, placing eighth with a height of 1.88 meters.
The men finished with 26.5 points and placed seventh in the team standings. Samford took first with 244 points followed by Western Carolina with 203 points. ETSU was third with 118.5 points and VMI placed fourth with 89 points. The Citadel took fifth with 67.5 points and Furman was sixth with 49 points. Chattanooga finished ahead of Wofford (8th-16.5) and UNCG (9th-5).
“It's been a good year,” Gautier said. “Some may move on to run next weekend. I'm so proud of our seniors. Amanda was a great leader and several will be back next year.
“It's been a great go with the guys. We tried not to focus on the fact that today was the end for this group.”
With one last walk around the track, the men's team closed out an era.