WVWC track and field teams shine at MEC meet


GLENVILLE – MEC Track and Field reap – Day One.

Two Bobcats were named conference champions. One broke a 22-year-old school record as the West Virginia Wesleyan track & field program participated in day one of the Mountain East Conference Championships on Sunday, May 2.

WVWC swept the Javelin on the men's and women's side when Kennedy Kuhns and Oliver French were named conference champions after their victories in the event. French won the event by five meters with a final toss of 50.05 meters, while Kuhns won by four meters with a winning toss of 37.13 meters.

Lauren Leaman took second place in the women's long jump with a leap of 5.62 meters. Leaman's final mark broke a school record that was held for 22 years.

Maggie Kovalcik placed fourth in the event and scored five points for the 'Cats with a jump of 5.28 meters.

Leaman also is participating in the Heptathlon. Day one saw the first four events completed, Leaman won three out of the four events, and she sits atop the leaderboard after an impressive day one.

Leaman broke the MEC meet record in the Heptathlon100-meter hurdles running a time of 14.95. The previous record was set by Wesleyan alum Jordan Lynn in 2018. Leaman wasn't finished also breaking the meet record in the Heptathlon High Jump. Leaman cleared the bar at 1.61 meters to break the previous set by Wesleyan alum Amber Stewart in 2015.

Brady Browning placed fifth in the Pole Vault and gave the ladies four critical points.

Kenneth Okoye scored vital points in the High Jump, placing seventh with a jump of 1.90 meters. Tre Gulley came into the long jump ranked 12th in the conference and outperformed his seeding placing eighth and scoring points for the 'Cats.

Day Two

Day two of the Mountain East Conference Championships saw members of the West Virginia Wesleyan College track & field team win three events throughout the afternoon. Multiple meet records fell, and the 'Cats are in contention going into day three.

Lauren Leaman continued her dominant performance on the meet with two individual victories. Leaman topped the podium in the women's heptathlon and high jump. Leaman broke the meet record in both events.

First, in the heptathlon, Leaman finished the event with 4,334 points. Leaman won the heptathlon long jump with a leap of 5.14 meters. The senior finished in fifth in the javelin and second in the 800-meter dash to round out the heptathlon scoring.

Leaman took home the victory in the high jump, breaking the previous meet record. Leaman cleared the bar at 1.65 meters giving her the win.

Mikaela Grey finished third in the discus with a heave of 34.83 meters.

Trisanya Mitchell scored crucial points for the 'Cats on the day when she placed fifth in the triple jump. Mitchell had a leap of 10.38 meters.

Tori Carr and Lauren Chickosky wrapped up day two for the women in a big way. Carr and Chickosky placed first and fourth respectively in the 3000-meter steeplechase to score big points for the Bobcats.

On the men's side, Chase Dotson had a big day for the Bobcats. Dotson started by finishing second in the shot put. Dotson's toss of 14.69 meters just edged out his opponent to take the extra points.

Dotson later scored more points for the men when he placed fifth in the discus with a toss of 41.60 meters.

Rounding out the performances for WVWC, Kenneth Okoye took third in the triple jump with a leap of 13.20 meters.

WVWC had themselves in contention on both sides heading into day three of the championships. Action begins at noon.

Day Three

The West Virginia Wesleyan women's and men's track & field teams shattered more program, meet and personal records on the final day of the Mountain East Conference Track & Field Championships on Tuesday (May 4).

Lauren Leaman amassed 45 points by herself to be crowned as the MEC women's meet Most Valuable Performer. The MEC coaches voted Faith Gandy as MEC women's Track Athlete of the Year.

Wesleyan head coach Alan Crise was named MEC Women's Track & Field Co-Coach of the Year. The Bobcat women finished in second place (153.5 points) as a team while the WVWC men's squad finished fourth (93.5 points).

“It was a long three days of battling,” Crise said. "It's a testament to our effort and hard to work to see the number of podium appearances and champions in every group. I'm so proud of both teams where they ended up and looking forward to the future."

The third day got off to a fantastic start when the women's 4X100 relay of Maggie Kovalcik, Caylee Painter, Leaman and Gandy broke both the WVWC program and MEC meet records.

Tori Carr earned a spot on the podium (eighth place) with a time of 5:15.64 in the 1500 meter run.

Painter ran the 400 meters in 57.96 for a runner-up spot on the podium. Gandy ran away with the 100-meter dash title with a final time of 12.10.

In the women's 800-meter run, Emilee Spangler ran a lifetime personal record of 2:22.11 for a third place finish. Leaman earned a lifetime personal record (1:04.32) in the 400 hurdles. Aubrey Wiethe placed in the event with a time of 1:08.79.

Gandy also won the 200-meter dash after finishing in 25.17 while Painter (26.28) was nearby.

The women's 4X400 relay of Kovalcik, Painter, Leaman and Gandy again took home first place (4:00.01).

Leaman won the heptathlon as the WVWC women's track & field had members win eight of the 21 total events in the meet. 

On the men's side, the 4X100 relay team of Isaiah Jean, Tanner Faulkiner, Keith Parks and Devin Taylor finished just shy of the school record with a time of 41.55.

Austin Gresser (15.28) finished fifth in the high hurdles while Justin McIntyre was also fifth in the 400-meter dash (49.97).

In an ultra-competitive 100-meter dash, Faulkiner came away with a first place finish (10.84) with Taylor not far behind (10.93).

Ridge Dalrymple (53.75) and Gresser (54.41) both recorded lifetime personal records in the 400 hurdles. Taylor finished third in the 200-meter dash (21.95) and Faulkiner was sixth (22.25).

The men's 4X400 relay (Gresser, Dalymple, Scott Soucier and McIntyre) concluded the meet by battling to a time of 3:21.70.

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