Gold Nuggets win GCAC track and field title for 4th time in 5 years

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NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana, with 20-of-24 athletes scoring Saturday, won the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference women’s outdoor track and field championship at Tad Gormley Stadium for the fourth time in five years.

The Gold Nuggets produced 183 points with the help of five first-place finishes, six seconds and seven thirds. Premeet favorite Edward Waters was second with 177 points, and SUNO was third with 124. Dillard, the 2016 champion, was fourth with 118 points.

XULA freshmen Taylor Price and Ry-Anne Riley both scored a pair of first-place finishes. Price won the 1,500-meter run (5 minutes, 18.73 seconds) and the 5,000 (21:02.54). Riley won the long jump (5.36 meters/17 feet, 7 inches) and anchored the 400 relay team to its first-ever victory in this meet.

Riley and sophomores Martina Wright, Alexis Milton and Janelle Jones combined for a season-best and NAIA A-qualifying time of 47.25 in the relay.

Drew Chatters won the javelin for the third consecutive year and broke her GCAC meet record with a throw of 36.90 meters (121-1). Chatters set the previous mark of 35.48 meters (116-5) in 2015.

Dionysia Love repeated as 3,000 steeplechase champion (13:21.35).

A critical event in determining the women’s team championship was the high jump, where top-seeded Davia Chin of Edward Waters passed on the first five heights, then missed all three of her attempts at 1.57 meters (5-1 3/4) — a height she cleared or surpassed in five meets this season. All three of the Lady Tigers failed to clear a height, and XULA collected 14 points with a 2-3 finish from Chinyere Jones and Terri Cunningham.

Ariane Williams set a XULA record of 56.63 seconds in the 400 and placed fifth.

XULA’s Joseph Moses was voted women’s GCAC Coach of the Year by his peers. It was Moses’ third conference team championship of 2016-17; he led XULA to GCAC men’s and women’s cross country titles in October.

Edward Waters scored a meet-record 303 points to win the men’s team title for the third straight year and the fifth time in six years. Dillard was second with 149 points, followed by SUNO with 120 and XULA with 34. Gold Rush sophomore Keairez Coleman won the triple jump — his mark of 14.19 meters (46-6 3/4) is No. 4 all-time in this meet — and freshman teammates Khalil Gallien and Oji Wells both scored in three events.

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Ed Cassiere

Ed Cassiere

Sports Information Director, Xavier University of Louisiana

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