The Charlotte 49ers participated in the 2019 Air Force Reserve Conference USA Indoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday, Feb. 16 and Sunday, Feb. 17 in Birmingham, Ala. There were multiple podium finishes, first place winners and national qualifiers. Both the men’s and the women’s team finished second with the men behind Middle Tennessee by 19 and women behind Rice by only three.
While the men took second overall, they had some good finishes that led to a few qualifications for the USA Track and Field National Indoor Championships.
A senior and veteran of the 49er program, Stevan Veselinovic, took home the gold medal for weight throwing for the fourth-consecutive year. He set a new school record with a throw of 20.48m (67’2.25”).
Three silver medals came from Markel Dalton, Jayon Woodard and Terrell Adams. Dalton took second in triple jump at 15.50m (50’11.50”) which was a new personal record and the third-best in Charlotte history. Woodard was projected to win but took second in the 400m race. With a time of 46.81, he earned eight points for the team. Adams took the silver as well with a spot of 17.76m (58’3.25”).
Another personal record from the weekend was made by Christian Bass in the 60m race with a time of 6.82 seconds, tying the fourth-fastest in program history. He took fifth on Saturday and sixth on Sunday with a time of 6.93 seconds. Bass also competed in the 200m race and took third on Saturday, with a time of 21.23 seconds which is the second-best all time as a 49er. On Sunday, he took sixth with a time of 21.65 seconds. Accompanying Bass in the 200m race was Nico Menzel who finished fifth with a time of 21.55 seconds.
Nolan Patrick qualified for Sunday’s 800m race after a fourth-place finish on Saturday with a time of 1:53.51. He took fourth again on Sunday after running a 1:53.00, sixth-fastest in Charlotte history.
Taking the fourth, fifth and sixth place finishes in the men’s 3000m were 49ers. Paul Arredondo set a new personal record with a time of 8:23.16, placing fourth. Zach Marchinko ran in a time of 8:23.38, taking fifth. While redshirt senior and SAAC President, Tom Nobles, finished at 8:24.25 with sixth place.
With sixth and seventh place finishes, Brent Carroll and Anthony Richardson moved into Sunday with times of 8.11 and 8.12 on the 60m hurdles. Carroll ended on Sunday by just missing a podium finish and taking fourth after 7.99 seconds.
The women placed second as well, missing the top spot by only a few points. They had several medalists and some qualifications for the USA T&F Championships.
Two freshmen, Riley Felts and Kyra Atkins, won their events after showing their talent. Felts earned the gold medal on pole vault with a mark of 3.96m (12’11.75”) which was a new Charlotte record. She was also named Freshman of the Meet by C-USA. Atkins took home the gold in the 60m hurdles after 8.31 seconds.
There were plenty of women that took third and received a bronze medal. Jade Jordan set a new personal record in the long jump with a mark of 5.91m (19’4.75”) while placing third. She also competed in the triple-jump, putting her at the second best in Charlotte women’s history with a mark of 12.65m (41’6”). She finished fifth on Sunday. The distance medley relay team earned a bronze medal as well with a time of 12:09.67, involving Bridget Abbatiello, Ashlan Bowdry, D’Amani Bryant and Alyssa Ungrady. Amaka Awuurounye received bronze in the high jump with a mark of 1.71m (5’7.25”). The 4x400m relay team consisting of Kiana Lee, Maya Singletary, Jasmine Parquet and Cemere Petty took third after a time of 3:43.43.
USA Track & Field National Indoor Championships
The men who will compete in the USA T&F Championships in Staten Island, NY are Dalton (triple-jump), Woodard (300m), Richardson (60m hurdles) and Carroll (60m hurdles). The only woman who will be competing is Atkins in the 60m hurdles as well. These five individuals have a chance of qualifying for the NCAA Championship.
“The meet is still within the qualifying window for NCAA indoor championship qualifying so in some cases our athletes have the opportunity to move up the national performance list as the championship field is selected and finalized next week,” Olesen said. “NCAA qualifying aside it’s likely we will see personal bests, all-time team top-10s and a school record this weekend in New York.”
The USA T&F Championships will not only give the 49ers a chance to appear in the NCAA tournament, but it will set the stage for the outdoor season as well.