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Mariah Atwater
Mariah Atwater finished second in the 400 meters.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

App State Men’s Track and Field Finish Fifth, Women Tenth at Sun Belt Championship

The App State men’s and women’s track and field team capped action at the Sun Belt Outdoor Championships in Myrtle Beach, S.C. on Saturday. Seniors Mariah Atwater, Jonah Morris, Jada Branch, and junior Niejel Wilkins found their way to the podium after finishing in the top-three in the women’s 400 meters, men’s 1,500 meters, and women’s and men’s triple jump, respectively.

The Mountaineers totaled 12 top-five finishes over the weekend. In the team standings, the men finished fifth with 75 points, while the women’s squad finished 10th with 28 points.

Atwater posted a second-place finish in the women’s 400 meters, clocking personal best of 54.41. Atwater remains second in the App State all-time list for the event, following Breanna Alston’s 2014 school record of 54.00. In the men’s 1,500 meters, Morris stopped the clock at 3:59.20 for a personal best and second-place finish. Following Morris were juniors Dwayne Lillie and Rylan Haskett, who placed fifth (4:00.15) and sixth (4:00.54), respectively.

Wilkins and Branch landed third in the men’s and women’s triple jump. Wilkins recorded a leap of 15.15m (49′ 8.5″) in the men’s competition, while Branch posted a leap of 12.86m (42′ 2.25″) in the women’s.

Senior Oliver Wilson-Cook clocked a time of 14:40.58 in the men’s 5,000 meters to place sixth overall. Junior Jasmine Donohue also posted a sixth-place finish, stopping the clock at 4:35.27 in the women’s 1,500 meters.

The women’s 4×100-meter relay team rounded out the top-five with a time of 45.65. The men’s 4×100-meter relay and 4×400-meter relay teams finished sixth with a times of 41.64 and 3:16.29, respectively.

Days 1 & 2 Review
Friday’s action saw Guest garner gold in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase with a personal best of 8:54.06. He remains fourth in the App State all-time list for the event.

In the men’s pole vault, junior Braden Underwood recorded a personal best clearance of 4.91m (16′ 1.25″) to place fourth in the men’s pole vault. Underwood’s clearance ties him with fellow junior Matthew Bigelow at eighth in the App State all-time list. Junior Chris Wainscott placed fifth (17.48m (57′ 4.25″)) in the men’s shot put in addition to his fifth-place finish in Thursday’s men’s hammer throw (57.65m (189′ 1″)).

On Thursday, Wilson-Cook and sophomore Chase Burrell finished fourth (30:33.92) and fifth (31:19.92), respectively, in the men’s 10,000 meters.

Up Next
The NCAA East Preliminary Round is scheduled for May 24-27 in Jacksonville, Fla. The top-48 declared student-athletes in each individual event and top-24 declared relay teams will advance to the East Prelim competition. Accepted entries will be announced on a week prior to competition.

At the close of Saturday’s competition, Branch ranks eighth in the women’s triple jump and Wainscott ranks 38th in the men’s shot put. Guest ranks 39th in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase and Wilkins ranks 40th in the men’s triple jump.

All regional qualifiers will be finalized after all NCAA conference meets conclude.

Team Standings | Final
Men’s Teams
1.Arkansas State – 168.5 points
2. Texas State – 144 points
3. Louisiana – 134 points
4. South Alabama – 110.5 points
5. App State – 75 points
6. Troy – 48 points
7. Southern Miss. – 46 points
8. ULM – 41 points
9. Coastal Carolina – 36 points
10. Marshall – 16 points

Women’s Teams
1.Arkansas State – 144 points
2. Texas State – 107 points
3. South Alabama – 97 points
4. Southern Miss– 80.5 points
5. Coastal Carolina – 77 points.
6. Marshall – 69.5 points
7. Louisiana – 67.5 points
8. ULM – 54.5 points
9. James Madison – 39 points
10. App State – 28 points
11. Georgia Southern – 27 points
12. Troy – 15 points
13. Georgia State – 13 points