Campbell men, women earn runner-up finishes at conference meet

Athletes of the Years Amon Terer & Joan Maritim
Athletes of the Years Amon Terer & Joan Maritim

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Fighting Camels earned two team runner-up finishes at the 2017 Big South Championships Sunday afternoon at the JDL Fast Track. The Campbell men racked up 170 points for their highest point total in program history and their third runner-up finish in four years, while the women's team totaled 174 for their best-ever team finish in the conference championships.

"We really had a great performance all around," said head coach Michael Kelly. "It definitely is our most well-rounded team as far as being able to score points in a variety of events. Coach Quinn did an outstanding job with the men's and women's sprints group this meet. I'm very proud of how we competed, but two runner-up finishes only have us wanting that title even more."

The Liberty Flames swept both team titles for the second-straight year, with the LU men scoring 205 points and the women notching 207.

Campbell senior Amon Terer was named the Men's Track Athlete of the Year after taking home three conference championships in the 3000m, 5000m and distance medley relay. Junior Joan Maritim earned Women's Track Athlete of the Year honors after taking gold in the women's mile, 3000m and 5000m, as well as a silver medal in the women's DMR.

"Joan and Amon have to be the fastest husband and wife duo in the NCAA," Kelly said. "Joan had one of the best conference performances I've ever seen. It's very rare to see an athlete win three titles and a runner-up finish at one conference championship."

CU head coach Michael Kelly was named the Men's and Women's Track and Field Coach of the Year, as voted on by the league's coaches following the meet. Freshman Amon Kemboi was selected as the Men's Track Freshman of the Year after earning a gold medal in the mile, as well as two silvers in the 3000m and 5000m. Campbell seniors Kelsey Rea and Lorne Jenkins earned All-Academic Team honors.

The Camels had nine individual champions crowned on day two to total 13 for the entire conference meet. Maritim got things started for Campbell Sunday with a first-place finish in the women's mile at 5:08.77. Kemboi won the next gold medal for CU in the men's mile with a personal-best mark of 4:09.14. Campbell senior Lilla Juhasz earned gold in the women's 60m hurdles as she clocked an 8.36 in the finals.

Freshman Daequon Carr kept the speed going in the 60m dash, tying his PR of 6.93 to win the first gold medal of his young collegiate career. Jenkins took home the crown in the men's triple jump in his final conference meet with a jump of 14.98m on his third attempt. Janai Scott built on her day one performance, breaking her PR once again in the women's 200m with a time of 24.39 to place first in the finals.

Maritim and Terer were victorious in back-to-back events to sweep the 5K for Campbell. Maritim clocked in at 17:09.74 for the Campbell women, while Terer finished with a time of 14:27.97 on the men's side. Campbell's final individual championship of the day came in the men's high jump as senior Davian Rhodes earned gold after clearing 2.09m.

The Camels had 15 additional podium appearances on the day. Kelvin Kirui earned two silver medals in the men's mile (4:11.08) and 800m (1:52.77), setting PR's in both events and breaking his own program record in the 800. Tatiana Wolfe won a silver medal in the women's 60m hurdles final with a personal-best mark of 8.53, followed by Chigozie Atavwigho who earned bronze after clocking a new PR of 8.26 in the men's 60m hurdles final.

Shenelle McKay placed third overall in the women's high jump as she was able to clear 1.69m, just a centimeter below her season-best mark. Campbell notched two top-three finishes in the women's 60m dash finals as Deonica Reid (7.60, PR) and Juhasz (7.61) placed second and third, respectively. Sophomore Roshae Jackson also earned a bronze medal in the women's 800m with a time of 2:12.98. Jenkins won bronze in the men's 200m, tying the PR that he set on day one as he ran the men's 200m in 22.46.

The Camels swept podium awards in the men's 5000m as Terer, Kemboi and Lawrence Kipkoech placed first, second and third, respectively. Kemboi finished with a mark of 14:30.05, while Kipkoech ran a 14:34.72 to medal despite battling injury for the past month. CU also made two podium appearances in the women's triple jump as Sabina Allen (12.40m) and Jada Johnson (11.78m, PR) placed second and third with marks 

Campbell ended the day with back-to-back silver medals in the men's and women's 4x400m relays. Jocelyn Culbreath, Wolfe, Jullia Morris and Scott competed for the Campbell women, finishing with a time of 3:53.24. On the men's side, Collin Cooper, Atavwigho, Jenkins and Ka'Deem Wynn clocked in at 3:22.31 to place second overall.

This marks the end of the indoor track season for the Fighting Camels, except for Terer who has a great chance of qualifying for the NCAA Indoor National Championships, set for March 10-11 in College Station, Texas. He currently ranks 6th in the country in the men's 5000m, as well as 16th in the 3000m.

The rest of the team will prepare for outdoor season, with Campbell's first outdoor meet scheduled for Friday and Saturday, March 10-11 at the UNCW Seahawk Invite in Wilmington, N.C. For the most up-to-date information on Campbell track and field, follow @GoCamelsRun on Twitter.