Berea KY.- The Mountaineers hosted the USA South Track and Field Conference Championships over the weekend. This was the first year that track and field was an official sport included in the USA South Championships. The top six athletes in each event scored points as follows: 10-8-6-4-2-1. Berea competed well over the two-day meet to earn a team total of 152 points to finish as conference runner-ups out of 10 teams. Piedmont College won the championship with 215 points
In the 3,000 meter steeplechase, freshman Mary Beth Melhusih crossed the line in 12:34 to win the event. Junior Ivanna Sabino placed 5th finishing in 13:21 and senior Jenna Hughes ran 13:39 to finish 7th. Shortly following the steeplechase was the 10,000 meter race where senior Dove DeNigris ran 42:39 to place 2nd, junior Hayley Clark ran 43:59 to place 4th , junior Caitlyn Roberts ran 46:26 to place 8th and freshman Bethany Bigler ran 48:50 to place 10th. Starting off the distance events on day two of the meet was the 1500 race. Junior Jamie Welch grabbed a second place finish in 4:57, junior Rachel Melstead placed 3rd in 5:05, Mary Beth Melhuish finished 6th in 5:09, and sophomore Tylan Eastham placed 12th in 5:31. Melstead also had strong performance in the 800 meters where she ran 2:29 to place 4th while Melhuish ran 2:32 to place 6th and Jenna Hughes ran 2:33 to place 9th. The final distance event of the meet was the 5,000 meter run. Dove DeNigris earned a runner-up finish in 18:32 and Jamie Welch finished 5th with a time of 19:09.
In the 100 meter dash, Berea had three athletes compete in the finals with sophomore Khatirah Malik finishing 2nd in 12.50 seconds, junior Kaylee Robinson finishing 6th in 12.91 seconds and freshman Jada Harper finishing 7th in 13.05 seconds. Malik also competed in the 200 meter dash finals where she won the event with a time of 25.64 seconds while Robinson finished 3rd in 26.42. In the 400 meter dash, Robinson ran 58.95 seconds to break the Berea College school record and win the event. Freshman Leta Heigly finished 7th in 1:03.45. The 4x100 meter relay team consisting of Heigly, Robinson, Harper, and Malik also earned first place crossing the line in 49.46 seconds. In the 400 meter hurdles, sophomore Destinee Henry finished 2nd in 1:08.76 while senior Kearstin Tingle ran 1:16.19 to place 6th. Henry also finished 2nd in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 16.06 seconds with Tingle finishing 4th in 18.55.
Khatirah Malik placed 4th in the high jump with a jump of 1.40 meters while Leta Heigly jumped 1.40 meters to place 6th. Heigly also had a strong showing in the long jump where she jumped 5.09 meters to earn a 2nd place finish. In the triple jump, it was Destinee Henry who finished in 2nd place with a jump of 10.70 meters. Representing the Mountaineers in the throwing events was junior Maya Riddles. Riddles finished 12th in the shot put (9.34 meters), 12th in the javelin (19.21 meters), and 5th in the hammer (32.66 meters).
The Conference Championships marked the end of the season for the majority of the team. A few athletes will look to continue competing at the Billy Hayes Invitational, hosted by Indiana University on May 3rd.