Elon wins first Colonial Athletic Association team title

The women's track & field team captured the CAA outdoor crown on May 2 with top individual performances in both running and field events.

The Elon University women’s track and field team was crowned the Colonial Athletic Association team champion at the league’s outdoor championship meet on Saturday, May 2, at William & Mary’s Zable Stadium. This is the first Phoenix conference league championship and Elon’s first as a team in its inaugural year in its new league.

“It’s really hard to say how exciting this is for us and this program,” said Elon director of track and field and cross country Mark Elliston “Coming back from a big deficit like we did on the first day was amazing and I’m so proud of these young ladies on what they accomplished.
“It was truly great and a total team effort,” Elliston added. “I couldn’t be happier for everyone involved in this championship from my coaching staff to (Elon director of athletics) Dave Blank, Faith Shearer and President (Leo) Lambert and their support.”

Phoenix distance runner Kimberly Johansen was named the CAA Most Outstanding Track Athlete of the Meet.
Elon finished with 150 points, edging out host William & Mary who was second with 134.50. The Phoenix saw five individuals capture six event titles with sophomore Kimberly Johansen standing out above the rest with wins in the 800 and 1,500-meters. Johansen set a new CAA outdoor record in the 1,500-meters with a time of 4:22.82 in the race, five seconds faster than the runner-up. She then edged out the competition in the 800-meters with her school-record time of 2:10.42. For her efforts, Johansen was named the CAA Most Outstanding Track Athlete of the Meet.

Freshman Bryanna Hames won the discus throw after a school-record heave of 158′ 1″ (48.19m). Teammate Bre’anna Warren was the runner-up with her with a mark of 149′ 4″ (45.53m). Hames then set the school-record in the shot put with a toss of 46′ 6.75″ (14.19m) finishing second. Warren was third with a heave of 46′ 2″ (14.07m) while fellow frosh Majayla Holland was eighth with her throw of 41′ 1.50″ (12.53m).

Jen Esposito won the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 59.08, the third-fastest time in CAA history. It was the second straight year Esposito won a conference championship in the event and a day after setting a new personal-best and school-record in the preliminary round with a time of 58.96.

Tereza Novotna also won a conference championship in the 3,000-meter steeplechase for the second consecutive season. Novotna crossed the line with a personal-best and school-record time of 10:22.22. It is also the second-fastest time in CAA history.

Emily Dixon took home the heptathlon title after she set a new school-record in the multi-events with 4,921 points. Dixon won three titles during the multi-events. Freshman Lydia Laws was eighth with 4,244 points.  

The Phoenix also finished as the runner-up in a couple of events. Junior Megan Kirschling was second in the high jump with a cleared height of 5′ 9.25″ (1.76m) while fellow junior Sydney Griffin had a runner-up finish in the 100-meter hurdles and her time of 14.02. Griffin also was fourth overall in the 200-meters with her time of 24.50.

Carrie Abraham was the top finisher for the Phoenix in the triple jump with a leap of 39′ 3″ (11.96m). The Phoenix’s 4×100-meter relay team of Jennifer Pash, Simone Jackson, Bria Turner and Griffin was third with a time of 46.90, the third-best performance in school history.

The Phoenix concluded the meet with a third-place standing by the 4×400-meter relay team of Pash, Jackson, Samantha Brown and Griffin. The quartet clocked in a time of 3:48.94, the fourth-best time in school history.

The Phoenix sets it sights on having a few of its individuals qualify for the NCAA Preliminary round (May 28-30) with a couple of last chance meets on it schedule coming up in the Duke Twilight (May 6-7) and the Wolfpack Last Chance meet at NC State (May 16-17).