2-day GCAC Championships begin Friday at Tad Gormley

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NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana’s women have a title to defend, and the men will try to climb in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Track and Field Championships at Tad Gormley Stadium.

Admission is free to the meet, which has start times of 4 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday. The final event, the 1,600-meter relay for women and men, is scheduled for 4:45 p.m. Saturday. Tad Gormley Stadium is in City Park, about three miles from the XULA campus.

For the first time the GCAC will contest this event over two days. Friday’s events will be the hammer, javelin and 10,000-meter run. The latter event is making its GCAC meet debut.

XULA’s Gold Nuggets seek their fifth women’s team title in six years. They outscored Edward Waters 183-177 for last year’s championship.

The Gold Nuggets have the GCAC’s top time or distance this season in six events:Brianna Pace in the 800-meter run (2 minutes, 25.18 seconds), Raven Davis in the 100 hurdles (15.26), Ireyon Keith in the long jump (5.49 meters/18 feet, one-quarter inch), Alysia Terry in the triple jump (11.59 meters/38 feet, one-quarter inch), Calah Williams in the discus (35.90 meters/117 feet, 9 inches) and the 3,200 relay team of Pace, Maliya Vaughan, Taylor Price and Clarke Allen (10:05.15). Returning champions for the XULA women are Price in the 1,500 and 5,000, Drew Chatters in the javelin and Ry-Anne Riley in the long jump.

Chatters, the school and conference meet record holder in her event, will attempt to become the fourth woman to win the same GCAC individual event four times.

Three of the four Nuggets from last year’s GCAC-champion 400 relay team — Martina Latting, Alexis Milton and Riley — also return, and they’ll be joined by Justyce Riggs. Their time of 46.66 from five weeks ago is a XULA record and No. 3 in the NAIA this year.

Price will not defend either of her titles. She’ll run in the 10,000, 800 and 3,200 relay.

XULA’s men scored 83 points at the 2015 GCAC meet but dipped to 30 points in 2016 and scored 34 a year ago. Three Gold Rush freshmen — Damoy Boyd in the 1,500 (4:16.89), Brandon Matthews in the triple jump (14.31 meters/46 feet, 11 1/2 inches) and Edward Angel in the high jump (2.07 meters/6 feet, 9 1/2 inches) — have the GCAC’s best marks this season. Returning to defend his triple jump title is Keairez Coleman.

Matthews’s and Angel’s performances already have qualified them for next month’s NAIA National Championships in Gulf Shores, Ala. The Nuggets’ NAIA qualifiers are Terry in the triple jump, Latting, Milton and Riggs in the 100, Kayla Quincy and Ariane Williams in the 400, the 400 relay and the 1,600 relay team of Janelle Jones, Quincy, Riley and Williams.

Angel and Edward Waters sophomore Farrin Brownlowe (2.03 meters/6 feet, 8 inches) rank 3-9 nationally in the high jump. Brownlowe is the defending GCAC champion.

XULA’s women are 23rd in this week’s NAIA Outdoor National Team Computer Rankings, which are complied by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. The Gold Nuggets were 15th the previous week.

Edward Waters seeks its fourth consecutive GCAC men’s team title and sixth in seven years. The Tigers scored a meet-record 303 points a year ago.

The meet schedule:

Friday, April 20
Field Events
4 p.m. Men’s Hammer (women to follow)
4 p.m. Women’s Javelin (men to follow)
Track Event (in meters)
6:45 p.m. Women’s 10,000 (men to follow)
Saturday, April 21
Field Events
10 a.m. Men’s High Jump (women to follow)
10 a.m. Women’s Long Jump (men to follow)
10 a.m. Women’s Shot Put (men to follow)
1:45 p.m. Men’s Discus (women to follow)
1:45 p.m. Women’s Triple Jump (men to follow)
1:45 p.m. Men’s Pole Vault (women to follow)
Track Events (in meters)
10:15 a.m. 3,000 Steeplechase Women/Men
10:55 a.m. National Anthem
11 a.m. 400 Relay Women/Men
11:20 a.m. 1,500 Women/Men
11:50 a.m. 100 Hurdles Women
Noon 110 Hurdles Men
12:15 p.m. 400 Women/Men
12:45 p.m. 3,200 Relay Women/Men
1 p.m. Break
2 p.m. 100 Women/Men
2:20 p.m. 400 Hurdles Women/Men
2:45 p.m. 800 Women/Men
3:15 p.m. 200 Women/Men
3:30 p.m. 5,000 Women/Men
4:45 p.m. 1,600 Relay Women/Men


GCAC Championships Team Scoring
Year Champion Points        Runner-up Points
2004 XULA 92        SUNO 24
2011 Dillard 161 1/2        Edward Waters 136
2012 Edward Waters 217        Dillard 192
2013 Edward Waters 212        Dillard 188
2014 Dillard 178        Edward Waters 153
2015 Edward Waters 156        Dillard 121
2016 Edward Waters 200        Dillard 166
2017 Edward Waters 303        Dillard 149
Year Champion Points        Runner-up Points
2004 XULA 82        SUNO 10
2011 XULA 138 1/2        Dillard 133
2012 Dillard 218        (tie) Edward Waters, SUNO 142
2013 XULA 184        Edward Waters 175
2014 XULA 213        Dillard 168
2015 XULA 202        Edward Waters 158
2016 Dillard 176        SUNO 159
2017 XULA 183        Edward Waters 177
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