DAYTONA BEACH, FLA – The 2019 Peach Belt Conference men's and women's track and field championships will begin this Thursday. For the first time, the event moves to one of the league's associate members as Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University will serve as host and defend their men's and women's titles from 2018. The competition begins on Thursday morning with men's and women's multi events followed by field finals in the early afternoon and track events at 6:00 pm. The full schedule can be found here.
Men's Track & Field
In the sprints, defending 100- and 200-meter champion Eric Moate of Nova Southeastern returns for his senior season. He set the PBC meet record in the 100 in 2018 and has run the fastest 100 in 2019 at 10.64 seconds. He also holds and NCAA provisional time in the 200 this year at 21.23. Among his challengers in the 100 are Augusta's Sean McCreary who ran a 10.72 at the Adidas Trojan Challenge and ERAU's Andrew Mappes who had a 10.87 at their own Spikes Classic, run on the same track as the PBC Championship.
In the middle distances, ERAU's Calahan Warren won the 800 and 1500 at the 2018 PBC Championship and holds the fastest time in both events in 2019. The junior set an NCAA provisional with a 1:50.71 at the Spikes Classic in the 800 and a 3.48.93 in the 1500 at the Black and Gold Challenge for another NCAA provisional mark.
Nova Southeastern's Michael Parry also set an NCAA time in the 800 at 1:51.69 at the USF Bulls Invitational.
For the distance runs, UNC Pembroke's Silus Kipkoech will defend his 10k championship from 2018. He set an NCAA provisional time in that event at 30:24.05 at the Colonial Relays, the fastest 10k in the PBC this season. He also has run the fastest 5k in the league at 14:50.4 at the Adidas Trojan Challenge.
The 110m hurdles may be among the most competitive events at this year's PBC meet. UNC Pembroke's Javon Graham and Christian Ceccato along with Nova Southeastern's Ian Nieves have set NCAA provisional times. Graham's mark of 14.16 set at the Mount Olive Duals is the fastest in the PBC this season and fifth-fastest in NCAA Division II.
In the field events, Embry-Riddle's Brodie Lubelski has set provisional marks in both the shot put and discus. His shot mark of 18.26m is the fourth-best in NCAA DII.
The decathlon will also be highly contested at the PBC Championship. Embry-Riddle's Connor Guinn, who won the event at the 2018 championships, set a PBC record with 6,728 points at the IMG Academy Invitational. He and teammate Lonnie Marts have set NCAA provisional totals this year.
Women's Track & Field
Clayton State's Nia Elmore and UNC Pembroke's Dy'Air McCormick both hold the fastest 100m time run in the PBC this season at 12.13 and could meet in the final at the PBC. In the 200, Embry-Riddle's Breona Butts ran a 24.92 at the Spikes Classic while Clayton State's Jasmine Radford ran a 25.01 at the GSC/PBC Challenge.
In middle distance, ERAU's Ukeyvia Beckwith set an NCAA provisional time in the 800 with a time of 2:11.71 run at the UNF Invitational. Augusta's Micah Weathers holds the top time in both the 1500 and 5k; her 5k time is over 30 seconds better than any other run in the league this year.
Columbus State holds the top times in both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays. The Cougars ran a 47.98 in the 4x100 at the GSC/PBC Challenge and hit a 3:58.9 in the 4x400 at the same event.
In the field events, many eyes will be on the high jump in Daytona Beach. Clayton State's Destiny Johnson and Embry-Riddle's Ukeyvia Beckwith both set NCAA provisional marks and both hold the PBC's top height with the same 1.67m.
Embry-Riddle sisters Phoebe and Sophia Gustely hold the first- and second-longest discus throws, respectively, in the PBC this season. Sophia also holds the PBC's longest javelin throw at 41.36 – less than 0.3 meters off the NCAA provisional distance and more than seven meters longer than any other PBC athlete.
Nova Southeastern's Maddy Kenyon set an NCAA provisional mark and Peach Belt record in the heptathlon with 4,957 points at the Spike's Classic. Kenyon is the defending conference champion in the event.
For those traveling to Daytona Beach, more information about the meet including accommodations and directions can be found here.