BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Freshman Meagan Thornton (Millville, N.J.) won the 400-meter hurdles and placed third in the 100-meter hurdles to lead the Lees-McRae College women's track and field team to a fourth-place performance at the 2012 Conference Carolinas Championships on Saturday at the Arthur, Laurentsen and Sanders Track and Field Complex.
Mount Olive College took home the team title with 166 points, as Trojan head coach Matt Van Lierop was named Coach of the Year, and Alaytra Carswell garnered Track Athlete of the Year honors. Amber Cunningham of Limestone College was named the Field Athlete of the Year, as Meagan Henry of King College garnered Freshman of the Year honors.
Limestone came in second with 129 points, followed by King (108), Lees-McRae (69), and Barton College (63). Queens University of Charlotte was sixth with 37 points, followed by Belmont Abbey College (25), and North Greenville University.
On Friday, Taylor Pritchett (Apex, N.C.) took home the women's pole vault title with a personal-best mark of 2.59 meters, as Persephanie Mcrae (Brooklyn, N.C.) placed second in the high jump with a career-best jump of 1.62 meters. Kortnie Curry (Lexington, N.C.) placed third in the high jump for the Bobcats with a mark of 1.62 meters.
In the 4x100-meter relay, the quartet of Meagan Thornton (Millville, N.J.), Jessica McEnaney (Cary, N.C.), Auburn Lowe (Swain County, N.C.), and Iesha Poindexter (Jetterville, Va.) placed fourth in a photo-finish with a time of 50.07 seconds. Hannah Henderson (Canvas, W.Va.) placed fifth in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 5:12.59, as Thornton finished third in the 100-meter hurdles with a personal-best mark of 15.26 seconds.
Poindexter put together a strong performance in the 100-meter dash, finishing second with a time of 12.55 seconds, while Henderson placed sixth in the 800-meter run with a mark of 2:34.25. Thornton then delivered the performance of the day, winning the 400-meter hurdles by more than one second with a time of 1:05.01. McEnaney, Thornton, Lowe and Poindexter also placed fifth in the 4x400-meter relay with a time of 4:25.00.
Rachelle Cleveland (Moyock, N.C.) finished second in the javelin throw with a mark of 32.09 meters, as Kayla Frazier (Chesterfield, S.C.) placed sixth with a throw of 26.51 meters. Genay Miller (Woodstock, Ga.) and Jamara Cook (Claremont, N.C.) placed seventh and eighth in the hammer throw with marks of 33.29 and 32.93 meters, respectively.
Cook placed fifth in the discus on Saturday with a toss of 34.22 meters, as Cleveland and Frazier finished eighth and ninth with marks of 29.67 and 29.56 meters, respectively. Cleveland finished sixth in the shot put with a mark of 10.46 meters, as Frazier and Cook placed eighth and 10th with throws of 9.89 and 9.60 meters, respectively.
Lees-McRae is expected to return 21 athletes from this year's squad, including rising seniors Cook, Frazier, Lowe, Miller, Poindexter, and Karina Ortiz (Hickory, N.C.).
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