In its first year of competition, the Brenau University Golden Tigers track and field team won the Southern States Athletic Conference championship April 27, racking up 352.5 points in the seven-team field compared with the 304 for the next three teams combined.
In the conference championship meet, held on campus at Shorter University in Rome, Ga., William Carey University finished second with 113 points, Emmanuel College third with 97 points, Lee University fourth with 94 points, Loyola University New Orleans fifth with 88.5 points, and Spring Hill College in sixth with 16 points.
“This a huge accomplishment for our track and field program,” said Mike Lochstampfor, Brenau University athletic director. “It is always a monumental achievement to win a conference championship and to be able to accomplish this in a program’s inaugural season is even more amazing.”
Brenau athletes picked up points in each of the 22 events at the meet, including first-place finishes in 100-, 200- and 300-meter dashes; 400-meter hurdles; triple jump and all of the “muscle” events: shot put, discus, hammer and javelin. In addition, Brenau’s Alyssa Sale, Tyanna Luna and Jasmine Ray captured the first three spots in the 3,000-meter steeplechase – showing the depth in all events that contributed to the break-away scoring. And the Tigers claimed the second-place spot in the three relay events, finishing a tenth of a second out of first in the 4×100.
Brenau began organizing the track and field team a little more than a year ago. Head Coach Richard Ludwig began extensive recruiting immediately and also tapped into the Tigers’ existing cross country squad, which helped with solid performances in some of the long-distance events at the SSAC tournament.
“I am extremely pleased with the outcome of the conference meet,” said Ludwig. “These are some of the fiercest competitors I have ever coached. I think we made a strong statement this weekend, and the future looks bright for our Golden Tiger track program. Thanks to our administration and coaches for getting things off the ground in such a great way.”