Mills, Freeman nab Field Athlete of the Year awards at SAC Championships

Mills, Freeman nab Field Athlete of the Year awards at SAC Championships

HICKORY, N.C. - On the final day of the South Atlantic Conference Track and Field Championships, two Carson-Newman Eagles found themselves going home not only with a couple of medals, but with two Field Athlete of the Year awards and one trip to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. 

The women's team finished the South Atlantic Conference Championships in fifth-place overall with 70 points. The men in fourth-place overall, with 96 points. 

"To have kids come out and do work beyond what they're asked is phenomenal. We know our end goal is nationals, but these accomplishments are fantastic," coach David Needs said.

Randall Freeman (Ooltewah, Tenn) competed in six events over the last two days. The senior earned ninth in the men's high jump, first in the javelin throw, seventh in the men's long jump, third in men's discus and triple jump and first in the men's shot put to finish it off. After multiple trips to the medal stand, Freeman earned the Male Field Athlete of the Year honor.

"Randall had a great day. Having an athlete come to you and ask what they could do to help the team and do it without hesitation is something every coach loves to see," Needs said of Freeman.

After battling back and forth in the triple jump with the second-fastest female in the nation, sophomore Tiana Mills's last jump reigned supreme giving her first-place. Mills' 11.88m jump broke the C-N record, the Irwin Belk Track record, the SAC record and was a provisional qualification for the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Mills also earned second-place in the women's long jump after her 5.61m leap into the sand pit. 

TJ Davis also found himself in a battle in the men's triple jump against Wingate's Nate Patterson who had already previously qualified for nationals in the triple. Davis' final 14.55m mark was more than an inch longer than his competitor, giving him first-place. The sophomore also finished in first-place in the men's long jump, with freshman and fellow Penn Relay participant Tanner Steppmarking close behind in second. 

Stepp also finished in third-place in the men's high jump with a 6-10.25 jump. The freshman competed in the men's javelin throw and triple jump, finishing sixth and ninth, respectively. 

Sophomore Kristin Chapman finished in second-place in the women's high jump (5' 06").

Senior Jessica Azor finished in third-place in the women's shot put after her 11.38m throw. Azor also tied for third in the women's high jump with freshman Samantha Grudger. Each successfully jumped 5' 02".

In men's sprinting events, junior Will Moran finished in sixth in the men's 400m Hurdles after a 58.59 second finish. 

Lachlan Dickie ran over 15,000 meters this weekend for the Eagles. The freshman finished in fourth in the men's 10000m Run Friday and sixth in the men's 5000m Run Saturday. 

The men's 4x100m relay team of Jason Williams, Davis, Darian Harris and Noah Hill finished in fourth-place. 

From the women's end, freshman Tori Gaul (Salisbury, NC) earned second and a trip to the medals stand in the women's 400m Hurdles. Gabrielle Fewell finished in eighth-place out of the 15 other athletes who competed in the event. Fewell also finished in seventh place in the women's 100m Dash with Grudger following close behind in eighth. Junior Shauntae Miller (Bahamas) finished in eighth in the women's 400m Dash. 

The women's 4x400m Relay team of Gaul, Miller, Grudger and Madison Pickel earned third-place after their 4:01.29 finish. 

The Eagles travel to the Home of the Volunteers next weekend for the Tennessee Challenge.

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SAC Championships