Gaul, Snead impress as Eagles conclude UCS Invitational

Gaul, Snead impress as Eagles conclude UCS Invitational


Winston-Salem, N.C.— Carson-Newman wrapped up the UCS Invitational with another impressive showing on the season as Kevin Snead (Richmond, Va.) automatically qualifies for indoor nationals following his win in the men's 60m dash and Tori Gaul (Salisbury, N.C.) sets a new program record in the women's pole vault.

"The UCS Invitational at the JDL Fast Track featured athletes from all over the country," coach David Needs said. "What I love about our team is that though some of our athletes didn't get the marks that they had hoped for today, they kept competing and took another step in the right direction."

Snead's third-place showing in the 60m dash was then followed up with a first-place win in the event in the finals sector. The junior recorded a personal-best of 6.73 seconds in the sprint and becomes the first Carson-Newman athlete to ever automatically qualify for the indoor nationals.  

The sprinter beat out five unattached athletes who are competing post-collegiately and one Division I competitor in the eight-man field for the finals round, and moves up to fourth in the Division II in the event.

The Richmond, Va. native's day did not end after the short sprint as Snead then put forth a third-place showing in the men's 200m dash. The junior completed the event with a 22.13 second time to beat 48 other participants in the event.

Tori Gaul (Salisbury, N.C.) also stole headlines by recording a personal-best and breaking her own school record in the women's pole vault. The sophomore increased her mark to 3.90m and also moved into the top-10 in Division II in the event at No. 8.

"I've been a coach for a long time now," Needs said. "I've coached football, as well as track and field, and I have seen some pretty good accomplishments over the years. What Tori [Gaul] and Kevin [Snead] did today was definitely a special accomplishment for both of them."

Freshman Marshall Shank (Granite Quarry, N.C.) also competed Saturday in the men's pole vault and finished with a seventh-place showing of 4.55m.   

T.J Davis (Chattanooga, Tenn.) took part in the men's long jump where the junior took home a fourth-place mark of 6.84m.

The men's high jump saw another Carson-Newman freshman place a top-10 mark on the day. Christian Stumpf (Johnson City, Tenn.) collected a sixth-place showing in the event after leaping 1.96m.

Tiana Mills (Chattanooga, Tenn.) rounded out the day for the Eagles in the UCS Invitational with a fifth-place finish in the women's triple jump. The junior completed the event with an 11.36m jump.   

All in all, every Eagle athlete who competed Saturday posted a top-10 finish.

"Today's meet would have been the eighth meet of the season for some of our athletes," Needs said. "Not to make excuses, but the season is weighing on some of us. Overall, we did well and posted some pretty good marks. There's a lot to be pleased with."

It is yet to be determined if Needs will send anymore athletes, or the entire Carson-Newman indoor track and field team, to another meet this season. Indoor nationals are just weeks away and slated for the beginning of March.  

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Marshall Shank

Men's Pole Vault

7th- 4.55m


T. J. Davis

Men's Long Jump

4th- 6.84m


Kevin Snead

Men's 60m Dash Finals

1st- 6.73 seconds


Men's 60m Dash Prelims

3rd- 6.83 seconds


Men's 200m Dash

3rd- 22.13 seconds


Tiana Mills

Women's Triple Jump

5th- 11.36m


Tori Gaul

Women's Pole Vault

2nd- 3.90m


Christian Stumpf

Men's High Jump

6th- 1.96m