Former Palmetto State High School Athletes Post Top Marks at Big South Championships

Kandrick Cooper, a freshman at Winthrop University shattered the Big South Championships and the Big South all-time record in the 60-meter hurdles, with a first place finish in the event, Saturday at the Big South Indoor Championships.

Cooper, a former runner at Andrew High School in Georgetown, finished in 8.01 seconds, besting the old mark of 8.08, held by Liberty\'s Ken Howell since 1999.

The Eagles distance medley relay team of Derrick Zimmerman, Pete Moroni, Justin Meade (Palmetto) and Brad Orr (Wren) finished second, earning All-Big South honors. Orr placed fourth in the mile in 4:17.56.

Senior Brandon Morton (Greenwood HS) tied the school record in the high jump (6-8), finishing second in the event, along with earning All-Big South honors.

Senior Tomeika Banks (Belton-Honea Path HS) earned All-Big South Honors in the 60-meter hurdles with a third place finish for the Eagles.

Sophomore Chasity Johnson (Fort Dorchester HS) finished first in the 200-meter dash for Coastal Carolina along with bringing home first place trophies in the long jump and triple jump. The 200-meter dash and triple jump are both new Coastal Carolina school records, with the triple jump distance being an NCAA Indoor Championship Provisional Qualifying mark.

Coastal Carolina women finished second in the meet.

For Charleston Southern Audrika Gadson (Lakewood HS), a junior Buccaneer finished first in the 60-meter finals in 7.60, posting the fastest preliminary time of 7.65.

The Charleston Southern women finished third in the team standings.

Michael Rhue (Ridge View HS), a freshman at Charleston Southern finished second in the men\'s 400 with a time of 48.52. The Charleston Southern men finished third in the team standings.

Next weekend\'s collegiate conference action includes the Southern Conference Championships at East Tennessee State in Johnson City, TN. The Southeastern Conference Championship is also taking place on the weekend of Feb. 25-26 at the Randal Tyson Track Center and John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville, AR.

Article below: Added by Heather Koziel

After 15 events, only half a point separated Liberty University and Coastal Carolina. Going into the 1600-meter relay, Coastal led Liberty 167 to 166.5. In the end Liberty won, giving them a three and a half point advantage over Coastal to win the Big South Conference title on Feb. 19.

Coming in third place was Charleston Southern with 70.5 points. Radford University was fourth with 58, High point was fifth with 47, UNC Asheville placed sixth with 33, Virginia Military Institute was seventh with 30 points, and Winthrop was eighth with 27 points.

Jemissa Hess from High Point was named Track Performer of the Year. She is a freshman who won both the 800-meters with a time of 2.12.64, setting league and championship records, and the mile run with a 4:46.58, which broke the championship record.

A freshman from Coastal Carolina was named Field Performer of the Year. Chasity Johnson won the long jump (19-6), which broke both the championship and conference records and the triple jump (43-2.5). Johnson placed fifth in the high jump. The women's track coach of the year is Brant Tolmsa from Liberty.

On the men's side, Liberty ran away with the meet, scoring 191.5 points. Behind them was Virginia Military Institute with 137 points. Charleston Southern placed third with 99 points, High Point was fourth with 70 points, Radford University had 64.5 points, sixth was Winthrop University with 40 points, and UNC Asheville was seventh with 21 points.

The men's track performer of the year was Paulvince Obuon from VMI. He won the 60-meter dash (6.75), the 200-meter dash (21.6), and the 400-meter dash (48.32), which broke the conference and championship records. His teammate Garret Brickner was named Field Performer of the Year. He won the High Jump and the Long Jump. The men's coach of the year is again, Tolmsa from Liberty.