Coastal Carolina

CCU track athletes on brink of earning ticket to NCAA championships


The Coastal Carolina men’s and women’s track and field teams are in good position to potentially send a couple athletes to the NCAA championship meet if all goes as planned Saturday.

Senior Desmond Wallace matched his school record Friday in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.68 seconds to advance to the quarterfinals at the NCAA East Preliminary Round in Jacksonville, Fla.

That was the fifth-fastest time out of 48 competitors in the prelims. The qualifiers will now compete in one of three races Saturday and need to finish in the top three of their respective race or post one of the next three fastest times to earn a spot at the national meet in Eugene, Ore.

“He ran a really clean race, executed what he needed to do and looked really good,” Chanticleers coach Jeff Jacobs said. “He’s in pretty good position if he can just repeat what he did today.”

Meanwhile, sophomore Aynslee van Graan was the star on Thursday while running a program-record 4:19.57 in the prelims of the women’s 1,500 meters to advance to the quarterfinal round. The qualifiers in that event will compete in one of two races Saturday, and the top-five in each race plus the next two fastest times advance to Eugene.

“[She was] outstanding. She had a personal best by over 2.5 seconds, which also moves her into No. 2 on the Big South all-time list,” Jacobs said. “Her workouts have been going really well. I thought she had a PR in her, but how much faster you didn’t know. She was in the fastest of the four races and finished sixth, but that was good enough to get her in on time. She’s got a decent chance to advance [Saturday]. It’s very close.”

The Chants also still have two other entrants that will be competing for the first time Saturday as the men’s 4x100 relay of Therius Styles, Ryan McCain, Kahlim Denmark and Chiason Tenkiang get their shot along with senior Amirah Al-Bayyinah in the women’s triple jump.