SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Feb. 23, 2005) -The Southern Conference will conclude its regular season for men and women's indoor track and field with the 2005 Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Memorial Center of East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN on Friday, February 25 and Saturday, February 26.
The two-day meet will feature 17 events such as the 60 meter dash, mile run, long jump, 4 x 400 meter relay, shot put, men's heptathlon and women's pentathlon. The Western Carolina women are currently first in the Southern Conference Power Rankings with 175.40 points, leading Appalachian State by a mere 8.41 points. Georgia Southern is currently third (100.5) with Chattanooga (65) and East Tennessee State (50) rounding out the top five. The Appalachian State men currently total 230 points, which leads second place Western Carolina by 19 points. East Tennessee State (69.5) and Chattanooga (61.5) round out the top half of the competition.
To date, Chattanooga's Steven Kocsis (3,000 meters) and Western Carolina's Laura Tieszen (Pole Vault) have earned NCAA Provisional qualification status. The NCAA Championships will be held on the campus of the University of Arkansas from March 11-12.
At the 2004 Championships, Western Carolina claimed its first SoCon Men's Indoor Track and Field Championship since 1999, while Appalachian State's women claimed their fourth consecutive team title at the meet held in Johnson City, TN. The Catamounts edged two-time defending champion Appalachian State by 21 points. The ASU women's squad had a sizeable 83.5-point margin over second place Chattanooga.
Appalachian State's Bob Smith won the weight throw at 18.72 meters, adding to his shot put title. Teammate Dan Queen, took home the inaugural heptathlon title with 4571 total points. On the strength of his two victories, Smith was named the Men's Indoor Field Performer of the Year.
Steven Kocsis and Yewer were named Men's Indoor Track Performers of the Year while Western Carolina's James Gregory was honored as the Freshman of the Year. Danny Williamson of WCU was voted Men's Indoor Coach of the Year by his peers.
Shannon Wommack of Chattanooga continued her dominating performance in the women's distance events by claiming the mile (4:55.61) and 5,000-meter (17:40.19) titles, adding to the 3,000-meter championship that she won the day before. With her three titles that weekend, Wommack was tabbed as the Women's Indoor Track Performer of the Year. Fellow Lady Mocs distance runner Kathleen Turchin, who placed second behind Wommack in all three events, was named Freshman of the Year.
In the women's field events, Ronda White of Appalachian State set a new SoCon record and hit an automatic NCAA mark with a leap of 13.30 meters in the triple jump. College of Charleston's Chakosha Lance won the weight throw with a toss of 16.33 meters, earning the Cougars their first individual title at a SoCon indoor meet. Also setting a SoCon record and earning an NCAA provisional qualification in the pole vault was Western Carolina's Laura Tieszen (3.95m).
White of Appalachian and Kellie Mitchell of Georgia Southern were named Women's Indoor Field Performers of the Year, and in leading his squad to its fourth consecutive conference title, ASU's John Weaver earned Coach of the Year honors.