By Katherine Jamtgaard for App State Sports. BOONE, N.C. — The App State track and field team closed competition at the App State Open, its first outdoor home meet since the 2018 season, on Saturday with 22 event wins. The Mountaineers totaled 71 top-five finishes on the weekend in their final regular season meet.
All photographic images by David Rogers for High Country Sports
In addition to Appalachian State and several unattached athletes competing, other schools represented included, VMI, Western Carolina, Bob Jones University, North Carolina Central, Livingstone, Lenoir-Rhyne, Higher Power AC, Milligan, Louisburg, RMPV, and Anderson (S.C.).
“The first meet brought out a lot of emotions, but I’m very excited for the athletes to experience something they’ve been waiting for,” said director of track & field/cross country Damion McLean. “Having alumni here to enjoy it with this team means a lot. This facility is state of the art, one of the best in the state, and definitely the best in the conference.”
The Mountaineers went 1-2-3 in the men’s pole vault, led by sophomore Matthew Bigelow, who posted a personal best clearance of 4.91m (16′ 1.25″). Bigelow’s clearance moves him to eighth in the App State all-time list. Freshman Ava Studney and senior Celia Agee took first (3.66m (12′ 0″)) and second (3.56m (11′ 8.25″)), respectively, in the women’s pole vault.
Junior Siby Yao led the Mountaineers in the women’s long jump, taking first with a leap of 5.99m (19′ 7.75″). Seniors Taylor Smith and Jada Branch followed, placing second (5.97m (19′ 7″)) and third (5.96m (19′ 6.75″)), respectively. Branch led the competition in the women’s triple jump with a leap of 13.35m (43′ 9.5″, +2.5 wind), while junior Niejel Wilkins clinched first in the men’s triple jump with a leap of 15.31m (50′ 2.75″). Wilkins moves to ninth in the program all-time list for the men’s triple jump.
Freshman Nadiyah Byard finished first in the women’s high jump with a personal best clearance of 1.67m (5′ 5.75″) and junior Yates Hall took second in the men’s high jump with a leap of 1.88m (6′ 2″).
In addition to a first-place finish in the men’s hammer throw on Friday, junior Chris Wainscott collected gold in the men’s discus with a toss of 50.23m (164′ 10″) and men’s shot put with a toss of 17.88m (58′ 8″). Fellow junior Nate Karl followed Wainscott placed second in the men’s discus (48.71m (159′ 10″) and men’s shot put (16.15m (52′ 11.75″)). Sophomore Daiyanna Cooper recorded a personal best toss of 13.61m (44′ 7.75″) for a first-place finish in the women’s shot put. Cooper’s toss places her ninth in the all-time list.
App State went 1-2-3-4 in the women’s 100 meters, with Taylor Smith leading the charge with a personal best of 11.71, which places her seventh in the program all-time list. The Black and Gold also took the top-three spots in the men’s 1,500 meters, led by freshman Tucker Sangster, who clocked a personal best time of 3:57.91, as well as the women’s 400 meters, led by graduate student Hunter Robinson, who clocked a time of 55.63. Hunter Robinson’s time places her seventh in the all-time list for the women’s 400 meters.
The Mountaineers took the top-five spots in the women’s 5,000 meters, led by sophomore Linnea Maynard, who clocked a time of 18:51.68. In his 3,000-meter steeplechase debut, freshman Lane Hoyes clocked a personal best of 9:46.03 to place first overall.
Freshman Christian Gore clocked a personal best time of 52.52 to finish first in the men’s 400-meter hurdles, which places him seventh in the App State all-time list. Sophomore Mariah McCord finished first in the women’s 200 meters with a personal best time of 24.43. In the men’s 110-meter hurdles, Harrison Robinson stopped the clock at 14.92 to place first.
The women’s 4×100-meter relay team composed of senior Jelonnie Smith, Hunter Robinson, Taylor Smith, and senior Mariah Atwater clinched first with a time of 45.21. Jelonnie Smith, Hunter Robinson, and Atwater were joined by Branch in the women’s 4×400-meter relay, where they clocked a time of 3:42.17 to finish first. In the men’s 4×400-meter relay, freshmen Jayvion Johnson and Harrison Robinson, junior Cole Krehnbrink, and freshman Christian Gore took first with a time of 3:19.70.
Friday’s action was highlighted by a ribbon cutting for the new Randy Marion Track & Field Facility. Past and present Mountaineers gathered in the Mark E. Ricks Athletics Complex with Chanellor Everts, Director of Athletics Doug Gillin, University dignitaries, the Marion Family, former head coach John Weaver, Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Damion McLean and the App State track & field coaching staff. Senior Jada Branch and Oliver Wilson-Cook had the honor of cutting the ribbon.
Sophomore Daiyanna Cooper posted a personal best and facility record of 56.86m (186′ 7″), placing first in the women’s hammer throw. She remains second in the App State all-time list. Arnold took second with a personal best of her own (45.78m (150′ 2″)). In the men’s hammer throw, Wainscott recorded a first-place finish with a toss of 56.36m (184′ 11″).
What They’re Saying About the Facility
“It’s a very great facility. It’s got a nice setup, it’s team friendly, and I can’t wait to be back here again.” – Zach Scott, Director of Track & Field/Cross Country, VMI
“It’s a beautiful, beautiful facility. I’m very happy for Coach McLean, he’s one of my friends, so I’m very happy and excited for him specifically to get this facility. There’s nothing like running in the mountains. The scenery is just beautiful.” – Justin Davis, Head Coach, Livingstone College
“I think it’s a beautiful facility. The track looks fast and it’s really nice. The setup is nice and they did a good job building the facility.” – Darnell Almanzar, Assistant Coach, North Carolina Central
“You can stand anywhere and see everything, which is really nice. Oftentimes track and field facilities spread out. Having the throws on the infield, as a throws coach, that’s fantastic and the bowl is nice and very spectator friendly.” – Daniel Haakenson, Assistant Coach, Western Carolina
The Mountaineers will head to Myrtle Beach, S.C. for the Sun Belt Outdoor Championships on May 11-13. The meet will be available to stream on ESPN+.
Randy Marion Track & Field Facility Records
- Women’s Hammer Throw | Daiyanna Cooper, App State – 56.86m (186′ 7″)
- Men’s Hammer Throw | Chris Wainscott, App State – 56.36m (184′ 11″)
- Women’s Javelin | Joy Harris, Unattached – 36.37m (119′ 4″)
- Men’s Javelin | Jackson Livingston, Western Carolina – 56.87m (186′ 7″)
- Women’s Discus | Tyler Glover, Higher Power – 43.44m (142′ 6″)
- Men’s Discus | Chris Wainscott, App State – 50.23m (164′ 10″)
- Women’s Pole Vault | Celia Agee, App State – 3.66m (12′ 0″)
- Men’s Pole Vault | Matthew Bigelow, App State – 4.91m (16′ 1.25″)
- Women’s Long Jump | Siby Yao, App State – 5.99m (0.6) (19′ 7.75″)
- Men’s Long Jump | Keyandre Midgett, VMI – 7.29m (0.6) (23′ 11″)
- Women’s High Jump | Nadiyah Byard, App State – 1.67m (5′ 5.75″)
- Men’s High Jump | Brenden Finger, NC Central – 1.93m (6′ 4″)
- Women’s Shot Put | Daiyanna Cooper, App State – 13.61m (44′ 7.75″)
- Men’s Shot Put | Chris Wainscott, App State – 17.88m (58′ 8″)
- Women’s Triple Jump | Joidon Boddie, NC Central – 12.26m (-0.2) (40′ 2.75″)
- Men’s Triple Jump | Niejel Wilkins, App State – 15.31m (1.4) (50′ 2.75″)
- Women’s 5,000m | Linnea Maynard, App State – 18:51.68
- Men’s 5,000m | Simon Bong, Unattached – 15:28.36
- Women’s 4x100m Relay | App State (Jelonnie Smith, Hunter Robinson, Taylor Smith, Mariah Atwater) – 45.21
- Men’s 4x100m Relay | Livingstone (Keilan Strader, Tyler Wagner, Avery Fields, David Bradford) – 41.62
- Women’s 1500m | Samantha Young, Unattached – 4:55.24
- Men’s 1500m | Tucker Sangster, App State – 3:57.91
- Men’s 110m Hurdles | Harrison Robinson, App State – 14.92
- Women’s 100m | Taylor Smith, App State – 11.71 (-0.2)
- Men’s 100m | Brian Sims, Bob Jones – 10.51 (-2.5)
- Women’s 400m | Hunter Robinson, App State – 55.63
- Men’s 400m | Donnell Carter, NC Central – 47.13
- Women’s 800m | Laila Jackson, NC Central – 2:14.94
- Men’s 800m | Gray McIntyre, Unattached – 1:56.68
- Women’s 400m Hurdles| Gianna Marquez, NC Central – 1:06.03
- Men’s 400m Hurdles | Christian Gore, App State – 52.52
- Women’s 200m | Mariah McCord, App State – 24.43 (0.3)
- Men’s 200m | Nick Brown, VMI – 21.47 (2.6)
- Men’s 3000m Steeplechase | Lane Hoyes, App State – 9:46.03
- Women’s 4x400m Relay | App State (Jelonnie Smith, Jada Branch, Hunter Robinson, Mariah Atwater) – 3:42.17
- Men’s 4x400m Relay | App State (Jayvion Johnson, Harrison Robinson, Cole Krehnbrink, Christian Gore) – 3:19.70