13 Chants earn SBC all-conference honors; Jefferson and Ejumeta earn top individual awards
CCU track and field wins most all-conference honors since 2017
NEW ORLEANS – Coastal Carolina sprinter Melissa Jefferson and long jumper David Ejumeta were tabbed with 2021 Sun Belt Track and Field season-ending individual awards on Wednesday, announced by the conference.
The 13 all-conference honorees are the most the Chants’ track and field team garnered since they earned 15 during the 2017 season.
Jefferson led the conference overall with three individual awards, including being the first CCU female athlete to win the Sun Belt Conference Women’s Outdoor Most Outstanding Track Performer, Most Outstanding Freshman, and Newcomer of the Year. For the men, Ejumeta earned the distinction as the first Coastal athlete to win the Men’s Outdoor Most Outstanding Field Performer.
Jefferson had a sensational 2021 Sun Belt Track and Field Championships where she was the highest-scoring individual with 22.5 points, won three gold medals, broke three school records, and a SBC meet record.
Along with freshmen Kayla Sweeney, Keniah Wallace, and Jermaisha Arnold, Jefferson helped break the school record in the 4x100 meters with a time of 44.75. Individually, the Georgetown, S.C., native pulled off the double-sprint win in the 100 meters and 200 meters, where she took down both school records. In the 100 meters, the freshman set the school record with a time of 11.22 (1.0), and then she capped off her memorable weekend in the 200 meters as she ran 22.96, the fastest in CCU history, the fastest in the Sun Belt this season, and the currently the 17th-fastest time in NCAA. Both times rank her in the top 50 in the world under the age of 20.
The freshmen Arnold was the top medalist at last week’s conference championships, where she won four medals including, two gold in relay races, a bronze in the 200 meters, and a gold in the 400 meters. The Myrtle Beach, S.C., native earned the gold medal in the 400 meters by setting a meet record at 52.69, which ranks as top 15 in the world under the age of 20.
Freshman Shani’a Bellamy also cemented her all-conference status with a first-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles as she ran a personal-best time of 58.58, which ranks as top 10 in the world under the age of 20.
In the 4x400, Arnold, Amaryah White, Tariney Pepper, and Lauren Gordon earned first-place all-conference as they ran a season-best time of 3:38.70.
Ejumeta jumped 7.97 meters in the long jump last weekend in Mobile, Ala., where his mark tied the Sun Belt championship meet record, broke the school record, and ranks him 50th in the world. The Berin City, Nigeria, native goes into next weekend’s NCAA East Preliminaries as the 12th-ranked in the nation and is top 50 in the world.
Along with Ejumeta, the trio of Jeremiah Talbert, DeVonte Harris, Ty Floyd earned third-team all-conference as they teamed up to run a third-place time 40.55 in the 4x100 last weekend in Mobile, Ala.
The Coastal track and field team will return to action as they head back to the University of North Florida and Hodges Stadium on May 27-29, for the second time this season for the NCAA East Preliminaries.
Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Individual Awards
Most Outstanding Track Performer – Melissa Jefferson, Coastal Carolina
Most Outstanding Field Performer – Autavia Fluker, South Alabama
Most Outstanding Freshman – Melissa Jefferson, Coastal Carolina
Newcomer of the Year – Melissa Jefferson, Coastal Carolina
Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Individual Awards
Most Outstanding Track Performer – Bennett Pascoe, Arkansas State
Most Outstanding Field Performer – David Ejumeta, Coastal Carolina
Most Outstanding Freshman – Lexington Hilton Arkansas State
Newcomer of the Year – Kwanele Mthembu, Texas State
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