Two local Chants advance in NCAA East Preliminaries in Jacksonville

Jefferson advances in the 100 and 200 meters; Arnold advances in the 400 meters
Carvers Bay grad Melissa Jefferson (left) advances in the 100 and 200 meters while Socastee...
Carvers Bay grad Melissa Jefferson (left) advances in the 100 and 200 meters while Socastee alum Jermaisha Arnold advances in the 400m(Coastal Carolina Athletics)
Published: May. 27, 2021 at 11:18 PM EDT
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - On Thursday at the 2021 NCAA Track and Field East Preliminaries at Hodges Stadium, sophomore Melissa Jefferson and freshman Jermaisha Arnold advanced to Saturday’s quarterfinals in their respective events.

The Georgetown, S.C., native Jefferson advanced to Saturday’s regional finals in the 100 and 200 meters. Jefferson started her day with the 100 meters as she ran 11.25 (1.4), her third-fastest time this season, just three-thousandths of a second off her school record-breaking time that she set at the Tom Jones Invitational in mid-April.

Jefferson returned to the outdoor oval less than two hours later to compete in the 200 meters, where she put together the 13th fastest time of the 24 qualifiers at 23.30 (1.3).

Arnold, the Myrtle Beach, S.C., native, continued to rewrite the Coastal Carolina record book in the 400 meters as she advanced to the regional final with a school-record time of 52.55. It was the third time this season, the freshmen sprinter has laid down a school record in the same event.

Fellow 400-meter sprinter Amaryah White ran a 55.94 in heat four but could not advance to the quarterfinals.

In the 400-meter hurdles, freshman Shani’a Bellamy put down a time of 1:02.39 in the fifth heat, but she too was unable to qualify for Saturday’s quarterfinals in her respective event.

On Friday, freshman Braydon Bennett will be the lone Chanticleer in action as he looks to be one of the 12 qualifiers in the 110-meter hurdles advancing to the 2021 NCAA Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore. Bennett’s start time will be at 6:45 p.m. ET.

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