COLUMBIA, S.C. --- Tusculum University's Nicole McMillen and Hachlaine Petit set South Atlantic Conference women's track and field records during the opening day of the Carolina Challenge at the University of South Carolina Indoor Track and Field Complex on Friday.
McMillen won the women's 3,000 meters and set Tusculum, SAC and facility records with a time of 9:39.38, good enough for an NCAA Division II provisional qualifier and the sixth-best time in Division II this season. Petit was clocked at 57.05 seconds in the 400 meters, establishing school and conference records as the third-highest finishing non-Division I runner in a field of 117.
In men's competition, David Saruni and Will Cronin broke their own school records in the 400 meters and 3,000 meters, respectively, as the Pioneers competed in seven events during the first day of the two-day meet, which concludes Saturday.
McMillen, who set the facility record in the 5,000 meters two weeks earlier at the Gamecock Opener, took the lead on the first lap of her race and never gave it up, holding on for a 2.6 second victory over Melissa Anastasakis of Elon. McMillen shattered the facility record of 10:01.77 and own her school record of 10:03.99 set in last year's Gamecock Inaugural. The Pickering, Ontario native also broke the conference record of 9:48.65 set by Hannah Wolkenhauer of Queens at the JDL Last Chance Invitational in Winston-Salem in 2018.
Petit finished fourth in her section and 21st overall in the 400 meters, but her time of 57.05 was slightly better than the conference record of 57.13 seconds set by Saidah Hardwick of Lenoir-Rhyne at the 2019 SAC Championships. Petit also broke the Tusculum record of 57.22 seconds set by Raygene Minus at the USC Open last February. Minus competed unattached in the event and finished just behind Petit in 24th place at 57.38 seconds.
Tusculum set four women's records on Friday, as Kenisha Stubbs ran 9.44 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles to surpass the school record of 9.53 seconds set by Brianna Oats at the USC Open last season. In the weight throw, Alyssa Farmer threw 13.49 meters (44 feet, 3 1/4 inches) to obliterate her previous school record of 11.00 meters (36 feet, 1 1/4 inches) set at last year's USC Open. Farmer was tenth overall in the weight throw and placed eighth in the shot put at 11.78 meters (38 feet, 7 3/4 inches), the third-best mark in program history.
Other top performances from the Pioneers on Friday included Ke'Lah McMiller in the 400 meters, who ran 59.48 seconds to rank eighth on the school top 10 list, and Gabrielle Beckett who was clocked at 5:31.96 in the mile to take ninth place on the school top 10 list.
Saruni ran 50.27 in the 400 meters to break his own record of 50.70 seconds set two weeks ago at the Gamecock Opener. Jontavus Walker finished with a time of 52.20 seconds to place seventh on the program's all-time top 10 in the event.
Cronin crossed the line in 8:43.04 in the 3,000 meters to improve his own school record of 8:49.66 set at last year's SAC Championship. Taylor Tupps ran 9:00.40 to take over sixth place on the school top 10, with Caleb Archer clocked in 9:11.22 for ninth all-time in program history. Carson Walls was timed in 9:23.74 and is now sixth on the all-time performance list in the 3,000 meters.
In the mile run, Antonio Aparacio was timed in 4:29.88 to take over second place on the school performance list in the event, while Kyle Stanley moved into fourth on the performance list with his time of 4:35.85.
In the shot put, Zach Lane was 19th overall with a throw of 12.21 meters (40 feet, 3/4 inches), with Alex Higgins (11.92 meters/39 feet, 1 1/4 inches) and Mike Peppin (11.37 meters/37 feet, 3 3/4 inches) taking fourth and fifth, respectively, on the school performance list.
Carolina Challenge - at Columbia, South Carolina
Day 1 of 2
60: 51. Kayneshia Carter, 8.27.
60 hurdles: 30. Kenisha Stubbs, 9.44 (school record); Brianna Oats, DNF.
400: 21. Hachlaine Petit, 57.05 (SAC record/school record); 44. Ke'Lah McMiller, 59.48; 55. Kenisha Stubbs, 1:00.11; 61. Kesia Griffith, 1:00.54; 66. Earthaiza Watkins, 1:01.27; 85. Aliyah Adderley, 1:03.60; 110. Hailey Cole, 1:09.13; 115. Brittany Bowery, 1:14.31.
1 mile: 44. Gabrielle Beckett, 5:31.96.
3000: 1. Nicole McMillen, 9:39.38 (SAC record/school record/facility record/NCAA provisional qualifier).
60: 25. Gerard Hearst, 7.07; 55. Devan Hart, 7.22; 56. Pierre Dupuy, 7.22; 57. Giovanni Purser, 7.23; 122. Dee Alford, 9.10.
60 hurdles: 32. Jamire Thompson, 9.22.
400: 45. David Saruni, 50.27 (school record); 94. Jontavus Walker, 52.20; 114. Tyree Hilliard, 53.29; 116. Arlington Ferguson, 53.37; 118. Isaac Hybarger, 53.39; 134. Jonathan Julien, 56.08.
1 mile: 32. Antonio Aparicio, 4:29.88; 39. Kyle Stanley, 4:35.85.
3000: 13. Will Cronin, 8:43.04 (school record); 30. Taylor Tupps, 9:00.40; 34. Caleb Archer, 9:11.22; 37. Kyler Hodges, 9:14.30; 39. Carson Walls, 9:23.74.