Brenau Wins Fifth Straight SSAC Championship

04/25/2017 - 13:15

042217 SSAC Track Day 2 AJR001.JPGMOBILE, AL – The Brenau University track and field team accumulated 233 points to win decisively its fifth consecutive Southern States Athletic Conference Women’s Track & Field Championship in Mobile, Alabama, on Saturday, April 22. The five-year-old team has never failed to capture a conference championship.

Heavily favored going into the meet on the neutral campus of the University of South Alabama, the Golden Tigers from Gainesville, Georgia, outpaced Loyola (Louisiana) University by 56 points and third-place William Carey (Mississippi) University by 85 points to claim their second straight championship under head coach Byron Kramer.

"This was a strong team effort," said Kramer. "We asked a lot out of many of our athletes, and they stepped up and delivered."

Five Brenau athletes Brenau athletes picked up individual titles:

Ayana Daniels, sophomore psychology major from Snellville, Georgia, won the pole vault at 2.88 meters to lead a Golden Tigers sweep of the top four spots in the event. She also finished seventh in the 800 meters (2:35.40).

Nia Griffin, sophomore marketing major from Stockbridge, Georgia, finished first in the 800 (2:22.34) and fourth in the 1,500 (5:14.18).

Sydney Haas, junior business major from Hildebran, North Carolina, won the hammer throw with a toss of 34.39, out-distancing Loyola's Taylor Hagins by almost two meters. She also placed second in the shot put with a throw of 11.37 and seventh in the discus (28.17).

Sydney Romine, freshman business major from Jasper, Georgia, won an individual title in the 100 hurdles in 14.81 seconds and finished third in the 400 hurdles (1:09.49) and fifth in the long jump (5.22).

Iman Williams, freshman biology major from Snellville, Georgia, secured her first individual title and the fifth individual title for the Golden Tigers by winning the 400-meter run in 58:86. She also placed fifth in the 200 (25.93).

Biology major Ismaelle Occeus of Lawrenceville, Georgia, had an outstanding meet by scoring in five different events for the eventual champions. The senior placed second in the triple jump (11.66), seventh in both the 100 (12.70) and 200 meters (26.22), third in the long jump (5.35) and fifth in the 100 hurdles (16:00).

Fellow senior Cheyenne Wells, an accounting major from Sandy Springs, Georgia, also had an excellent meet, notching four top-eight finishes. Wells placed eighth in the 100 (13.30) and 200 meters (27.06) and second in the 100 hurdles (14:94) and 400-meter run (59.33).

Alisa Sanford, a junior business major from Buford, Georgia, also had several standout performances, finishing second in the high jump (1.49), third in the triple jump (10.92) and seventh in the javelin (28.09).

"We had more personal records and national qualifiers in this meet than in the rest of the season combined," Kramer said.

Two athletes, Romine and Occeus, qualified for the 2017 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Gulf Shores, Alabama, in May. Romine qualified earlier this year for the 2017 NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships.

Showcasing the Golden Tigers’ superior depth, 13 other athletes added points to the board in the meet:

• Anita Button, sophomore special education major, Lawrenceville, Georgia, second, pole vault (2.88);

• Shymane Callahan, junior health science major, Los Angeles, California, third, javelin (31.81);

• Aja Clark, freshman pre-nursing major, McDonough, Georgia, sixth, 400 hurdles (1:18.63);

• Peyton Edmond, junior accounting major, Irmo, South Carolina, fourth, hammer throw (28.38);

• Alexis Garnigan, sophomore middle grades education major, Kennesaw, Georgia, fourth, high jump (1.40);

• Haley Gill, sophomore art education major, Gillsville, Georgia, third, pole vault (2.73);

• Felicia Gordon, sophomore psychology major, Monticello, Georgia, sixth, 3,000-meter steeplechase (19:53.87);

• Camille Humphrey, sophomore biology major, Suwanee, Georgia, fourth, pole vault (2.28);

• Kayla Mitchell, sophomore nursing major, Stockbridge, Georgia, fifth, javelin (29.34), eighth, hammer throw (22.43);

• Elizabeth Lowe, sophomore biology major, Conyers, Georgia, sixth, 800 meters (2:39.69);

• Anazjah Mayes, senior fashion merchandising major, Lawrenceville, Georgia, second, 400 hurdles (1:07.00);

• Monika Nwajei, senior psychology major, Snellville, Georgia, sixth, 400 meters (1:02.40); fourth, 800 meters (2:31.35);

• Michelle Velazquez, sophomore biology major, Lawrenceville, Georgia, third, 10,000 meters (48:11.70), sixth, 5,000 (23:25.17);

• 4x800 relay team, second (10:25.47);

• 4x100 relay team, third (48.67);

• 4x400 relay team, second (3:59.54);

Mobile (Ala.) placed fourth at the championships with 134 points, while Dalton State (Ga.) College (34 points), Brewton Parker College (6) and Bethel (Tenn.) University (5) rounded out the competition.
ABOUT BRENAU UNIVERSITY: Founded in 1878, Brenau University is a private, not-for-profit, nationally prominent comprehensive institution of higher education that enrolls students in graduate and undergraduate studies on campuses and online. Gainesville, Georgia-based Brenau includes the residential Women’s College, which represents the academic and philosophical liberal arts underpinnings of the university. Brenau also provides coeducational opportunities through the doctoral level, including on-ground programs in Georgia locales Gainesville, Augusta, Norcross and Fairburn as well as in Jacksonville, Florida. Brenau University offers doctorates in nursing, occupational therapy and physical therapy, a terminal M.F.A. in interior design, specialist in education, master’s, bachelor’s and associate’s degrees as well as professional certifications. The Women’s College boasts 14 nationally competitive intercollegiate Golden Tigers sports teams, national honor societies and national sororities with dedicated residential facilities on campus. The university provides outlets for artistic expression and community service for all students. Brenau possesses an extensive and distinctive permanent collection of art and presents year-round programming that includes art exhibitions, lectures, debates and literary readings, and theatrical and musical performances. For more information, please visit the website at

Photo: Ismaelle Occeus, a senior from Lawrenceville, Ga., center, leads her teammates in a cheer after the second day of the SSAC Outdoor Track & Field Championship in Mobile, Ala. Brenau won their 5th straight SSAC conference title. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

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