By Rick Sheek
JOHNSON CITY — Five different Milligan College athletes recorded double wins on Thursday, and both the men and women successfully defended their Appalachian Athletic Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Sidney Smallwood Track.
Gillian Giffen captured the 1,500- and 5,000-meter runs to reap most outstanding women’s athlete honors. Fitzroy Harris claimed the men’s award, winning the 100- and 400-meter dashes.
Also, Yolanda Migoyo took the women’s 100 and 400, while Janie Smith prevailed in the shot put and discus. On the men’s side, Tanner Payne dominated the shot and discus.
Milligan’s men grabbed the team title 64-39 over Bryan. The Lady Buffs, meanwhile, rolled in impressive fashion past Union 71-21.
“We had a good meet,” Milligan coach Chris Layne said. “We just wanted to give ourselves a chance to win, try to keep everybody healthy, make good decisions and use the meet as an opportunity to take another step.”
The afternoon began with the Buffs winning big in the 4×400-meter relay in 42.74 seconds. Migoyo then led a 1-2-3 finish in the 100 (12.77), followed by teammates Suzanne Johnson (13.38) and Caitlin Wood (13.46).
Milligan also crossed 1-2-3 in the men’s 100. Harris (10.83) led Kevin Mowatt (10.86) and Eurenna Semper (11.06) across the line.
Giffen ran a winning 4:53.28 in the 1,500, with teammate Mackenzie Patten crossing second (4:57.19). Milligan’s Christine McMahon was fifth (5:09.57) and Catie McMahon was sixth (5:27.56).
The men’s 1,500 saw the Buffs’ Austin Ellis cross fifth in 4:07.61. Brendan Hawkins (4:09.86) was sixth and Justin Little (4:20.65) came in eighth.
Migoyo clicked off a winning 58.25 in the 400. Johnson (1:03.57) came in second and Wood was third (1:06.90).
Coming off a victory at the University of Tennessee’s Sea Relays, Harris blazed to a 48.58 in the 400. Dwayne Jordan (50.04) crossed third, Mowatt (50.38) was fourth and Semper (53.64) placed seventh.
The Lady Buffs’ Shannon Wilson (1:23.03) won the 400-meter hurdles. Paxton Stephenson (1:30.72) was second and Cassie St. John (131.41) came in third.
McMahon (2:27.58) prevailed in the women’s 800. Patten (2:29.09) crossed second.
Jordan (1:56.80) recorded a runner-up showing in the men’s 800. Brendan Hawkins (1:58.87) placed sixth.
Giffen (18:24.85) set an AAC record in the 5,000. Danielle Mitchell (18:35.29) was second and Janey Robinson (19:47.74) finished third.
In the men’s 5,000, Milligan’s Austin Ellis (15:32.84) came in second. David Lawler (16:38.47) was fifth.
The Lady Buffs ran unopposed in the 4×400 relay (4:24.90). In that race on the men’s side, Milligan won in 3:21.60.
In the men’s long jump, Brandon Sissel and J.B. Huff tied for second (5-3.75). Huff won the long jump (21-6.75), with Sissell (20-2.25) runner-up and Morgan Higgins (18-3.25) in fourth.
Smith ruled the discus with a throw of 98 feet, eight inches. She did the same in the shot put, with a heave of 32-9.
Payne set meet records in both his field events. His 153-6 effort in the discus bettered the runner-up showing of Andrew Shaka (132-8) and Joe Camarata (100-9, seventh).
In the shot, Payne (47-5.7575), was followed by runner-up Andrew (42-4) and Camatra (30-6.25) in seventh.
In the team standings, Montreat placed third among the men with 25 points and Union (4) was fourth. On the women’s side, Bryan and Montreat each scored five points to tie for third.
“Again, I think we have to keep it in perspective,” Layne said. “It’s a small conference. We’re trying to get interest internally within the conference, and grow this sport. It’s great to have this event, and when you win it’s a good thing. So we couldn’t be more excited about it.”