Piedmont XC Continues to Smash Records


Chris Donsereaux

Piedmont athletes Connor Creedon (left), Gary Halverson (middle) and Jacob Balot (right) competing in the men’s 800-meter race. They would place 3rd, 2nd and 5th overall respectively.

Leandro Forero, Staff Writer

The Myrtle Beach Collegiate Challenge kicked off Piedmont University’s 2023 outdoor season this weekend in Conway, South Carolina. It didn’t take long for senior Jaycie Ponce to set another school record. Furthermore, the team achieved several top-10 finishes, numerous personal bests and won the men’s 4×800 relay. 

The Piedmont record books were filled with Ponce’s name once again. Val Angel’s previous record from the 1500m has been broken by nearly 10 seconds courtesy of Ponce, who ran a 4:48.07. Ponce finished fourth in the event. The 5000m (18:42.80) was her second-place finish of the weekend, but she also participated in the 4×800 relay, for which her team placed second. Together with Bella Caccamo, Anna Gibson and Leeann Lawrence, the four women ran 13:28.58 to finish second.

As a team, Connor Creedon, Jacob Balot, Darius Smith and Gary Halverson placed first in the men’s 4×800 relay with a time of 7:52.05. These four runners were the same group of men who set the indoor DMR record a few weeks ago. Both Halverson and Creedon had individual accomplishments. With a time of 1:56.00 in the 800m, Halverson placed second overall, while Creedon held a third-place finish in the 1500m with a time of 4:01.21.

“I feel good about the team’s performance,” said senior mid-distance Jacob Balot. “We had some good performances and took a step in the direction we are aiming towards.” 

From the indoor season to the outdoor season Chris Donsereaux set a great pace as he speeds his way in the 400m dash, placing 9th with a time of 52.23. Donsereaux jumped over the competition, placing third in the men’s long jump (6.45m).

Out on the field, Allie Feltus posted two top-five finishes in the women’s hammer and discus. Feltus tossed a 35.83m in the discus for 5th while in the hammer, placed third with a 39.24m.

Garrett Slader, Silas Goolsby, Creedon and Balot represented Piedmont in the men’s 4x400m relay with a time of 3:28.55, placing 5th. Also placing 5th, Stadler had a time of 56.33 in the 400m hurdles.

Finishing off the first outdoor meet of the season, Walker Capelle placed second and made the 10,000m his personal best performance with a time of 33:58.93.

“This was a stepping stone for the season as we continue our pursuit to win the conference title in April,” said Balot.