Feb. 24, 2015
C-USA Championship Notebook
RUSTON, La. - This time last year Charla Craddock became the first student-athlete from Louisiana Tech to win a championship in Conference USA as she claimed the title in the long jump. This week she looks to repeat and made it six straight for Tech as the 2015 C-USA Indoor Track and Field Championships begin Wednesday at the CrossPlex Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.
Over the last five years Louisiana Tech has claimed gold in the women's indoor long jump by four different athletes in both the Western Athletic Conference and Conference USA. But if Craddock wants to become just the second repeat winner in that stretch (Chelsea Hayes won WAC gold in the event in 2011 and 2012) she will have to leapfrog four other jumpers on the league's performance list, including two of her own teammates.
Craddock enters the championship meet ranked fifth in the conference with a season-best mark of 19-5.5 (5.93m) while teammates Mia Adams and Denisha Henix are both tied for second in the league with season-best marks of 19-9.5 (6.03m). FIU's Phillicia Fluellen enters the championships leading the league at 20-1.5 (6.13m).
In addition to the long jump, Craddock will be a key figure to watch as she enters the week leading Conference USA in the 200m and as part of Tech's 4x400m relay. Craddock's personal record time of 23.79 set at the Tyson Invitational in Arkansas earlier this season is the second fastest 200m time ran by any C-USA athlete since Louisiana Tech joined the league. The 4x400m relay time of 3:39.95 not only leads the conference but ranks seventh fastest in school history.
The championship will begin at 9 a.m. CT on Wednesday with the combined events - which includes Laticia Watson competing in the pentathlon - followed by jumps and throws at 3 p.m. the running preliminaries and finals start at 4 p.m.
Thursday will see the field events begin at 11 a.m. with the running events starting at 1 p.m., concluding with the awards presentation at 4:45 p.m.
Admission for the league championships are set at $20 for a two-day pass for adults with a youth (ages 12-17) price set at $10 while a single ticket is $15 for adults and $6 for youth. Admission is free for children age 11 and under and for students with valid ID cards who attend a Conference USA member institution.
Louisiana Tech's women enter the week hoping to improve upon last year's fourth place finish. The men's squad is ineligible for postseason competition during the indoor season due to previously announced APR penalties.
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