CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (TSU Sports Information) – The Tigerbelles took to the track for the final event of the 2015 Ohio Valley Conference Championships needing a victory and a little help to claim the team title for the first time since 2008. The Tennessee State women’s track program has been historically known for its sprinters and most importantly, the relay teams.
Amber Hughes, Diera Taylor, Christian Pryor and Kayla Pryor continued the tradition as they teamed up for the 4×400 relay and crossed the line first in a time of 3:44.96. The fourth outdoor championship was captured for TSU as Austin Peay finished two seconds ahead of Eastern Illinois, who entered the final event 2.5 points ahead of the Tigerbelles.
“I am so excited right now,” said head coach Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice. “These young ladies stepped up and got it done. We are down in numbers, but the numbers we had showed out against the larger squads. I am so proud to be a Tigerbelle.”
Cheeseborough was named Women’s Coach of the Year as she collected her eighth title, four outdoor and four indoor, as the head of the Tigerbelles.
The two-day event had many delays due to lightning and heavy rains. Despite the delays, TSU still managed to claim seven events and 23 scoring finishes.
Hughes led the way as she claimed four top finishes and broke a 29-year old record. The sophomore broke the tape in 13.27 in the 100-meter hurdles to erase a OVC Championship mark which had been around since 1986.
Hughes also claimed the top spot in the 200-meter dash (23.66) and the triple jump (12.90m/42-04.00). The Atlanta, Ga., product was also a member of the 4×100 relay team that placed third.
Clairwin Dameus won the heptathlon for the second consecutive year as she amassed 5,396 points. The total was three points shy of her OVC record of 5,399 set in 2014.
Dameus continued her busy weekend as she finished second in the long jump with a leap of 6.16m (20-02.50) and placed sixth in the 400-meter hurdles (1:04.35). The junior was also a member of the third place 4×100 team.
Freshman Kayla Pryor and sophomore I’mani Davis recorded the final two individual championships for the Tigerbelles. Pryor claimed the title in the 400-meter hurdles in a time of 1:00.18, while Davis won the high jump as she cleared the bar in her second attempt at 1.73m (5-08.00).
Davis, a member of the Lady Tigers basketball team, became the first athlete in TSU history to be a part of OVC championships teams in two separate sports. The Tulsa, Okla. native is a two-year starter with the Lady Tigers and just completed her first season with the Tigerbelles.
The Flying Tigers finished sixth on the men’s side with 34 points. TSU had eight scoring finishes led by Quamel Prince. The sophomore broke a record in the 800-meter run that was set in 1976. Prince finished in 1:48.41, besting the previous record by 0.63 seconds. The would-be record-setting run was spoiled by Ephraim Dorsey of Eastern Illinois who out-leaned Prince by .26 seconds to claim the honors.
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With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 45 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.