CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern Head Women's Cross Country/Track and Field Coach Tosha Ansley announced the addition of 20 student-athletes to the Bucs' program on Wednesday. The signing class is the largest in CSU program history, and reflects the commitment of additional scholarships as well as the graduation of 10 athletes from the school.
"The 2013-14 class covers all the areas that we lost and then some," Ansley said. "We're excited about this group of young women and their ability to replace some key components to the success of our program over the last several years.
"Athletes like All-American sprinter Gabrielle Houston, conference champion triple jumper Tamisha Foster and distance standout Adrienne Cuff to name a few, will be missed," Ansley continued. "Hopefully, they will be proud of the young women that we're bringing in to try to continue what they started."
The class includes eight sprinters and hurdlers, two throwers, five jumpers, and five cross country/distance runners. Ansley is particularly excited about the potential of North Carolina AT&T transfer Dotrine Jacobs, as well as the other additions to the sprint/hurdles squad.
"In the sprints/hurdle area, I wanted to bring in athletes that could make an immediate impact in our conference and on the national scene," Ansley said. "Transfer Dotrine Jacobs has already enjoyed some success at that level so she will bring a great deal of experience to our young sprint crew along with returner Meme Jean who competed in National Championships this past season in the 100m hurdles."
"I feel that Dotrine, Amanda Trapp, Danielle Burnett and Kayla Gardner will have an immediate impact on our program," Ansley expounded. "Amanda and Danielle have the capability to qualify for USA Junior Championships."
The Bucs will also hope to improve in the distance and jump events, as they strive to build off the success the program has achieved under Ansley's leadership.
"In the distance area, we brought in young women that could run together and build for the future," Ansley said. "As for jumps, we replaced the entire squad so these young women will be the foundation of the jumps program. We're expecting to see good things from this group."
The entire class is listed below.
Newburgh, New York – Newburgh Free Academy – North Carolina AT&T
Jacobs placed third in the 400 meter hurdles and fifth in the 100 meter hurdles at the USATF Junior National Championships in 2011. She enjoyed an excellent sophomore season at North Carolina A&T, placing second in the MEAC in the 400m hurdles, narrowly missing qualifying for the NCAA Championships in the event. She has personal bests of 13.49 (100m Hurdles) and 57.93 (400m Hurdles).
North Lauderdale, Florida – Westminster Academy – South Carolina State
Gardner comes to CSU as a transfer from South Carolina State. As a high school athlete, she won the 2012 Golden South and was state champion in the 100m hurdles. Her personal bests include 14.31 (100m Hurdles) and 18-1.5 (long jump).
Clemson, South Carolina – Daniel High School
Trapp was a standout at Daniel High School, capturing the state championship in the 400 meter. She was also named the Independent Mail Girls Track Athlete of the Year for 2013. She has personal bests of 55.92 (400m) and 25.27 (200m).
Kennesaw, Georgia – North Cobb High School
Burnett won the 2013 4-AAAAAA Regional Championship in both the 200 and 400 meter races. She's posted personal bests of 55.61 (400m) and 24.68 (200m).
Charlotte, North Carolina – Harding University High School
Owens posted solid event marks during her high school career, and will add valuable depth for the Buccaneers. Her personal bests include 57.60 (400m), 41.78 (300m) and 25.82 (200m).
Decatur, Georgia – Decatur High School
Cook earned a third place finish in the 100m hurdles at the state championships. She has personal bests of 14.78 (100m hurdles)
Waccamaw, South Carolina – Waccamaw High School
Alston comes to CSU after claiming South Carolina Lower State Championships in the 100 and 200 meter events.
Lexington, South Carolina – White Knoll High School
Williams posted an outstanding high school career at White Knoll, and will look to add depth and versatility to the Bucs' squad. Her personal bests include 12.23 (100m), 25.05 (200m) and 15.12 (100m Hurdles).
Beaverdam, Virginia – Patrick Henry (Ashland)
Fisher won the Central Region Triple Jump Championship as a senior at Patrick Henry. Her personal bests include 38'5".5 (Triple Jump), 17'9" (Long Jump) and 14.81 (100m Hurdles).
Union, South Carolina – Union High School
Norman placed fourth in the triple jump at the state championship, and won a regional title in the triple jump. She holds personal bests of 37'2".25 (Triple Jump), 17'1" (Long Jump)
Ellenwood, Georgia – Southwest Dekalb High School
Walker finished fourth in long jump at the state championship. She has personal bests of 38'9" (Triple Jump), 18'8" (Long Jump)
Hanahan, South Carolina – Hanahan High School
Bethel won the South Carolina AAA State Championship in the high jump at the end of her senior season. She has a personal best of 5'4" (High Jump)
Stanhope, New Jersey – Pope John XXIII – Iowa Western Community College
A junior college transfer from Iowa Western, Lees captured the NJSIAA Sectional Championship in the high jump in 2011. She has a personal best of 5'5" (High Jump)
Kula, Hawaii – King Kekaulike High School
Collins-Shirota threw her way to a pair of top-ten finishes in the state championships, finishing 3rd as a junior in 2012, and 8th last year. She has a personal best of 128'3" (Discus).
Blythewood, South Carolina – Westwood High School
Lykes finished 2nd in both the shot put and discus at the 2012 state championships, and then followed that up with a 2nd place shot put showing in the 2013 state meet, and a 4th place standing in discus. She has personal bests of 43'3" (Shot Put) and 124'10" (Discus).
Auburn, Alabama – Auburn High School
Beasley arrives at CSU after starring for the same high school program as Coach Ryan Thompson. Frances will add needed depth to the distance squad. She has personal bests of 19:46 (5k), 11:48 (3200m), and 5:31 (1600m).
Boiling Springs, South Carolina – Boiling Springs High School
Burkholder is no stranger to the CSU program as she joins her sister Hannah on the squad. She has personal bests of 19:33 (5k), and 12:34 (3200m).
Mary Grace Hutchinson
Irmo, South Carolina – Irmo High School
Hutchinson posted personal bests of 20:07 (5k), 2:24 (800m), 5:22 (1600m) and 11:48 (3200m) as a standout at Irmo.
Ft. Mill, South Carolina – Ft. Mill High School
Lyons comes from an outstanding high school program that has produced numerous successful collegiate runners such as former Charleston Southern standout Adrienne Cuff. Her personal bests include 19:59 (5k), and 2:27 (800m).
St. Petersburg, Florida – Keswick Christian High School
Palm comes to CSU after an excellent high school career at Keswick Christian, where she posted personal bests of 19:13 (5k), 2:21 (800m), and 5:28 (1600m).