NASHVILLE --- Defending their championship will be the goal of the Tennessee State University Tigerbelles when they travel to Eastern Illinois this weekend for the 2003 Ohio Valley Conference Women's Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Coach Chandra Cheeseborough's team won their first OVC Indoor title last winter and have won the last two outdoor championships. This year's championship is again expected to be a very competitive event.
?I think it is going to be tough,? said the Tigerbelles' coach. ?There are several teams capable of winning and it will boil down to who wants it the most at the end.?
The Tigerbelles have been gearing toward the championship with improved times and distances during the course of the indoor season. TSU enters the championships with four leaders on the OVC Best Lists and second best in three other categories. The team will also look to its depth in several events as a key.
Leslie Leary's 55-meter dash time of 7.10 seconds in the Tigerbelles' last outing on Feb. 15 was the best in the event. Leary also posted the second best time in the 200-meters, running the dash in a time of 24.95 seconds. The 1,600-meter relay team posted an OVC best time of 3:45.23 on Feb. 8.
TSU's Shaniqua Hector's had the OVC best in the long jump with a distance of 19 feet 1.50 inches. Qiana Smith also had the top distance in the triple jump at 38 feet 07.00.
The Tigerbelles had the second best time on the distance medley relay (12:26.04) and in the shot put behind Kenitra Woods' throw of 45 feet 08.50.
The 2003 OVC Championships will begin at 4 p.m. Friday with the long jump, followed by the preliminaries in the 60-meter dash and hurdles. The meet will resume Saturday at 11:30 a.m. with the final events slated to begin at 3:15 p.m.