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A New Era: TSU T&F Opens 11-12 Season at MTSU
Friday, December 9, 2011

A new era of Tennessee State University Track & Field begins on Saturday, Dec. 10 when the Tigerbelles and Flying Tigers compete in the Christmas Indoor Track & Field Invitational held at Middle Tennessee State University.

For the first time in program history, the two historic TSU track & field programs will be under the direction of one leader. Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice is the Director of Track & Field after serving as the head coach for the Tigerbelles since 1994.

Under Cheeseborough-Guice's direction, the Tigerbelles claimed six Ohio Valley Conference Track & Field Championships, most recently in 2008. She has been named OVC Coach of the Year four times during that span.

The expectations of excellence isn't likely to diminish anytime soon as TSU returns several of its' top performers from last season.

"I am excited about the direction the men's and women's program are going this season," noted Cheeseborough-Guice. "You have your ups and downs when you combine a program. We are working together and are building up both of these outstanding programs."  

The Flying Tigers return three student-athletes that reached top-3 finishes last season in the OVC Indoor Championships. Senior jumper Arthur Combest returns as the back-to-back indoor champion in the high jump. He cleared 6-6 (1.98m), two inches higher than his competition to retain the crown last season.

Michael Johnson returns as a top-competitor in the 200 and 400-meter dash, placing second and third, respectively, in the OVC Indoor Championships last season. Johnson ran the 200m in 22.78 at the Blue Raider Invitational last season. He notched a time of 50.14 in the 400m at the MTSU Christmas Invitational on Dec. 11, 2010.

The Tigers are expected to compete strong in relays with three returnees in the 4x400-meter relay. Royce Dates returns after a bronze medal finish in the long jump last season. Dates' best indoor-jump was a 23-1 ¼ (7.04m) at the Middle Tennessee Classic on Feb. 6.

Gabrielle Todd returns as the Tigerbelles' top sprinter. The sophomore posted top-times in the 200-meter dash (25.76) and the 400-meter dash (56.42). In the hurdles, Brielle Moore ran indoor season-bests of 8.73 in the 55-meter hurdles and 9.37 in the 60-meter hurdles.

Daniecce Ward had the top marks for TSU in the high jump (5-3 ¾, 1.62m) and the triple jump (36-1 ¼, 11.00m). The Tigerbelles relays are also expected to be strong this season with the majority returning.

In addition to MTSU, Lipscomb and Western Kentucky will also compete in the Christmas Invitational. Live results from Saturday's meet will be available online at Saturday's meet is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at the Murphy Center.