LC’s Bell and Gibbs Tabbed as ODAC Track and Field Athletes of the Year
LC's Bell and Gibbs Tabbed as ODAC Track and Field Athletes of the Year
Story courtesy of the ODAC Sports Information Office
FOREST, Va. --- Three student-athletes were in honored in the annual voting of the ODAC's track & field coaches to determine this year's top athletes. Lynchburg College standout James Bell was tabbed the ODAC Men's Athlete of the Year, while fellow Hornet Jessica Gibbs joins Roanoke College's Carmen Graves as the ODAC Women's Co-Athletes of the Year.
Bell, a junior from Huddleston, Va., finished eighth in the decathlon with 6,439 points to earn All-American honors on at the 2011 NCAA Division III Track & Field Championships in Delaware, Ohio, last month. Bell finished strong on day two to move up five spots from 13th place after completion of first day's events. Among his highlights were a second placing showing in the pole vault, clearing 15'1", and fourth place in the javelin with a throw of 162'2". He also did well in the shot put, taking seventh with a heave of 37'9.25".
Also a provisional qualifier in the pole vault, Bell's 2011 campaign included four second-place finishes at the ODAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships. He chimed in second in the 110-meter hurdles (15.14), high jump (6'4"), pole vault (14'3.25") and long jump (20'9.75"). He was also seventh in the 400-meter hurdles (59.36) and eighth in the javelin (148'6"). At the ODAC Indoor Track Championships, Bell won both the high jump (6'2") and pole vault (15'5"), finished second in the long jump (20'8.5") and third in the 55-meter hurdles (7.98).
Gibbs, a senior from Lancaster, Pa., finished 17th in the heptathlon with 4,378 points at the NCAA Championships. She sat 19th in the competition following day one's events, which included the 100-meter hurdles (15.97), high jump (4'10.25"), shot put (32'9") and 200-meter dash (26.44). On Friday, she finished sixth in the 800-meter run (2:23.83) while also competing in the long jump (16'5.75") and javelin (91'6").
At the ODAC outdoor meet, Gibbs won the long jump competition (17'9") and helped LC to a first place showing and a new ODAC Championships meet record in the 4x400-meter relay (3:59.76). She also finished second in the 200-meter dash (26.88), third in the 400-meter dash (1:01.77) and fifth in the high jump (4'7.75"). At the ODAC Indoor Championships, Gibbs also won the long jump (17'10.25") and the 4x400-meter relay (4:03.29). She went on to finish in a tie for second in the high jump (5'1.75"), third in the 400-meter dash (1:01.69) and sixth in the 55-meter hurdles (9.18).
Graves, a sophomore from Christiansburg, Va., was an automatic qualifier in the 800-meter dash at the NCAA Championships, the lone ODAC student-athlete to reach that mark in any event this season. She had previously set ODAC overall (2:10.33) and championship meet (2:17.14) records in the event in 2011. In the preliminaries at the NCAA meet, Graves finished fourth in her heat and ninth overall with a time of 2:12.32. That left her one place and 0.5 seconds short of the finals and All-American recognition.
The Co-Athlete of the Meet at both the ODAC indoor and outdoor championships, Graves' 2011 campaign included first place showings in both the indoor and outdoor triple jumps (36'4" in both) and the outdoor 800-meter run (2:17.14. She was also second in both 400-meter dashes (58.09 outdoors, 1:00.24 indoors) and second in the indoor 800-meter run (2:23.81). She helped the Maroons to second place showings in the indoor 4x400-meter relay (4:14.54) as well as the outdoor 4x100-meter (51.07) and 4x400-meter relays (4:05.44). Graves was fifth and sixth in the indoor and outdoor long jumps, both with a distance of 16'1.75."
For more information, visit either the Lynchburg or Roanoke athletic websites, or go to the ODAC's home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com.