The Lenoir-Rhyne Men's and Women's Indoor Track and Field Teams were announced among the South Atlantic Conference's elite squads heading into the 2019 season on Monday, being named third behind Queens and Wingate, but each receiving a first-place vote.
For the men's team the SAC named P.J. Lotharp (sprints), Josh Adkins (distance) and Cole Henderson(field) as players to watch.
Lotharp emerged as a national threat last season in the inaugural SAC Indoor Championship, winning the 200-meter dash (21.80) and went on to earn All-American honors after finishing seventh in the finals of the 60-meter dash (6.80) in the 2018 NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Adkins paced the LR Men's Cross Country Team this fall in his junior campaign while finishing 24th in the SAC Championship meet with a time of 26:23.7.
Henderson, also an offensive lineman for the recent 2018 SAC Football Champions, was a 2018 standout for the Bears this past winter, finishing second in the men's weight throw (a school-record 53'4") and the men's 1,600-meter relay (another program-best 3.25.50).
The women's team have a trio of standouts to watch as well: Saidah Hardwick (sprints), Paiton Fair (distance) and Autumn Drayton (field).
Fair, a senior from Newton, N.C., came out victorious in the SAC Championship meet with a 400-meter dash time of 58.89 and was a part of the Bears' league-winning 1,600-meter relay squad. Hardwick, a sophomore Rolesville, N.C. native, was also a part of the 1,600-meter relay squad with Fair.
Drayton, a junior from Charlotte, N.C., finished second in the women's shot put at the conference meet (41'0"), establishing a new school record in the process.
The Bears have already participated in the JDL Early Bird meet on Dec. 2, but will put the cleats back on January 13 at the JDL January College Kickoff. The 2019 SAC Indoor Championships are set for Feb. 23-Feb. 24.