From June 19-23 and June 26-30, USCBAthletics.com will count down the top 10 moments of the 2016-17 school year for Sand Shark Athletics. Today’s entry is No. 1 on the list.
When Bernard Gaither made the move from part-time assistant to become USCB’s full-time head track & field coach, he had only one goal in mind, and he didn’t plan on waiting long to achieve it.
Gaither hit the recruiting trail hard and began bolstering the roster in hopes of bringing the track & field program its first Sun Conference championship.
He did better – the Sand Sharks won two.
Over two days in April, USCB established itself as the new powerhouse program in the Sun Conference, as the Sand Shark men and women both easily outpaced the competition to claim team titles and Gaither was named the conference Coach of the Year for both genders.
USCB’s women steamrolled the competition at Ansin Sports Complex in Miramar, Fla., piling up 257.83 points to easily outpace second-place Keiser (137) and third-place Webber International (129.16). USCB won 10 of 15 events on Sunday, sucking any drama out of the race for the team title. In all, the Sand Sharks claimed 12 individual titles and two relay victories in a dominant performance.
Freshman Jhari Williams took home Outstanding Track Athlete honors after winning three individual titles and anchoring the winning 4×100 relay team.
The Sand Shark men used their superior depth in the field events – particularly the throws and the pole vault – to pull away from the field, finishing with 201 points to defeat second-place Keiser by 59 points.
Freshman Malik Paul earned Outstanding Field Athlete honors with wins in the hammer throw and discus and a fourth-place finish in the shot put.
In all, the Sand Sharks had 20 athletes earn All-Sun Conference honors, and nine of them were freshmen, setting the stage for USCB to continue its reign for years to come.