Epps and Daniel to represent Coppin State at Pan-Am Games


— Coppin State University will be well-represented at the prestigious XVII Pan-Am Games competition in Toronto later this month as senior high jumper Deandra Daniel along with triple jumper Christina Epps, a 2014 graduate, will compete against the world’s best.

Epps, the current USATF triple jump national champion and native of Morristown (N.J.), will represent the United States when she competes on Tuesday, July 21 at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time. With a personal best mark of 14.09 meters, Epps is the best triple jumper in the United States.

Meanwhile, Daniel, a six-time Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) high jump champion, will compete for her native country of Trinidad & Tobago. Daniel takes center stage on Wednesday, July 22 at 10:05 a.m.

Epps and Daniel are using this event as a tune-up for the World Championship Games in Beijing, China next month.

“It’s exciting and a blessing to have two Coppin State student-athletes participating at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto,” Coppin State head women’s track and field coach Alecia Shields-Gadson said. “It’s a tremendous honor for these Eagles to represent their respective countries at this prestigious international competition.”

Earlier this year, Epps won the triple jump at the Penn Relays and the Morgan State Legacy Meet.

Epps was named the 2014 MEAC Woman of the Year and one of the 30 finalists for the 2014 NCAA Woman of the Year Award. During her star-studded career, Epps earned NCAA Indoor All-America honors, was a 12-time All-MEAC student-athlete and a six-time triple jump champion in the conference. She is the current Coppin State triple jump record holder. Her school standard is 13.40 meters (43 feet, 11.75 inches).

Epps was selected as the Coppin State Female Presidents’ Eagle Award Winner, Female Athlete of the Year and MVP in track and field for the 2013-14 season.

Daniel earned All-American honors during the indoor track and field season after placing third in the NCAA Championship meet in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Daniel tied her personal best and school record mark of 1.87 meters (6 feet, 1.5 inches) to claim a bronze medal in the high jump at the NCAA Championships. Daniel was named the 2015 Coppin State Female Athlete of the Year and 2015 Coppin State Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Daniel won the MEAC indoor and outdoor high jump championships. During the indoor MEAC championship meet, Daniel rewrote the record book by clearing 1.85 meters (6 feet, 0.75 inches) to erase a mark that had stood for 10 years. She ended the outdoor season by earning All-ECAC East honors and qualifying for the NCAA Division I East Region Preliminary Championships in Jacksonville (Fl.).

“Christina and Deandra have worked hard and it’s great to see them be rewarded for their sacrifices and dedication to their craft,” Shields-Gadson said. “I couldn’t think of two better young ladies to compete on this international stage. They are great ambassadors of Coppin State and terrific role models for our youth. I have no doubt that they’ll make Coppin proud in Toronto.”