LEXINGTON, Ky. - Seven event victories and two meet records closed competition for the Orange and Blue at the Rod McCravy Memorial - USTFCCCA's Division I National Meet of the Week - in Lexington Saturday. Junior Ciarra Brewer jumped her way to a meet record and season-best mark (13.33/43-9) in the triple jump, while the men's 4x4 relay claimed a new meet record in the final event of the invitational (3:07.20) at Nutter Field House.
Notable performances across the board led to a successful outing for the USTFCCCA No. 2 (men) and No. 3 (women) Gators throughout the span of the weekend, including several season-best marks and record-book worthy performances in sprint action, highlighted by sophomore Arman Hall's 400m (45.84) performance, while the Gator middle-distance and distance crew represented in both the M800m and W3000m events with victories in each from seniors Sean Obinwa and Cory McGee, respectively.
Next up, Florida will hit the road for Fayetteville, Ark., for competition at the Razorback Invitational Jan. 31-Feb. 1 at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
Texas A&M Dominates Triangular Meet
COLLEGE STATION – Texas A&M dominated the Triangular meet they hosted Saturday in completing a sweep of the team titles over LSU and Texas Tech in front of 1,288 fans inside Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium.
The Aggie men, now 8-0 in dual meet scored meets over the past six seasons, totaled 135.5 points to better LSU (90.5) and Texas Tech (85). The A&M women, who improved to 5-3 among indoor dual meets, amassed 140 points in topping LSU (94) and Texas Tech (80).
Texas A&M totaled 20 victories in the less than three-hour meet, with the Aggie men and women each claiming 10 wins apiece. Of the six meet records set by A&M, four were by the Aggie men and two from the women. Among the 20 A&M victories, nine included a 1-2 finish for the Aggies while four had A&M claiming first and third place.
Brea Garrett led the Aggie women in scoring 12 points from the weight throw and shot put. Garrett broke her own school record with a massive heave of 68-3.75 (20.82) to win the weight throw and added a 47-6.25 (14.48) runner-up effort in the shot put.
Denise Hinton of LSU challenged Garrett in the weight throw, taking the lead in round two with a 67-9.5 (20.66). That lead held through round five, until Garrett hit her big mark on the final throw for the victory. Both Garrett and Hinton bettered the previous meet record of 65-1.25 (19.84) set by Hinton last year.
Competing in his first open 400 of the season, Deon Lendore established a world leading time of 45.74 to break the meet record of 45.91 he set a year ago. The junior sprinter from Trinidad & Tobago also bettered the indoor collegiate dual meet record he established in last year’s meet. Aggie teammate Carlyle Roudette was just a tenth off his PR set last week in clocking 46.58 for runner-up in the 400.
Both 4x400 units closed out the Triangular with meet records as they each lowered their own world-leading marks set just a week ago.
In running a time of 3:34.15, taking three seconds off their previous best (3:37.16) this season, the Aggie women ran with a foursome of Shamier Little (55.13), Ibukun Mayungbe (53.49), Kamaria Brown (52.48) and Olivia Ekpone (53.06). A&M put four seconds on runner-up LSU (3:38.22) with Texas Tech (3:39.12) finishing third.
Texas A&M broke the meet record of 3:35.39 set by Texas in 2010 and produced the No. 11 time on the Aggie all-time list.
An anchor leg of 45.22 by Lendore had the A&M men finishing in a meet record time of 3:05.43 to break the Aggie mark of 3:05.92 set in 2010. The time lowered the world leading mark of 3:05.68 A&M set last week and is No. 5 on the Aggie all-time list.
Deon Hickey (48.64) ran the lead-off leg for the Aggies and was followed by Aldrich Bailey, Jr. (45.77), Roudette (45.82) and Lendore. LSU finished second in 3:08.84 with Texas Tech third in 3:15.77.
Wayne Davis II equaled the meet record of 7.75 in capturing the 60 hurdles with relative ease. He matched the time set by LSU’s Barrett Nugent in 2011. Joshua Lamers of LSU finished second in 7.98 with Tech’s Shujaa Benson third in 8.08.
Ryan Miller claimed a meet record in winning the 3,000 meters with a time of 8:20.76. A final kick moved Miller past LSU’s Phillip Primeaux (8:20.99) over the final stages of the race. Both bettered the meet record of 8:21.27 set in 2013 by Cale Wallace of Arkansas. With a time of 9:54.47 Amanda Jenkins won the women’s 3,000m with Gabby Salazar taking second in 10:00.41.
The Aggies opened the Triangular by sweeping the mile as Hillary Montgomery ran 4:53.81 for the women’s title and A&M frosh Alex Riba clocked 4:08.07 for the men’s victory. Finishing third in each race were Grace Fletcher (4:56.06) and Isaac Spencer (4:09.05). Montgomery’s time is the No. 7 performance at A&M while Fletcher became the No. 7 performer on the Aggie all-time list.
Continuing to scale new heights in the pole vault, Brittany Wooten set a career best of 13-2.5 (4.03) for a victory, moving to No. 4 all-time at A&M with the No. 8 performance. Runner-up was Haley Cook of Texas Tech with a clearance of 12-4.75.
In the women’s 400 Janeil Bellille won the event with a career best of 53.58, the No. 5 time at A&M, while Little posted a 53.64 from another section to place second overall. Little’s mark equals the No. 6 time on the A&M all-time list. Bellille also ran the 400m leg on the Aggie distance medley relay, splitting 52.89 as she moved A&M from third to first on her carry. The Aggies ended up third, running a 12:01.54.
Prior to her anchor leg on the 4x400 relay Ekpone won the 60 meters in a career best of 7.30 seconds, No. 6 all-time at A&M, and placed a non-scoring fourth in the 200 (23.55). The Aggie women went 1-2-3-4-6-7 in the 60 meters. Following Ekpone were Jennifer Madu (7.33), Ashley Collier (7.36), K. Brown (7.36), Aaliyah Brown (7.46) and Ashton Purvis (7.49).
Brown posted a winning time of 23.10 in the 200 with Purvis runner-up in 23.48. Bailey won the men’s 200 in a time of 20.94. Prezel Hardy, Jr. and Michael Bryan went 1-2 in the 60 with times of 6.77 and 6.79 over the LSU tandem of Tremayne Acy (6.80) and Aaron Ernest (6.91).
Olabanji Asekun led the Aggie men in scoring with 11 points as he won the long jump with a leap of 24-2.5 (7.37) and finished third in the triple jump at 48-1.25 (14.66). Jonathan Turner (22-9) added a runner-up effort in the long jump.
Casey Strong scored 10 points in the meet as he won the weight throw with a mark of 65-11.75 (20.11), the No. 3 performance at A&M, and placed fourth in the shot put at 52-1.25 (15.88). Ben Skrla (58-10) finished third in the weight.
Hector Hernandez (1:52.22) and Josh Hernandez (1:52.37) gave A&M a 1-2 finish in the 800 while Aliese Hyde (2:10.15) finished second in the women’s 800 with the No. 7 performance all-time at A&M.
Another Aggie 1-2 finish came in the women’s triple jump where LaQue Moen-Davis used one attempt to win with a 41-8.5 (12.71) while Haley Gooch secured second place with a 39-8 (12.09). Moen-Davis had three fouls in the long jump, where Madu placed second with a career best of 20-0.25 (6.10) to equal the No. 6 mark on the A&M all-time list.
Jena Hemann cleared 5-8 to win the high jump and added an impressive 40-10.5 (12.46) in the shot put for fourth place. Chase Wolfle matched the winning height of 17-1.5 (5.22) in the pole vault, but finished second based on misses to LSU’s Joseph Caraway.
The Aggie men’s distance medley relay finished second in 10:13.01 with the foursome of Cameron Villarreal (3:09.25), Greg Coleman (48.35), Gaines Kinsey (1:56.91) and Ryan Teel (4:18.51). Texas Tech won the race in 10:10.49 with LSU third at 10:21.17. Earlier in the meet Kinsey finished fourth in the 800 with a 1:53.28.
Gamecocks Men Win 4x4
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., and BLACKSBURG, Va. – Action at the Cherry & Silver Invitational in New Mexico and the Hokie Invitational at Virginia Tech drew to a close on Saturday. South Carolina claimed three more wins, bringing the weekend total to six.
Cherry & Silver Invitational
The men’s 4x400-meter relay team of junior Eric Winfrey, sophomore Jermaine Collier, junior Chris Walker and senior Chris Royster bested the field with a time of 3:12.02. A second South Carolina foursome of junior Nigel Redic, sophomore Dondre Echols along with freshmen Jussi Kanervo and Ryan Bermudez captured third place with a 3:14.09. The team of Collier, Winfrey, Walker and Royster posted the 18th best time in the NCAA (3:11.51) last weekend at the Virginia Tech Invitational.
In another strong outing for the men’s hurdlers, the Gamecocks advanced all three of their entries to the eight-man 60-meter hurdle finals earlier in the day. Echols and Collier went 3-4 in the finals. Echols posted a season-best 7.86 for third place and Collier clocked in at 7.88. In the prelims, Kanervo posted a new collegiate best at 7.94 before finishing in sixth place in the finals. All three South Carolina hurdlers rank in the NCAA top 25 this season.
Senior Petra Olsen cleared a season-best height of 13’8” ¼ (4.17m) in the women’s pole vault for a third-place finish. Olsen ranks in the NCAA top 10 with the mark and has not finished outside of the top four at a meet this season.
The Gamecocks return home from their most competitive meet of the season and a preview of the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championship site with two wins – the men’s 4x4 along with junior high jumper Jeannelle Scheper.
After finishing fifth in her first collegiate race at Rector Fieldhouse last weekend, freshman Precious Holmes captured her first win on the same track today. Holmes ran her best 400-meter time in the Garnet and Black at 55.17 for the win.
Junior Drew Ricci ran a lifetime best in the 800-meters for the second Gamecock win of the day. Ricci’s time of 1:52.92 earned him the top spot with sophomore Juan Stenner not far behind, clocking in at 1:54.11 for second place.
Last night, junior Ahtyana Johnson won the women’s 60-meter dash with her fastest time ever in her 2014 debut. Johnson continued the trend this afternoon, posting a personal record of 24.17 in the 200-meter dash to earn second place.
Sophomore Anna Todd also captured a second-place finish, running a 2:14.96 in the 800-meter dash.
Junior Kaysee Sullivan snatched up her third top-five finish of the season in the women’s shot put. Her throw of 45' 8" ¾ (13.94m) got her fourth place.
In the non-traditional 600-meter run, the Gamecocks saw success as well. Junior Kevin Keating took third in the men’s race, clocking in at 1:23.65. Freshman Ashley Miller grabbed fifth with a time of 1:39.28 in the women’s section.
Newcomer Alexandre Asselin posted a third-place finish in the long jump, recording a collegiate-best leap of 22’9” ¼ (6.94m).
Ricci’s and Holmes’ wins combined with victories in the 60-meter dash by Ahtyana Johnson and junior Kendall Kee last night, brings the South Carolina win total at the Hokie Invitational to four.
Next weekend, the Gamecocks travel to Winston Salem, N.C., for the Hilton Garden Invitational at the JDL Fast Track on Friday and Saturday.
LSU T&F Teams Earn Runner Up Finishes at Triangular
BATON ROUGE – Despite the challenges of traveling through a winter storm that hit South Louisiana and East Texas on Friday, the LSU Track & Field teams made the most of their trip to College Station on Saturday while claiming seven event titles and posting 27 indoor personal bests during the Texas A&M Triangular held at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium.
Seniors Joseph Caraway, Jasmin Stowers and Nikita Tracey, junior Tori Bliss, sophomore Fitzroy Dunkley, freshman Nataliyah Friar and the women’s distance medley relay took home event titles on the afternoon.
Their efforts helped lead the Tigers and Lady Tigers to a pair of second-place finishes in the final team standings as the Lady Tigers scored 94 points and the Tigers scored 90.5 points through 15 contested events as part of the meet. Texas A&M swept team titles with 139.5 points on the men’s side and 140 points on the women’s side, while Texas Tech trailed in third place with 85 points and 80 points, respectively.
“I’m proud of the way our athletes competed today, and I thought we were able to get some things accomplished as a team that’s going to help us as we move forward,” said LSU head coach Dennis Shaver. “It’s been a challenging weekend for our teams with the difficulty we had in just getting here yesterday. I thought our athletes responded very well to that adversity with a good performance today.”
As she did in LSU’s season opener at the Auburn Invitational in Birmingham a week ago, Stowers was impressive in winning the team’s first event title of the competition with a blistering run in the 60-meter hurdles.
Stowers surged into the lead over the final hurdle and powered across the finish line with a run of 8.18 seconds to beat Texas Tech’s Le’Tristan Pledger (8.26) to the tape for the title. Lady Tiger junior teammate Mariah Georgetown followed in third place with a personal best of 8.42, besting her previous PR of 8.43 set during her redshirt season in 2013.
Friar has already enjoyed a breakout freshman season with the Lady Tigers, despite competing in only two meets so far in 2014. The Wentzville, Mo., naïve set a lifetime personal record in the long jump while eclipsing the 20-foot mark for the second week in a row with a winning jump of 20 feet, 3 inches to improve upon the season-opening mark of 20-2 ¼ she set in Birmingham last weekend.
Tracey set a personal best of her own with a run of 2 minutes, 9.85 seconds to win the women’s 800 meters, while Bliss unleashed a seasonal best of 51-1 ¾ to earn her first shot put crown of the year.
Two Tigers also stood out in the field events as Caraway cleared a seasonal best of 17-1 ½ to win the men’s pole vault and Dunkley jumped an indoor personal best of 49-9 ¾ to win the men’s triple jump.
The Lady Tigers then wrapped up the meet by capturing their second distance medley relay title in as many weeks as the team of redshirt freshman Chaiss Matthews (1,200 meters), redshirt freshman Morgan Schuetz (400 meters), true freshman Danielle Avery (800 meters) and sophomore Andria Aguilar (mile) carried the baton around the track in 11 minutes, 53.18 seconds. They beat Texas Tech to the finish line as the Red Raiders were runners-up in 11:56.32, while Texas A&M followed in third place at 12:01.54.
Three members of LSU’s winning DMR even set new personal records in their individual events during the competition, as Schuetz ran 2:10.59 for third place and Avery ran 2:13.70 for fourth place in the 800 meters and Matthews clocked 4:57.44 for fourth place in the mile.
“When you consider the number of athletes we have who came here and won their events, set personal bests and those sorts of things, it shows a true competitiveness about our teams that we hope to develop with each meet,” Shaver said. “The indoor season comes and goes so quickly, so it’s important to take advantage of every opportunity we have to compete and improve as a team.
“We haven’t gotten to train much the last couple of days, had a long travel day here yesterday and weren’t able to bring in our physios because of this winter storm we’ve had come through, but our athletes never did use that as an excuse once we got it going today. I’m proud of them with the professionalism they showed in their approach to the competition.”
Two Tigers cracked LSU’s all-time Top 10 list in the 200-meter dash in their season debut as sophomore Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake and freshman Tremayne Acy took second and third place, respectively, in the event.
Mitchell-Blake, who ran a previous best of 21.08 during his freshman season indoors a year ago, opened up his sophomore campaign by clocking a new indoor personal best of 20.98 for a runner-up finish to Texas A&M sophomore Aldrich Bailey, Jr. (20.94) in the first of three heats. Mitchell-Blake emerged as the No. 7-ranked 200-meter sprinter in the NCAA third season with the No. 9-ranked performance in school history.
Acy cruised to an easy victory in the third heat with his season-opening PR of 21.03 for third place overall in his collegiate debut in the event. Like Mitchell-Blake, Acy cracked the Top 10 of the NCAA and school rankings as the nation’s No. 9-ranked performer to this point of the season and the No. 10-ranked 200-meter sprinter on LSU’s all-time list.
It was Acy’s second personal best of the day as he also raced to a new PR of 6.80 for third place in the men’s 60-meter dash as the top Tiger in the event.
Also lining up for the first time in 2014 was LSU’s stable of quartermilers as junior Quincy Downing and sophomores Darrell Bush and Cyril Grayson made their season debuts in the 400-meter dash on Saturday.
Downing actually cracked 47 seconds indoors for the first time in his collegiate career as he set an indoor PR of 46.96 in winning the third heat with the third-fastest time of the meet, breaking his previous PR indoors of 47.72 set last year. Bush opened at 47.28 for fourth place overall, while Grayson followed Downing across the finish line in the third heat with an indoor best of his own at 47.31 for fifth place.
Junior Rodney Brown nearly cracked LSU’s all-time Top 10 list in the men’s shot put himself after launching a lifetime personal best of 58-9 ¼ for second place in the event. Brown raised his indoor PR by more than one foot after stepping into the circle with a best of 57-5 that he set as a sophomore a year ago.
Other Tigers setting indoor personal bests at this year’s Texas A&M Triangular meet were junior Julian Parker (4:18.72) and senior William Wiesler (4:20.10) in the mile, juniors Philip Primeaux (8:20.99) and Bryan Mutell (8:47.23) and sophomore Travis Pope (8:52.48) in the 3,000 meters, sophomore David Collins (57-8 ½) in the weight throw and freshman Matthew Rhorer (1:53.91) in the 800 meters.
Six other Lady Tigers set indoor personal bests in the sprints and hurdles during Saturday’s competition, including sophomores Chanice Chase (54.59) in the 400 meters and Kiersten Duncan in both the 60 meters (7.57) and 200 meters (24.20), and freshmen Jada Martin (23.90) and Bealoved Brown (24.56) in the 200 meters and Bryiana Richardson (8.77) and Ka’Lynn Jupiter (8.81) in the 60-meter hurdles.
With the 2014 indoor season now in full swing, the Tigers and Lady Tigers are ready to head to the site of this year’s NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships as they compete at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, N.M., as part of the New Mexico Team Invitational being held on Saturday, Feb. 1.
Georgia’s Uibo Answers With A National Leading Mark Of His Own
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – After Georgia freshman Kendell Williams set an American Junior pentathlon record on Friday, Bulldog sophomore Maicel Uibo tallied the country’s most points in the heptathlon this year during the second day of the Cherry & Silver Collegiate Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M., on Saturday.
Uibo recorded the second-best heptathlon score of his career to win and take over the national lead. Uibo won five of seven events to score 5,811 points in his first heptathlon of the year.
Action also wrapped up at the Vanderbilt Indoor Invitational in Nashville as several Bulldogs shined in the Commodores’ new facility.
“I think a lot of good came from these meets, a lot of (personal bests) for our team and when that happens you can’t go too wrong,” said head coach Wayne Norton. “Many of our folks got in numerous races and with the training weather we have had, these first couple of meets have served as the actual training for our meets this year. I thought our middle distance crew led the way, especially with Megan (Malasarte) winning with not a spectacular time, but with one that indicates she is on the right track. And I think those indications were kind of team wide. We are not super satisfied with the results but we are all encouraged where we can go this season.”
After winning a pair of events on Friday, Uibo opened his second day by finishing first in the 60-meter hurdles (a season-best 8.45). He then cleared 15 feet, 11 inches on his opening attempt to also take top honors in the pole vault.
Uibo cruised to a 10-second victory in the 1000 (2:50.48) to win the overall competition by more than 500 points.
Junior Morgann Leleux won her second consecutive meet of the year with a season-best pole vault mark of 14 feet. Leleux had a first attempt clearance to move into the fourth spot on the national performance list, trailing the national leader by less than two inches.
Also in the pole vault, freshman Georgia Stefanidi tied for seventh with a mark of 13-2.25. This is also the seventh-best mark in school history after Stefanidi did not reach a height in her first collegiate meet last weekend.
The Bulldogs managed a second and fourth-place finish in the men’s shot put. Junior Nick Vena launched a top throw of 61-01.50 on his fourth try while senior Caleb Whitener had a third attempt of 60-11.50 to take fourth.
Georgia also wrapped up action at the Vanderbilt Invitational in Nashville with a series of top performances.
Senior Megan Malasarte ran in her featured event for the first time in 2014 and ran a 2:07.09 in the 800.
Freshman Rashan Brown had the top collegiate finish in the 400 with the sixth-best finish in Lady Bulldog history. Brown ran a 54.51 to take second overall and top 33 other competitors.
Brown returned to the track in the 200 and was third overall (second collegiate finisher) after recording a 24.43.
Junior Drew Branch clocked a career best 47.69 to take third in the men’s 400 as the hurdler continues his pursuit of reaching another NCAA Championships.
Branch, freshman Reggie Glover, sophomore Maurice Freeman and freshman Ayrian Evans trimmed nearly a second off of their 4x400 relay time for third-place honors. The foursome finished in 3:11.62.
Junior Carly Hamilton managed a third-place finish in the mile with a time of 4:44.46 as senior Leslie Boozer took sixth (4:55.76) in her final season.
After redshirting the 2013 season, junior Brandon Lord took third in the 3000 after completing his laps in 8:18.21.
Georgia had a pair of fourth-place finishes in the 60. Sophomore Myasia Jacobs finished in 7.60 during the women’s race while senior Johnathan Smith clocked a 6.87 on the men’s side.
Georgia takes a week off before competing in Blacksburg, Va., at the Doc Hale VT Elite Meet on February 7-8.
800 Meter Performances Key Standout Day for Alabama at Kentucky
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Alabama track and field team shattered more than a dozen personal records and rewrote the school’s history books Saturday in the final day of action at the Rod McCravy Memorial at the University of Kentucky.
“A lot of really, really great things happened today,” said Crimson Tide head coach Dan Waters. “I’m very pleased with where we are at this point. We expect some of the marks we earned today to be strong enough to qualify for NCAAs. We’ve gotten stronger in areas that we historically haven’t been that strong in. I am proud of the way we’ve progressed, the way we've responded technically and the way we’ve competed. This meet was a really big step in our process of trying to get better every week.”
A pair of performances in the 800 meters highlighted the day. Senior Yanique Malcolm recorded the nation’s second best time (2:06.58)—and third best in school history—while finishing runner-up to the nation’s fastest time. Junior Jacopo Lahbi finished runner-up in the men’s 800. His time of 1:48.71 ranks fourth in the nation and third in school history.
The Crimson Tide started the day with a strong showing in the 60-meter dash. On the women’s side, junior Remona Burchell earned a third-place finish with a 7.38, one of the top 10 times in school history. On the men’s side, senior Akeem Haynes ran a 6.76 to finish second, and freshman Tony Brown debuted with a 6.89, finishing fourth.
The Crimson Tide finished the meet with one of its strongest performances of the afternoon. The men’s 4x400 relay team of Dwight Davis, Alex Amankwah, Nick Efkamp and Quincy Smith took third place with a time of 3:08.53, the best time by an Alabama relay team since 2006 and the sixth fastest in school history.
In the field events, two freshmen threw their way into the school’s record book for shot put. Kyle Felpel threw a 59-9 3/4, which ranks sixth in school history, and Hayden Reed’s mark of 57-5 3/4 lands at ninth on UA’s all-time list.
Alabama broke more than 20 personal records, and 10 performances landed in the school’s history books this weekend at the Rod McCravy Memorial, which was named the “National Meet of the Week” by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The event earned the title “based on the outstanding sprints/hurdles match-ups and the concentration of top-10 and top-25 teams in both the men's and women's competitions.”
Here’s an event-by-event breakdown of Saturday’s Alabama competitors:
60 meters: Senior Akeem Haynes took runner-up in the white section with a time of 6.76, a new personal record. Freshman Tony Brown earned a fourth-place finish in the white section with a time of 6.89 in his Crimson Tide debut. Before advancing to the finals, Haynes won his preliminary heat with a time of 6.79, while Brown finished second in his preliminary heat.
400 meters: Sophomore Quincy Smith ran new personal best time of 47.72—the 10th-fastest time in school history—to take home a ninth-place finish. Junior Nick Efkamp (16th, 48.19), sophomore Dwight Davis (17th, 48.85) and freshman Bryan Arthur (22nd, 49.02) also competed for the Tide.
800 meters: Junior Jacopo Lahbi turned in a 1:48.77, the fourth fastest time in the nation this season and third best in school history. Junior Alex Amankwah ran a time of 1:51.51 to finish 11th. Sophomores Andrew Harris (1:51.87) and Alex Jenkins (1:54.30) finished 13th and 19th, respectively.
3,000 meters: Junior Matt Airola placed 12th with a new PR of 8:15.43. Sophomore Parker Deuel (8:33.13) also broke his previous PR and finished 28th.
4x400 relay: The Alabama "A" relay team (Dwight Davis, Alex Amankwah, Nick Efkamp and Quincy Smith) finished third with a time of 3:08.53, the sixth best performance in school history and the fastest Alabama time since 2006. The Alabama "B" team (Bryan Arthur, Jacopo Lahbi, Andrew Harris and Brennan Parks) finished first in its heat with a time of 3:15.64 to finish seventh overall.
60-meter hurdles: Freshman Passion Gamble placed fifth in her heat and ninth in her preliminary section with a time of 8.97.
60 meters: Junior Remona Burchell clocked a personal best 7.38 to place third in her section’s final. Burchell reached the finals after winning her preliminary heat with a 7.42. Freshman Quanesha Burks also set a personal record, finishing fifth with a time of 7.58. Junior Sarah Thomas recorded a 7.64 to finish seventh in the final after finishing second in her preliminary heat (7.61).
Mile: Sophomore Meropi Panagiotou clocked a 4:54.44, placing 10th. Rebecca Stover set a personal best of 4:55.89 to finish third in her section and 14th overall. Freshman Anna Leinheiser (5:11.10) placed seventh in her section and finished 28th overall.
400 meters: Freshman Alex Gholston set a PR of 55.69 to finish 13th. Senior Shani Chandler ran a 57.61, placing 24th. A pair of freshmen—Nicole Sassaman (28th, 58.21) and Brianna Sims (29th, 58.54)—set personal records in the competition.
800 meters: Yanique Malcolm finished runner-up with a time of 2:06.58, which is the second best time in the nation in 2014. The time was also Malcolm’s personal best and the third best time in Alabama history. Kimberley Ficenec turned in a 2:11.37 to finish seventh. Senior Aubrielle Wright clocked a 2:15.60, good for 12th place.
3,000 meters: Freshman Hilary Stafford turned in a 10th-place finish with a time of 9:44.05 in her 3,000 meters debut. Sophomore Susie Kemper (10:07.38) placed 21st.
4x400 relay: The relay team of Alex Gholston, Yanique Malcolm, Lacey Dent and Ramona Burchell—Alabama A—placed sixth with a time of 3:43.88. The team of Shani Chandler, Aubrielle Wright, Sarah Thomas, Nicole Sassaman—Alabama B—was clocked at 3:51.15 and finished 11th.
Pole Vault: Jonny Stiegler, Alabama’s only competitor, no-heighted and did not place.
Shot Put: Freshman Kyle Felpel set a personal record with a throw of 59-9 3/4, finishing sixth. Felpel’s mark ranks sixth in the school’s indoor history. Freshman Hayden Reed placed eighth with a throw of 57-5 3/4—the ninth best in school history and Reed’s best mark as a member of the Crimson Tide. Freshman Nathan Karr (47-11) placed 16th.
Triple Jump: Sophomore Imani Brown broke his previous personal record on his first jump of the day, registering a 49-7 3/4 (15.13 meters). Brown, whose previous best was 49-5 3/4, finished fifth overall.
Shot Put: Junior Candicea Bernard logged her best throw (14.66 meters/48-1 1/4) as a member of the Crimson Tide to earn a 10th-place finish. She threw three times, registering marks of 14.36m, 14.66m and 14.32m.
Triple Jump: Sophomore Merilyn Uudmae took sixth place with a jump of 39-8 3/4 (12.11m). After fouling in her first two attempts, Uudmae registered four consecutive legal marks (12.08m, 11.57m, 11.92m), but saved her best (12.11m) for her final jump.
MSU Continues Its Success On Day Two In Nashville
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After sweeping the competition on day one of the Vanderbilt Indoor Invitational, Mississippi State track and field carried its momentum into Saturday’s competition with an outstanding 23 Top 10 finishes.
The women’s success was highlighted by a win in the 400-meter relay. The quartet of Ocian Archer, Erica Bougard, Shayla Luckett and Ste’yce McNiel ran a 3:44.76 to garner the best time of the day.
“I’m really proud of my team on winning the 4x400,” Archer said. “I expect us to be running a lot faster and get our time down to make it to Nationals. We were strong, determined and handled business this weekend.”
After qualifying for NCAA Indoors in the long jump on Friday, All-American Erica Bougard clocked an 8.41 in the 60-meter hurdles prelims to improve the Vanderbilt indoor facility record (previously 8.55) and advance to the event finals. There, the Byhalia, Miss., native recorded an 8.41 again to finish second.
In Section B of the 60-meter hurdles, fellow Lady Bulldogs Ste’cye McNeil (8.46) and Keisha Wallace (8.48) finished second and third, respectively.
Freshman Rhian Price and Euricka Hardy also saw top performances. Price finished second in the one mile (4:39.08) and Hardy placed fifth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.64.
Meanwhile, the MSU men mirrored the women’s accomplishments as distance runners Andrew Monaghan (8:20.49) and Damian Roszko (8:21.98) earned fourth and fifth-place finishes in the 3000-meter run.
All-SEC sophomore Scottie Hearn ran a 47.77 in the 400-meter dash to rank second all-time on the MSU performance list. Following Hearn were Alistair Moona (48.40) in eighth and Dustin James II (48.57) in 11th.
To close out the meet, the Bulldog 4x400-meter relay team finished second with a time of 3:11.05.
After returning home from Vanderbilt, MSU will have a two-week break from action before traveling to New York, N.Y., for the New Balance Invitational slated for Feb. 7-8.
For more information on the Maroon and White, follow the team on Twitter (@HailStateTF).
Rebels Make Huge Strides At Vanderbilt Indoor T&F Invitational
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Ole Miss athletes turned in a handful of record-breaking performances in a strong team showing at the Vanderbilt Indoor Invitational over the weekend.
Highlights of the weekend included Sam Kendricks’ facility record in the pole vault and big-time performances by Rebel newcomers Daniel Bulmer, Robert Domanic, Jalen Miller, Jhorden Hunter and Kierra White.
In total, Ole Miss athletes collected three event wins, two facility records, one school record and more than 30 indoor personal-best marks over the two-day meet, competing against nationally ranked men’s teams in No. 11 Mississippi State and No. 13 Georgia and ranked women’s teams in No. 5 Georgia and No. 15 Mississippi State. Auburn, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Memphis and Vanderbilt were also among the quality field of teams.
“I thought for the most part we continued to get better this week,” said Rebel head coach Brian O’Neal. I’m really proud of a lot of our young men and women for coming in and fighting and competing. Now we have a weekend off to get healthy and get some training in as we get ready to race in one of the most prestigious venues in the country at the Armory in New York.”
Saturday’s competition saw several members of the No. 16 Ole Miss men turn in quality performances.
Newcomer Bulmer, who just arrived in Oxford from Australia two weeks ago, broke a 29-year-old school record in his first race with the Red and Blue. His 4:02.80 in the mile placed him second in Nashville and ranks him among the NCAA’s top 10 this indoor season.
“I was proud to see Daniel set the school record in his very first race as a Rebel,” O’Neal said. “We knew he would be special when we recruited him to Ole Miss. He’s a strong runner.”
Fellow newcomer Domanic, a freshman from Lewisville, Texas, won the 3,000 meter race with a time of 8:12.04 that ranks him fourth in school history at that distance. He already ranks among the NCAA’s leaders in the mile this year.
“When we recruited Robert, I thought he had an opportunity to be a special guy for us,” O’Neal said. “We wanted him to come in here and compete at a high level, and he’s done that both weekends on the track.”
Another freshman, Miller continues to show that he’s one of the top newcomers in the NCAA this year with strong outings in the 60 meters and 200 meters. The Tunica, Miss., native had the best 60 time among collegians in Nashville with his 6.69 and placed second in the 200 with a personal-best 21.41. He came into the weekend ranked 13th nationally in the 60 (6.67).
“Jalen has been improving each time out,” O’Neal said. “He has high goals for himself. For him to have the success he wants to have, he has to continue to show the poise he has displayed up to this point.”
Sophomore Onyi Afoaku placed second in the shot put with a personal-best heave of 56-10.75 that ranks him No. 2 indoors all-time at Ole Miss.
“Onyi gets better and better each week,” O’Neal said. “He’s another one that has set high goals for himself. Although he’s excited about the PR, he realizes there’s bigger throws that are within his reach.”
The men also had big performances on Friday from Kendricks (facility-record 18-2.75 pole vault to easily claim first place) and Nathan Loe, Marcus Franklin and Afoaku in the weight throw (went 2-3-4 with marks of 61-11, 60-7.25 and 59-10.25, respectively).
The Rebel women were led on Saturday by newcomer Jhorden Hunter in the short sprints. The senior transfer from UT-San Antonio recorded indoor personal bests in the 60 (7.42) and 200 (24.53), placing first in her section of the 60 and fourth overall in the 200. She now ranks sixth in school history in the 60 and 14th in the 200 after just four indoor meets as a Rebel.
“I think these were breakthrough races for Jhorden,” O’Neal said. “Today was the first time she was able to hit those positions we’ve been talking about in practice. That will give her confidence as the season continues.”
Junior Taryn Hartfield matched her season best of 8.51 in the 60-meter hurdle prelims (second-best time in the prelims), but was unable to run in the finals due to injury.
Friday’s highlight for the Rebel women was White’s season-best 20-0.25 in the long jump that placed her second in the competition and top 20 nationally.
Ole Miss returns to action on Feb. 7-8 at the Armory Collegiate Invitational in New York City. The Armory is one of the world’s top indoor track & field facilities, hosting such major events as the Millrose Games and the New Balance Games. The National Track & Field Hall of Fame is also located there.
Dozens of Records Fall During McCravy Memorial Meet Finale
LEXINGTON, Ky. – On a Saturday in which countless school, meet and facility records went down, the 4x400-meter relay was arguably the most exciting event of the Rod McCravy Memorial Meet.
UK head coach Edrick Floréal has preached the importance of building team camaraderie – an emphasis, which is sometimes low on coaches’ priority list given the nature of a sport in which points are accumulated mostly during individual events – since he arrived in Lexington before last season.
Floréal’s vision has started to take root. Such was clear throughout the day on Saturday, and never more than during the women’s 4x400m relay.
The event concludes most track meet programs because of its all-encompassing team-oriented vibe, and Saturday’s relay took on elevated importance for UK given the potential to be a crowning achievement in a meet, which served as a defacto “coming-out party” for the Kentucky track and field program.
Yet the relay’s significance could not be understood without first comprehending Saturday’s opening acts.
“Typically I like to point out both guys and girls,” head coach Edrick Floréal said. “I think this weekend it’s clearly Matt Hillenbrand, Bradley Szypka for the men and Kendra Harrison and Dezerea Bryant plus the women’s 4x400m relay, Morganne Phillips and Angelica Whaley. Special mention for them on every level.”
Kendra Harrison began the day’s major fireworks in earnest by winning the women’s 60m hurdles in 7.69 seconds, which tied for the fastest in the world this season.
Just moments later, Dezerea Bryant proved herself as a world-class competitor too. Bryant finished in a dead-heat with 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist and World-Record Holder (4x100m relay) Tianna Bartoletta as both crossed the finish line in 7.194 seconds.
Late in the afternoon Bradley Szpka won his third shot put competition from as many starts this season, this time with a personal-best throw 19.43m/63’9” which ranks No. 8 nationally.
Soon after, Matt Hillenbrand defended his McCravy Meet 3,000-meter title, but the fashion in which he did so showed just how far the senior has come during his UK career.
Hillenbrand has progressed on the track especially since the start of last track season with a Southeastern Conference Mile Championship and All-America honor at 1,500 meters outdoors as major accomplishments.
Despite the recent accolades, he’d never dominated such a quality field in the manner he did on Saturday.
Taking advantage of some early pace-making by Missouri, Hillenbrand hung with three-time All-American Parker Stinson (Oregon) at the front through the middle of the race before breaking away with multiple laps to go.
Hillenbrand pulled away in dominant fashion and broke the eight-minute barrier for the first time in his career with a nation-leading time of 7:59.55. His previous-best time was 8:10.04 at the same meet last year.
“The goal we have now is just to be relevant,” Floreal said. “When people walk out of here we want them to go ‘Kentucky? Really Kentucky beat us?’ I think it is going to take people a little bit to adjust, but we are serious about being successful. How you build a successful team is just being competitive. If you compete just as hard as you can, you are bound to surprise yourself.”
With the UK women’s team riding high from those two tremendous performances, attention turned to a 4x400m relay on par with any in the country on this day. Given the high-level of competition, Kentucky certainly proved its relevance. At least on this day.
2013 Distance Medley Relay 400m leg All-American Morganne Phillips led off for the Wildcats in stellar fashion, handing Bryant the stick with a nice lead after a 52.08 split. Bryant extended UK’s lead with a 51.8 leg of her own when she handed the baton to Angelica Whaley.
Whaley kept UK in the lead, proving to doubters that UK was for real in a field that featured a defending NCAA Champion Oregon team returning three of four legs.
It was only fitting that on an afternoon in which she posted a world-leading 60h time, Harrison anchored the fastest indoor 4x400m relay by any team on earth this season with a 53.0 split.
UK clocked in at an indoor/outdoor school-record 3:33.35.
That the entire UK men’s and women’s teams were there to greet their record-setting teammates along the home stretch said plenty about the Wildcats’ embrace of Floréal’s vision.
Said team culture has allowed UK to reach a novel amount of success early in 2014, but work remains for the Wildcats. Full-on relevance is not achieved at regular-season meets, no-matter how competitive they may be.
But the 2014 Rod McCravy Memorial Meet was in-fact the most completive meet in the country this weekend.
Ten meet records were broken, with four of them also setting Nutter Field House records, an impressive tally considering the facility has hosted the SEC Championships six times.
Kentucky set four meet records itself (Harrison, Bryant, Hillenbrand 4x400m) while Kendra Harrison and the 4x4 rewrote the Field House record book.
Tigers Return Home with All-Time Top Ten Marks, PR's
Lexington, Ky. - The Tigers concluded the Rod McCravy Memorial Meet weekend in Lexington, Ky., on Saturday, returning home with 11 personal record (PR) performances and three All-Time Top Ten performances. These marks added to the five PR’s and two new All-Time Top Ten performances earned by the squad during Friday’s events.
Sprints & Hurdles
Sophomore Kyle Smith began the day for the Tigers as he continued closing in on the Missouri School Record in the 60-meter hurdles with his 8.06 preliminary round mark. He went on to place eighth in the final in 8.30. Smith earned the No. 2 spot on the list last year after timing in at 8.13 at the SEC Championships. He is now 0.14 away from the current record of 7.92, earned by Nick Adcock in 2010.
Next up were the pair of Missouri School Record holders in the 60-meter dash, sophomores Markesh Woodson and Chelsie Stevens. Stevens finished 13th in the preliminary round of the White Division, while Woodson went on to place second in the Blue Division final with a time of 6.65. Senior Tre Chambers, who holds the No. 3 spot on the All-Time Top Ten list for the event, finished 10th in the preliminary round of the White Division.
Mid-Distance & Distance
In the distance events, the men’s and women’s mile saw big performances across the board as four of the five women and three of the five men walked away from the competition with new PR’s. In the women’s race, senior Ali Ross and freshman Kayla Wolf led the way for the Tigers, battling with the leaders in their heat to cross in 4:55.60 and 4:56.55, respectively. Ross placed 13th overall in the field while Wolf placed 15th overall in her first indoor mile as a Tiger. Freshmen Libby Luciani, Teylar Adelsberger, and Bailey Hession also stuck in with the leaders, placing second, third, and fourth in their heat, respectively.
In the men’s race, freshman T.J. Carey got his first taste of the indoor mile, placing fourth overall in 4:09.28. Just behind him in the first heat was junior Kenny Cushing in 4:09.56 and sophomore Will Crocker in 4:15.74. In the second heat, sophomore Sam Dickerson stuck in the back of the front pack before gapping the field in the final 400-meters. He won the heat, and placed seventh overall, with a PR of 4:10.06. Not too far behind him was freshman Chandler Dye in 4:14.13.
The men’s and women’s 3k run finished out the weekend’s individual events and saw the return of SEC Freshman of the Year Kaitlyn Fischer in the first heat for the women. Fischer ran 9:48.45 to place eighth overall. A pair of freshmen led the Tigers in the second heat, as Brooke Wolfe finished for 15th overall in 10:03.09 and Nicole Mello finished 18th overall with a PR of 10:04.85. Junior Courtney Brown and freshman Kaelyn Balch rounded out the women’s field for the Tigers, placing 22nd and 25th, respectively.
In the men’s race, freshman Tyler Schneider took the lead for the Tigers, as he came through in 8:13.73 for eighth overall and a spot on the All-Time Top Ten list for the Tigers. Joining him on the list is fellow-freshman Dan Roe, who finished 11th overall in 8:15.14. Rounding out the performers for the black and gold were freshmen Evan Chiplock and Drew White, and senior Hayden Legg, in 20th, 29th, and 30th, respectively.
Sophomore Parker Brush had a break-out day in the pole vault, as he bested his previous PR of 4.55m (14-11) from the Wisconsin vs. Missouri Dual with his 17th-place performance of 4.77m (15-7.75). Joining him in the field event competitions were juniors Kearsten Peoples and Jill Rushin, and senior Katie Evans who placed first, third, and sixth in the shot put, respectively.
Sophomores Jonathan Ilori and Tony Carodine hit the triple jump runway for the second time this season, both besting their previous marks from the Wisconsin vs. Missouri dual for third and fourth place, respectively.
The team will have a weekend off before they split forces in early February as one group travels to New York for the New Balance InvitationL (Feb. 7-8) and the rest of the team competes at home for the Missouri Invitational (Feb. 7). For the latest on your Tigers stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on Twitter @MIZ_TrackField.
Running Through the Statistics for Tennessee
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The men's and women's Tennessee track and field teams attained two more victories and 15 personal bests to bring the weekend at the Rod McCravy Memorial Invitational to a close on Saturday.
Jake Blankenship set a new meet record en route to winning the pole vault, and Jamol James was first in the 60-meter dash.
Tennessee director of track and field/cross country J.J. Clark said the meet provided a good opportunity for growth against nationally ranked competition.
"This was by far our best competition of the year," Clark said. "There were some very good nationally ranked teams. We had some respond. We just have to continue to get better in all areas."
Blankenship successfully defended his pole vault title by establishing a new meet record of 18 feet 1.25 inches (5.52m). Chase Brannon came close behind in third (17-5.5/5.32m), along with Tyler Porter's personal best 17-1.5/5.22m for eighth and Michael Maira 19th (15-1.75/4.62m).
Matthew Hoty placed third in shot put (61-6.75/18.76m), while fifth place teammate Tavis Bailey scored a personal best 60-1/18.31m.
James and Reggie Juin advance from preliminary round to the 60m finals where they placed first and eighth respectively; the winning 60m time was 6.80. Daniel Tobin scored a top ten in the mile finishing in 4:13.17. Nick Kaiser took 15th in the 800m; Terrance Livingston was 21st. Kyle Walter's 21st place finish was a new best time for him in the 3000m. Tennessee's 4X400 relay team came in ninth overall.
The Lady Vol field unit continues solid performances for Tennessee this season. Cassie Wertman was second in the shot put (53-5/16.28m). She was joined in competition by Aslynn Halvorson ninth and ReJean Rouse 16th.
Allison Outerbridge led UT's triple jumpers this weekend with a distance of 39-8.5/12.10m, followed by Brielyn Rogers placing 11th.
Kasha McDougald of Tennessee finished eighth in the 60m hurdles finals on Saturday. Her mark of 8.70 is a new personal record.
The women's mile was yet again another strong event for the ladies as Alexis Panisse scored a top 10, while four other runners established new indoor benchmark for the event. Brittney Jackson garnered a sixth place performance in the 800m with a season best 2:11.19.
Career times kept coming for the Lady Vols as the day progressed: Felecia Majors and Emily Yarnell in the 400m, Chelsea Blasse and Emily Williams in the 3000m, and a 60m debut for Erin Champion. Overall UT women set a collective 12 new event benchmarks on Saturday alone.
The Big Orange have amassed 15 wins, 65 athlete personal records, and 119 top ten finishes on the season.
Tennessee track and field has the upcoming weekend off as they prepare to venture to College Station for the Aggie Invitational taking place February 7-8.
Auburn Track and Field Records Five Event Wins at Vanderbilt Invitational
Nashville, Tenn. - The Auburn track and field team won five events and claimed four facility records on Saturday at the Vanderbilt Invitational at the Vanderbilt Student Recreation Center.
The Tigers were led by sophomore Jessie Johnson, who won the women's pole vault with a clearance of 13-1.50/4.00m, which ties her school record set last year at the Auburn Indoor Invitational.
“We had another solid weekend on both the men’s and women’s sides,” Auburn head coach Ralph Spry said. “We have five individual winners and was proud of the way both groups competed against some very good teams. We had some great efforts from several of our freshmen, so that was very encouraging. We have a lot of young people stepping it up, which shows their mentality.”
In the women’s 3000m, freshman Susan Rachel Givens broke the freshman school record with a time of 9:42.93. The previous record was held by Kathi Ward, who set the record of 9:49.32 in 1994.
Three Tigers placed in the top-5 in the mile run, led by senior Niklas Buhner, who broke the facility record with a time of 4:02.60, which is fifth all-time in school history. Junior Ty McCormack finished third with the eighth fastest time in program history and a personal best time of 4:03.89, while junior Kane Grimster finished fifth at 4:05.95.
Junior thrower Valentina Muzaric won her second-consecutive shot put title after breaking the facility record and recording the second-longest throw in Auburn history with a 54-6.75/16.63m. Muzaric now claims the six longest throws in school history. In the men’s shot put, junior Marcus Popenfoose won the event with a throw of 57-0.00/13.37m.
Junior Samantha Scarlett paced the field in the 60m hurdles with the fourth-fastest time in Auburn history and a personal best time of 8.24. Scarlett had ran an 8.28 at the Auburn Invitational to start the season.
In the women’s 200m, freshman Ebony Morrison was the runner-up with a time of 24.39, which was good for the facility record. On the men’s side, freshman Khalil Henderson recorded a personal best time of 21.61, which placed him fifth.
Senior Keenan Brock finished third in the 60m dash at 6.78. In the men’s 400m Teray Smith finished 11th overall, but was the top freshman finisher with a time of 48.72. Sophomore Parker Shearer set a new personal best in the 800m at 2:07.06.
In the men’s 3000m, junior Griffin Jaworski was runner-up with a personal best time of 8:15.91, while senior Samuel Mueller placed seventh with a PR time of 8:24.08.
Freshman Emily Stevens finished fifth out of 33 competitors in women's mile in 4:55.32, while sophomore Rebecca Nylen set a PR in the 800m at 2:15.76.
“We’re still a little off and need to sharpen up,” Spry said. “Unfortunately, with the cold weather it’s been difficult to prepare, especially in the technical events. The focus is there, the team competed hard and I like we’re we are right now. We need to continue to sharpen up the next two weeks and get prepared for our next meet at Nebraska. “
Auburn will return to action February 7-8 at the Husker Invitational in Lincoln, Neb. For the latest on Auburn track and field, follow @AUTrack on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AuburnTrackandField.
No speed limits at Vanderbilt Invitational
Apparently, there's something about Vanderbilt's new indoor facility that brings out the best in the athletes who compete there.
And that goes not only for the Commodores, but for the out-of-town guests, too.
This weekend's Vanderbilt Indoor Invitational -- which wrapped on Saturday -- featured several performances that were the best of the season on a national level.
For Vanderbilt, Jennifer Cannon shined in front of the home crowd throughout the weekend, setting new personal records in multiple events.