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    SEC Track & Field Today: Friday, February 7

    Jernbeck, Distance Runners Highlight PRs on Day 1 at Aggie Invitational

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Sophomore Therese Jernbeck nearly set a personal best in her season debut in the pentathlon, while freshman Ashley Welborn and the men’s distance medley relay cracked the Top 10 of the school’s all-time rankings to highlight the first day of action at the Aggie Invitational being held at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium.

    Jernbeck was the Lady Tigers’ top scorer on the opening day of the meet as she finished just six points shy of her personal best with a score of 3,858 points for second place in the women’s pentathlon.

    Jernbeck raced to a personal best in the first event of the competition by clocking 9.13 seconds for 883 points in the 60-meter hurdles, before clearing 5 feet, 3 ¾ inches for 759 points in the high jump, throwing 41-8 ¾ for 709 points in the shot put, jumping 17-6 ¼ for 654 points in the long jump and running 2 minutes, 17.87 seconds for 853 points in the 800 meters.

    The Swedish international was actually the top performer in both the shot put and 800 meters as she finished behind only the winning score of 4,003 points by Texas A&M’s Jenna Hemann in Friday’s pentathlon.

    Jernbeck finished just six points shy of her personal-best score of 3,864 points that she set in a sixth-place finish in her first SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships during her freshman season a year ago.

    The Lady Tigers opened up the meet on the track during the evening session by taking fourth place in the women’s distance medley relay with a seasonal-best time of 11:44.87. LSU’s squad of redshirt freshman Chaiss Matthews (1,200 meters), senior Nikita Tracey (400 meters), redshirt freshman Morgan Schuetz (800 meters) and sophomore Andria Aguilar (mile) teamed for the to time by the Lady Tigers in 2014.

    The Tennessee Lady Volunteers scored a near eight-second victory in the women’s DMR with their time of 11:27.73, followed by UCLA in second place at 11:35.71 and Tennessee’s “B” team in third place at 11:39.04.

    The Tigers followed by running the fifth-fastest time in school history at 9:48.01 to take second place in the men’s distance medley relay. Junior Julian Parker led off with a split of 3:00.62 on the 1,200-meter leg, before handing off to sophomore Cyril Grayson with a  46.54-second split on the 400-meter leg and freshman Blair Henderson with a blistering split of 1:49.30 on the 800-meter leg. Junior Philip Primeaux anchored with his run of 4:11.57 for the mile as they cracked the Top 20 of the NCAA rankings at No. 18 with a seasonal best of 9:48.01.

    LSU’s foursome finished behind only the winning run of 9:37.31 by UTEP as the Miners cracked the Top 10 of the national rankings in the No. 8 position in the event for the 2014 season.

    Welborn capped the scoring for the Lady Tigers on the opening day of this year’s Aggie Invitational with one of the fastest 5,000 meters in school history as she finished the race in 17:59.28 for the No. 8-ranked time on LSU’s all-time indoor performance list in the event. Texas A&M’s Grace Fletcher won the women’s 5k with a time of 16:13.71 to rank No. 8 in the NCAA this season.
     
    Saturday’s action at this year’s Aggie Invitational continues on the track at 12:30 p.m. CT and in the field at 1 p.m. as the Tigers and Lady Tigers will compete for the team titles during the finale. Texas A&M will broadcast live streaming video of Saturday’s events, which will also be shared in the Geaux Zone at LSUsports.net. Live results can also be found online by logging on to www.flashresults.com.
     




    Gamecocks Start Strong at Armory Collegiate Invitational

    NEW YORK – South Carolina advanced five athletes to event finals and redshirt freshman Marisa Bellamy captured her first collegiate win on the first day of action of the Armory Collegiate Invitational, the USTFCCCA’s National Meet of the Week, at the New Balance Track & Field Center at The Armory.

    Bellamy pulled away from the field in both her preliminary and the final of the collegiate 400-meter dash. In her first race of the day, Bellamy ran at a then-personal best pace of 55.36 before shaving even more time in the finals at 55.30 to earn the win.

    In the 60-meter dash, junior Kendall Kee moved though three rounds within two and a half hours. Kee ran a 6.75 in both the prelims and the semis. Junior Eric Winfrey joined Kee in the finals, clocking in at 6.77 and 6.78 in the first two rounds.

    Facing several SEC competitors, Kee matched his personal best and the fifth-fastest time in school history with a 6.68 to finish fourth in the sprint while Winfrey clocked in at 6.76 for a seventh-place finish.

    After advancing through the prelims and the semifinals in the 60-meter hurdles with the third-fastest time, sophomore Jermaine Collier was carded for a false start in the finals. The Gamecock won both his preliminary and semifinal heat to earn a spot in the finals.

    Fellow sophomore Dondre Echols won his prelim with the third-fastest time overall (7.94), but did not race in the semifinals as a precaution.

    In the 500-meter run, freshman Maya Evans pulled away in her heat and took second place. The eventual winner finished just .07 ahead of the Gamecock’s personal record pace.

    Continuing a string of top-five finishes, junior Petra Olsen captured fifth in the women’s championship pole vault section. Olsen recorded a clearance of 13’5” ¼ (4.10m)

    Freshman Alexandre Asselin kept up the stellar start to his career in the Garnet and Black. In the collegiate section of the long jump, Asselin set a new personal best with the seventh-best leap in school history at 23’9” (7.24m). The French native finished fifth overall. Asselin also competed in the 60-meter hurdles collegiate section (23rd – 8.62).

    Freshman Precious Holmes rode the momentum of a two-meet win streak to advance to tomorrow’s finals in the 400-meter dash championship. Holmes’ collegiate-best time of 53.98 is the fastest by Gamecock this season and was the third-fastest time in the prelims.

    Junior Erika Rucker earned a chance to defend her championship in the event tomorrow, posting the fifth-fastest time in the prelims at 54.47. It was Rucker’s season debut in the 400 meters. The finals are set for tomorrow at 4:19 p.m.

    Action picks back up tomorrow at 8:30 a.m., with the women’s 5,000-meter run. The day features the 200-meter dash, the 400-meter dash finals, the high jump and the 4x400-meter relays.






    Bulldogs Have ‘Traditional Success’ At VT Elite Meet

    BLACKSBURG, Va. – Georgia’s track and field teams posted six top collegiate finishes and a school record to highlight the first day of the Doc Hale VT Elite Meet in Blacksburg, Va., on Friday.

    “Our first day saw us have our traditional success at Virginia Tech,” said Bulldog head coach Wayne Norton.  “We competed well across the board, looked strong.  This meet so far has been a sign that we are making that all important progress.  The most important thing about this first day is that we looked good everywhere.  We hardly had any disappointments and it was nice to come out of the meet and say, ‘That was a good day’ rather than dropping your head when you walk out.”

    Sophomore Chanice Porter charged into the national lead by winning the long jump at the meet for the second consecutive year.  Porter, who had a mark of 20 feet, 9 ¼ inches at Virginia Tech in 2013, traveled a career-long distance of 21-2.75 on her second try.  

    This is No. 3 on Georgia’s all-time list and the longest for the Lady Bulldogs since Hyleas Fountain set the school record of 21-7.25 at the 2004 NCAA Championships.  Porter took only her first three jumps (each one measuring no less than 20-5.25) before passing on her final three attempts.

    “Porter’s performance is one that we need to have if we are going to meet the goals we have set for the women indoors,” Norton said.

    The first school record of the year for the Lady Bulldogs also fell.  Senior Megan Malasarte trimmed just more than two-tenths of a second off of her personal best in the 800-meter run to win with a time of 2:06.16.  Her time edged Angie Stanifer’s school record mark of 2:06.20 set at the 1998 NCAA Championships and moved Malasarte to 10th on the current national performance list.

    Junior Carly Hamilton also had a personal best in the 800 to take third.  She finished in 2:10.19 to win the second heat and move to No. 8 on the all-time list.

    On the men’s side, junior Charles Grethen completed the 800 sweep after completing his laps in 1:49.69 to hold off a trio of finishers from Wake Forest.  Grethen also won this race at the 2013 meet.

    For the third time in his career, senior Johnathan Smith registered a 6.77 in the 60 to win the prelims.  Then, he shot to third in the school record books with a 6.75 to tally his first career victory in the event for the Bulldogs.

    The Georgia men also went 1-2 in the 400.  Junior Drew Branch picked up his second personal best in as many races (47.60) to win while freshman Reggie Glover cut nearly a second off of his debut in the distance to take second with a 47.87.

    Continuing the success of the Bulldog sprinters, sophomore Jamario Calhoun took over the eighth spot in the Georgia record books by being the top collegiate finisher (second overall) in the 200 with a 21.39.  Not far behind was freshman Derrick White Jr., who finished third with a 21.52.

    A pair of Bulldog freshmen had career bests in the weight throw to take second and sixth.  Alex Poursanidis had a second attempt of 64-3.25 while Alex Larsson reached 60-6.75 on his third throw.

    In the women’s competition, senior Elizabeth Tepe, who is the defending Southeastern Conference hammer throw champion, moved from No. 8 to No. 7 on Georgia’s all-time top-10 list to take sixth in the weight.  Her mark of 60-8 was just five inches farther than her freshman teammate Asianna Covington (60-3), who was seventh.

    Freshman Kendell Williams, who leads the nation in the pentathlon, clocked a career-best time of 8.36 to win the fourth heat and take third overall in the 60 hurdle prelims.  She then took second in the finals with an 8.32, which improves her No. 4 mark on the Lady Bulldog all-time top-10 list.

    Also on the track, senior Bret McDaniel was third in the mile at 4:52.10 as part of her training for the longer distances while redshirt freshman Rashan Brown was third in the 400 with a 54.66.

    Full results and a recap from the Doc Hale VT Elite Meet will be found at georgiadogs.com.  News and updates from Georgia track and field teams are located on Twitter at @UGA_XCTF.






    Women’s Distance Medley Relay Wins Big As Bulldogs Shine On National Stage

    NEW YORK CITY – In one of its largest meets this season, Mississippi State was in the spotlight on day one of the New Balance Armory Collegiate Invitational as the MSU women’s distance medley relay team clocked an 11:38.93 to win the event.

    “This was the hardest I’ve ever seen us fight,” MSU Coach Steve Dudley said. “Both the men and the women fought for every single point that we earned. I am so incredibly proud of the way they represented Mississippi State today.”

    Katie Huston led the quartet, running the 1200-meter leg, while Shayla Luckett ran second (400 meters), Kaelin Kersh ran third (800 meters), and Emma Neigel, who ran 1600 meters, anchored the race.

    “It was definitely a great feeling for our hard work to pay off,” Huston said. “This win was really rewarding. We couldn’t have won without heart, and my girls had so much heart tonight.”

    With more than 100 universities in attendance from across the nation, the MSU women saw another big win as Rhianwedd Price took first in the 1000-meter run championship, posting a 2:47.32.

    Freshman Euricka Hardy also garnered a top score for the Lady Bulldogs during the women’s 60-meter dash college section. The Oma, Miss., native finished second with a time of 7.57.

    Juniors Erica Bougard and Ocian Archer saw two more Top 5 running performances as Bougard placed third in the 60-meter hurdles championship (8.41) and Archer finished fifth in the women’s 500-meter dash championship (1:13.64).

    Off the track, Rochelle Farquharson (20-03.00) and Bougard (20-02.50) finished third and fourth, respectively, in the women's long jump championship.

    On the men’s side, Brandon McBride (1:01.40) and Scottie Hearn (1:01.58) led the way for the Maroon and White in the men’s 500-meter dash championship, finishing second and third, respectively.

    Freshman James Anderson is already making an immediate impact for MSU, clocking a 6.99 in the men’s 60-meter dash college section to land a spot in fifth.

    All-American Jarrett Samuels closed out action for the men with a leap of 24-01.00 in the long jump championship to finish fifth.

    Posting some of the best scores of day one, the Bulldogs are in a solid spot to be in trophy contingency heading into the second day of competition. The women sit just behind Southeastern Conference foe No. 7 Arkansas, and are tied with defending national champion No. 10 Kansas. The MSU men are two teams back from first, right behind No. 4 Wisconsin and Duke.

    Day two is slated to get underway at 8:30 a.m.






    Ole Miss Runners Blaze The Track On Day One In New York

    NEW YORK – Ole Miss athletes scorched the New Balance track on the first day of the Armory Collegiate Invitational Friday, setting one school record and clocking several times that rank among the best in the NCAA this year.

    “We challenged our kids this week,” Rebel head coach Brian O’Neal said. “We knew this would be a different environment for us. It’s definitely a more intense environment with the crowd and the energy that’s inside the building. I am really proud of the way that we came in here and stepped it up on day one. That’s the type of energy we’re going to need when we get to championship events.”

    The men’s distance medley relay of Robert Domanic, Montez Griffin, Sean Tobin and Daniel Bulmer shattered a 29-year-old school record with their time of 9:40.17 that placed second in the race. It ranks the Rebels 11th in the NCAA and first among SEC schools this year.

    A strong opening 1,200 meter leg by the freshman Domanic gave Ole Miss a lead that it held for most of the race until a late comeback by Wisconsin.

    “I thought it was a really good run for those guys,” O’Neal said. “Domanic again ran a great race for us. He gets better week in and week out . Montez did a solid job of making sure we stayed in the lead. Sean ran a gutsy race for us in his first meet with us. And Bulmer ran a really good race. It was back and forth at the end between Wisconsin, Alabama and us. He could have folded, but I’m really proud of him for sticking his nose in there and competing.”

    Junior Robert Semien clocked a personal best of 7.81 to finish third in the 60-meter hurdle final. That time moves him up to No. 3 in school history and top 20 in the nation this indoor season.

    Ole Miss had a strong showing in the 60 meters, led by two freshmen, Jalen Miller and Kailo Moore, who both advanced through the prelims and semifinals all the way to the final race.

    Miller blazed his way to third place in the final with a personal-best 6.62 that moves him up to No. 9 in NCAA this year and keeps him at fifth-best in school history just behind such names as Isiah Young and James Shelton (both at 6.61).

    Moore had an impressive debut on the track after transitioning from football season and ran 6.79 in the semifinals to the advance to the finals (where he ran 6.82 to place eighth). His time of 6.79 is 10th-best among all football players running indoor track this year and places him 10th on the all-time Rebel chart.

    Miller and Moore are expected to run in the 200 meters on Saturday.

    Senior Mike Granger, who happens to own the school record of 6.55, returned from a hamstring injury to win his prelim hit in 6.81 and advance to the semifinals.

    Sophomore Onyi Afoaku set a personal best with a shot put of 57-0.25 that placed him eighth in the high-level competition on Friday. He remains No. 2 in school history in that event.

    Junior Malcolm Davis placed third in the long jump college division with a PR of 24-3.75 that ranks him tied for fifth among SEC athletes this year. He will compete in the high jump on Saturday.

    On the women’s side, junior Taryn Hartfield made it to the final of the 60-meter hurdles, where she placed seventh in 8.62. She ran a season-best 8.47 in the semifinals.

    Junior Kierra White jumped 19-11.75 in the long jump, just off her season best of 20-0.25, and placed sixth in the championship division.

    Freshman Kennadi Bouyer placed sixth in the college division of the long jump with a season-best 18-7.75 and also made it to the semifinals of the 60 meters championship division (7.63).






    UF T&F: Bostic, Lovett & Watkins Lead Orange & Blue on Opening Day of Doc Hale Virginia Tech Elite Meet

    BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Junior thrower Jayla Bostic, senior hurdler Eddie Lovett and sophomore pole vaulter Jared Watkins all turned in winning performances on the first day of the Doc Hale Virginia Tech Elite Meet in Blacksburg – Bostic and Watkins in the weight throw and pole vault, respectively, with career-best performances, while Lovett took the men’s 60mH (7.74) at Rector Field House Friday.

    In addition to Bostic (20.86m/68-5.25) and Watkins (5.20m/17-0.75) turning in standout days in the field events, junior thrower David Levin represented for the Gators, posting a PR in the weight throw (19.19m/62-11.5), while UF jumpers junior Ciarra Brewer and senior Lorraine Graham went 4-5 in the long jump, Brewer with a season-best (6.30m/19-9.5) and Graham (6.02m/19-9) just shy of her season-best 6.04/19-9.75 set last week at the Razorback Invitational.

    Junior sprinter Dedric Dukes also made quite the impression in his season debut, clocking a career-best 6.79 in the 60m dash.

    Action resumes Saturday at Rector Field House at 11 a.m. with the women’s high jump, while running events are slated to begin at 1 p.m. with the women’s 3000m run.






    Hemann threatens school record, Aggie trio sets career best in 5,000 meters

    COLLEGE STATION – Texas A&M junior Jena Hemann (Hey-man) won the pentathlon with a score of 4,003 points as she threatened her own school record of 4,017 points Friday evening during the first day of the Texas A&M Aggie Invitational inside the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium.

    The Aggie women also showcased their talent in the 5,000 meters in claiming places 1-2-3-4-5 for 33 points. The trio of Grace Fletcher (16:13.71), Hillary Montgomery (16:19.91) and Karis Jochen (16:48.97) set career best times and moved up on the A&M all-time list.

    After the first day of action the Aggie women lead with 48 points with three finals – the pentathlon, distance medley relay and 5,000 meters – completed. Following A&M are LSU (17), UCLA (14), Baylor (14), Tennessee (10), and UTEP (5).

    On the men’s side, with only one final in the 5,000, UTEP holds the current lead with 20 points followed by UCLA (14), Baylor (13), Tennessee (10), Texas A&M (10) and LSU (8).

    Hemann started out strong with an 8.72 PR in the 60 hurdles (969 points) and then cleared 5-7.25 (867) in the high jump. A best of 41-3.25 (700) in the shot put boosted Hemann’s lead and an 18-1.5 (706) long jump had her leading UCLA’s Tatum Souza by 123 points (3,242 to 3,119) going into the 800m final event.

    Through the first half of the 800m Hemann led the field. Then Souza, who needed to better Hemann by 9.5 seconds for the victory, pulled even with the leader early on the third lap. Taking a step in front of Hemann caused the Aggie to lose her stride and Souza fell to the track.

    While Hemann finished the race in third place with a career best time of 2:24.68 for 761 points, Souza ended up third overall with 3,809 points behind 3,858 for LSU’s Therese Jernbeck.

    Just 14 points shy of her school record, Hemann was pleased with the victory and the fact that her score currently places her 11th on the 2014 collegiate pentathlon list where the top 16 marks will make the NCAA Indoor Championship field.

    Hemann is the only Aggie to ever score 4,000 points in the pentathlon as her score of 4,003 is the second best performance on the A&M all-time list.

    Fletcher and Montgomery each chopped 40 and 35 seconds off their previous best times of 16:57.38 and 16:56.15 in breaking the previous meet record of 16:38.25 set by Stanford’s Georgia Griffin in 2010. Fletcher is now the No. 3 performer with the No. 6 performance while Montgomery is the No. 4 performer with the No. 8 performance on the Aggie all-time list.

    Jocken’s debut at this distance places her at No. 8 on the all-time list right behind Amanda Jenkins, who placed fourth (17:03.37) in the race while Gabby Salazar (17:18.00) set a career best as well.

    Ryan Miller produced a career best of 14:31.32 for third place in the men’s 5,000 behind a 14:29.64 from UTEP’s Elphas Maiyo and a 14:30.65 by UCLA’s Michael McCabe. Other Aggies in the race included Julian Castellano (15:03.63) in ninth place, Elliott Farris (15:04.20) in 10th place and Austin Geerts (15:06.23) in 11th.

    Completing four events of the men’s heptathlon has Aggie Daniel Martin in fourth place with 2,564 points. Baylor’s Hunter Brook leads the event with 3,004 points. Three more events will be completed on Saturday, beginning at 11 a.m.

    In distance medley relays, the Aggie women placed fifth in 11:49.27 with the foursome of Katie Willard, Jessica Laseak, Lauren Fontana and Ashley Chamberlain. The A&M men ran 10:10.86 for sixth place with a crew of Nick Rollo, Greg Coleman, Cameron Villarreal and Brett Schmit.
     




    UK Track & Field Dominates Women’s Hurdles & Dash at VT

    BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Kentucky track and field teams continued building the strong momentum they have been accumulating early in 2014 with another solid team performance – for the first time away from home – at the Doc Hale Virginia Tech Elite Meet on Friday.

    Dezerea Bryant and Kendra Harrison have carried the banner for the Wildcats for much of 2014, and Friday’s performances were no exception. The two were named to the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Association’s (USTFCCCA) watch list on Thursday and they certainly backed up the hype one day later.

    Each won her signature event. Harrison claimed the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8 seconds flat, after clocking 7.97 in the preliminary heats, one one-hundreth off her nation-leading personal best performance. Bryant won the 60m dash in 7.27.

    The UK women’s team dominated both the 60m hurdles and the 60m dash as the Wildcats had three top finishers in both events.

    In the 60m, Bryant and Harrison finished 1-2, while Parker placed sixth. In the hurdles, Parker’s time of 8.34 was good for third, while Leah Nugent ran 8.51 for sixth.

    Perhaps UK’s most top-heavy performance came in the women’s 200m as Sha’Keela Saunders capped a breakout evening with a winning time of 24.28 in her first college race at the distance, while Keilah Tyson made a strong 2014 debut with a second-place time of 24.48. Leah Nugent was third, in 24.63.

    Not to be outdone by the women’s team, Matt Hillenbrand represented the UK men’s squad in style. The defending Southeastern Conference mile champion posted a conference-leading mile time of 4:01.27 that made him the meet’s top collegian finisher with a time that also ranks inside the national top-16,

    Allison Peare also turned in a strong half-mile, completing four laps of the 200m track in 2:06.93.

    Saunders’ 200m win topped an impressive long jump performance from earlier in the evening as she placed third with a collegiate best mark (6.07m/19'11"), while Kenyattia Hackworth was 6th in her UK debut (5.96m/19'6.75").

    Terence Boyd placed sixth in a strong long jump field, with a top jump on his third attempt: 7.23m/23’8.75”.

    The action will continue inside Rector Field House on Saturday beginning with field events at 11 a.m. ET and running events starting at 1 p.m.

    Notably, Kayla Parker ran five races on Friday, having made the final in both the 60H, 60m and competed in the 200m. For her part, Leah Nugent ran two 60H heats as well as finishing third in the 200m.