The men and women’s indoor track and field team broke several school records in the Vanderbilt Invitational in Nashville on Jan. 20 – 21.
The Vanderbilt Invitational gave the Golden Eagles opportunities to compete against some of the best programs in the country and against some in-conference teams.
The short-distance runners showed that they can hang with strong competition but still have more training to do. In the 60m dash, junior Cravorkian Carson’s 6.85 was .01 seconds short of qualifying for the final heat. In the 200m race, junior Alexander Richemond finished sixth running a 21.97. Carson and senior Jamad Smith finished in 13th and 11th place, respectively.
In the 400m race, the Golden Eagles fell off, with seniors Curtis Walker and Lorenzen Burton finishing in 17th and 18th place overall. However, freshman Caleb Parker finished fourth in the 60m hurdles with an 8.08 but finished last in the high-jump.
The women’s short-distance had a similar day to the men’s, with both good moments and bad. In the 60m dash, sophomores Kadaria Thompson and Keiyana Gaskin both ran times of 7.72 each, missing the final heat. Gaskin and Thompson also competed in the 200m race finishing 12th and 14th, respectively. Senior Adriana Allen finished seventh in the 400m race running a 55.58.
Both teams shared frustrations in the 4×400 relays. The men’s defending outdoor 4×400 conference champions had a rough day finishing eighth out of 11 teams and women finished sixth out of 11 teams.
The women’s distance team found success for a second year in a row. In the distance medley Regen McGee, Courtney Filliben, Adriana Allen and Dana Dillistone shattered the school record of 11:52 that was set in last year’s Vanderbilt Invitational, dropping it to an 11:38.
On the second day, Filleben also ran the 800m race in 2:13, finishing 11th, and Dillistone ran the one mile in 4:55, finishing ninth. In the women’s 3000m race, freshman Theresa Harto and junior Daphney Stanford finished in 18th and 28th, respectively.
“The girls were fantastic in smashing the school record by ten seconds,” said Head Coach Jon Stuart. “Coach [Aaron] Kindt told me that we had a chance to take that record down, and the girls crushed it.”
Meanwhile, the men’s distance team continues to be rocky. Junior Randall Dias finished 21st overall in the 800m race running a 1:58.
In the men’s long jump, Richmond finished 12th, freshman Eric Washington finished 18th and sophomore Devonta Brassell finished 21st. In the triple jump, Brassell finished ninth overall, jumping 14.47m. For the women’s high jump, freshmen Zaria Jones and Jamari Drake finished sixth and 10th, each jumping 1.66m.
The throwers were the strongest and most consistent for the both teams. For the men’s field, junior Donald Daley competed in shot put throwing 14.10m finishing 24th, but he later shined in the weight throw, finishing fifth and throwing for 18.42m. For the women, junior Alexis Chiles finished ninth in women’s shot put throwing 13.18m
The best performance of the meet for the Golden Eagles was Brashe’ Wood who broke the school record in the shot put. She threw 15.38 meters to break the school record and also get the win for the day. This effort got her the honor of Conference USA field athlete of the week.
“We had a good day today and we’re still on pace to be at our best for the C-USA Indoor Championships,” Stuart said. “We will use the next two weeks to get some good training in before we head back to Birmingham for the South Alabama Invite.”
The Golden Eagles will travel to Birmingham for the South Alabama Invitational on Feb. 5.