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Thundering Herd Rolls through SPIRE Open

Barnhart finished third in the weight throw on Saturday

Jan. 29, 2012

GENEVA, Ohio- The ladies of the Thundering Herd track and field team were on the road for their third consecutive meet this past Friday as they tested their mettle against some of the top teams in the region at the SPIRE Midwest Track and Field Open.

Hosted by the SPIRE Institute, the competition brought in more than 20 schools from across the nation to compete in various indoor track and field events from Friday through Saturday at the SPIRE Indoor Track and Field Complex. The meet officially began for the Herd on Friday with Leslie Thomas, Kelley Mortakis, and Julia Galloway running in the women's 5k, and the trio did little to disappoint.

Coming off an impressive outing at the Gladstein Invitational last weekend, it was Thomas who once again proved her value to the squad by claiming a first place finish in the event with a personal-best time of 17:48.94. Thomas' next closest competitor, Saginaw Valley's Megan Pittoors, finished a full six-seconds behind her in second place. Mortakis and Galloway then capped off a solid first day for the Herd with top-25 finishes of 13 and 23, respectively.

"It was a great race by Leslie," said Head Coach Jeff Small. "I'm happy that she was able to win the 5k with a lifetime best."

Indeed, Thomas and crew did well to start the Marshall squad off on the right foot, as Friday afternoon's positive performance carried over to the next day for several other members of the Thundering Herd track and field team.

In the weight throw event on Saturday morning, Elizabeth Barnhart and Amanda Hottenstein grabbed top-5 finishes with respective third and fifth place scores. The junior, Barnhart, clinched third with a mark of 51-10.00, while Hottenstein, a sophomore, posted a mark of 48-08.25. Senior Brittany Stanley was also impressive in the event, placing in the top-15 with a thirteenth place score of 43-06.00.



The weight throw and 5k participants weren't the only ladies from the Herd enjoying success, though, as the 4x400 relay team managed to put together its best performance of the season with a fourth place finish of 3:57.56. Brittany Carey, one of the senior members of the relay team, then capped-off what was described by Coach Small as her "best meet of the season" with an eighth place finish in the 400m dash.

One of Carey's fellow seniors, Delkira Maybin, also showed some flashes of brilliance by qualifying for the finals of the 60m dash with a preliminary time of 7.89.

"We saw some great performances by Leslie Thomas, Barnhart and Hottenstein, Brittany Carey, and Delkira Maybin this weekend," said Small. "Overall it was a really good meet for us as a whole."

The team will now spend the week preparing for the New Balance Invitational, which is set to take place in New York City this Friday and Saturday.

Complete Results