Feb. 11, 2012
AKRON, Ohio- The Marshall University track and field team maintained its steady run of form this past weekend, concluding the Akron Invitational with a host of top-five finishes and personal records that have left the team riding high with the Conference USA Indoor Championships just two weeks away.
The competition was fierce in the Stiles Field House on Friday through Saturday, but that did little to deter the Herd from making its mark at the event. Marshall’s strong display began on Saturday morning with juniors Vanessa Jules and Crystal Walker performing in the high and long jump, respectively.
Jules- a reigning All-Conference USA athlete – came within a fraction of the school high jump record with a 1.75m (5-8 3/4) hop that took first place overall in the gold division. Shortly thereafter, Walker – a transfer from Stephen F. Austin State – placed second in the gold division long jump with a personal best leap of 5.90m (19-4 1/4) that was just .02m behind the winner.
“It was a great day from our jumpers,” said Head Coach Jeff Small. “Vanessa won the high jump and Crystal came in second in the long jump and just barely missed-out on breaking a school record that has been standing for about 20 years now.”
The jumpers weren’t the only members of the Herd to find success on the day, though, as the distance runners continued their regular season progression with an impressive showing in the blue division’s 3000m run. Junior Kelley Mortakis and senior Paige Govey both placed in the top-five of the event, as Mortakis – whose time of 10:40.25 was good enough for second place – bested her previous personal record by over 20 seconds. Govey finished in fifth with a time of 10:49.74.
Freshman Loren Dyer
also impressed over the course of the meet, setting a new personal best in the triple jump with a mark of 11.19m that took first place in the blue division. The rookie then joined Hadassah Lynch
and Amber Pierson
in the 400m run, and the trio set new personal marks with respective seventh, thirteenth, and ninth place finishes.
Senior Brittany Carey also joined the long list of Marshall athletes to establish personal bests on the day, as the Hurricane, W.Va., native concluded the 200m dash in 25.91 seconds. Carey then teamed up with Dyer, Pierson, and Lynch for the 4x400m relay and helped lead the team to a fifth place finish and season-low time of 3:56.58.
The Herd now has just one meet – this Friday’s Ohio State Tune-Up – remaining before it heads to the Conference USA Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Ala., on February 25.