Marshall Track and Field defeats Ohio in Dual Meet
Herd win 11 of 12 events, break two school records
HUNTINGTON, W.Va.--The Marshall women's track and field team opened its season with a dual meet victory over Ohio University in the Marshall Opener on Thursday night at the Chris Cline Indoor Athletic Complex.
With 12 events taking place over the course of the evening, Marshall athletes won 11 of the events. The Herd won the meet with a score of 83.5 to 44.5.
It was also a good night for Marshall throwers, as two school records were broken in both throwing events. Sophomore Hasana Clark went first as she won the weight throw with a toss of 18.42 meters. Fellow sophomore Elena Marchand also broke a school record in the shot put, as her longest mark came at 14.53m.
Junior Naja Greer also had a very successful night as she won two individual events. Greer first won the 400-meter dash with a time of 58.56. She followed that up less than an hour later with a victory in the 200m dash with a time of 25.61, which was a new meet record.
Sophomore Lauren George was the first Marshall athlete to officially take a win in an event, as she won the long jump with a best jump of 5.35m.
Coming off a season in which she qualified for the NCAA regionals, senior Antonique Butler started her season off strong with a win in the triple jump. Her longest jump of 11.93 set a new meet record. In the triple jump, Marshall jumpers placed one through five, as Denisha West, Melany Belot, Danielle Wright, and Lauren George all finished next respectively.
The 60m dash saw the top-3 spots all go to Marshall. Senior Kametra Byrd won the event with a time of 7.66 (new meet record), followed by senior Hope Julmiste (7.77) and sophomore Kayla Haywood (7.91).
In the 60m hurdles, Marshall runners took the top five spots, as freshman Safiyyah Mitchell won with a time of 8.78. Torrie Derrow, Melany Belot, Danielle Wright, and Sarah Bever followed her respectively.
Sophomore Makaylah Downour won the 600m run with a time of 1:37.34. She was followed in second place by freshman Christianna Dougan who ran in 1:42.34.
Junior Madeline Armstrong won the final individual event of the evening in the 800m run. She finished with a time of 2:22.73.
Lastly, in the final event of the evening, the Marshall 4x400m relay consisting of freshman Safiyyah Mitchell, junior Breanna Hargrove, and freshmen Hannah Carreon and Danere'a White won with a time of 4:07.45.
Head Coach Jeff Small on the meet:
"It was great, I was really proud of every single kid that competed today. We pretty much dominated each of the events. I've never been as excited about a single season as I am about this one. It really proved out how we competed today."
"Getting those two school records this early was awesome. The weight throw record was held by our first All-American discus thrower Erin Compton, and the shot record was held by Rachel Blankenship who was a national qualifier."
Small on stand out performances:
"Just across the board the kids did awesome. We went 1-5 in several events and I'm proud of that. Naja Greer had two really good wins, Kametra Byrd in the 60m was outstanding, and I just thought the throwers were great, the jumpers were great. I'd love to single them all out."
Assistant coach/throws coach Travis Coleman on the school records being broken:
"It's been a long time coming honestly. We had two sophomores to break two school records on the opening meet. I didn't tell this to the girls but that was honestly the goal this season. To do it the first meet is huge. Everybody threw further than they ever had in college or at least came within six inches of it. To open us like that is great start of the season for us."
On whether he expected records to be broken tonight:
"You always wish it happens that way, you never know if it will happen in the meet. Sometimes the tape measure comes out and things happen differently. We watch them day in and day out in practice and see what they throw, they know their ability, we know their ability. I tell them, `hold the vision, trust the process' and it'll all come true for wishing eventually. Today luckily it did."
After a successful start to the season, the team will not compete again until after Christmas break on January 13, 2017 when they travel to Lexington, Kentucky for the Kentucky Indoor Invitational. Follow the team on Twitter @HerdTFXC for more from tonight's meet and all season long.