March 13, 2013
In one of the most successful seasons in years for the Marshall Indoor Track and Field team, three athletes finished the season ranked in the Top 50 in the nation. Additionally, the student-athletes achieved 41 personal best times and broke six school records during the season’s eight competitions.
“I thought we had a very successful indoor season this year,” said Marshall head coach Jeff Small. “We broke several school records along the way, as well as a ton of lifetime bests recorded by our athletes.”
Senior Amber Pierson became the first Conference USA finals qualifier, placing 5th in the 400 meter run. The sprinters also broke three school records, as Shanice Johnson set a new best time in the 200 meter run (24.86). The 4x400 relay broke the school record twice this season, first by five seconds with a time of 3:48.60, and then a second time by one second (3:47.20). The relay placed eighth at the conference championships and recorded five of the top six all time 4X4 times.
Senior Jasia Richardson led a group of five jumpers in bringing the Thundering Herd success this season. Richardson was the C-USA leader in the rankings, finishing the season ranked tied for 16th in the nation. Richardson set the school record in the triple jump (42’4.75), finishing as the runner up at the conference championships. Senior Crystal Walker and sophomore Loren Dyer also recorded top-ten finishes in the triple jump at the championships, placing fifth and tenth, respectively.
Walker set the school record in the long jump twice, with an ultimate best mark of 20’1.50. Walker placed ninth in the event at the conference championships, finishing the season ranked 37th in the nation. Pierson and junior Elaine Derricott finished 10th and 11th, respectively, at the championships.
In multi events, senior Vanessa Jules had a dominant 2013 season competing in the pentathlon. Jules set the school record at the Akron Invitational, earning 3827 points. At the conference championships, Jules worked to a second-place finish for the second year in a row. She now holds the top three all-time pentathlon scores at Marshall and finished the season ranked 48th in the nation.
The distance crew accounted for 23 personal bests, with the distance medley relay finishing ninth at conference, just one second shy of the school record.
In all, the team had 70 personal bests on the season. Forty-one came in the sprints, hurdles and jumps, 23 in the distance and six came in the throws.
In the field events, junior Amanda Hottenstein led the throwers, who collectively recorded six personal best performances this season. Hottenstein placed 10th at the conference championships in the shot put.
Despite the team’s undoubted success this season, the squad is hoping to improve on its marks en route to an even better outdoor season this spring.
“I wish we could have finished a little stronger at the conference meet, but we came up a bit short of our expectations. I believe that due to our accomplishments indoors, we are prepared to have a great outdoor season,” Small said.