TWO SCHOOL RECORDS FALL AT SPRING OPENER FOR UT MARTIN TRACK AND FIELD
January 21, 2018
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CHARLESTON, Ill. – The University of Tennessee at Martin track and field squads opened the spring portion of the indoor season at the John Craft Invite hosted by Eastern Illinois on Saturday.
The Skyhawks would start the season strong as two program records fell by the wayside. With an impressive showing in the opener, a squad veteran in Jonathan Conley and a junior newcomer Va’shawnda Smith broke a pair of school marks.
Conley opened his junior season on a strong note by notching his fifth school record, this time in the men’s 600m run with a top time of 1:22.71 to win the event. His career mark joins his other program records in the indoor DMR along with outdoor marks in the 200m, 400m, 800m. Another standout performance as the outing by Vashawnda Smith who notched a personal and school record in the women’s 60m dash with a time of 7.88 seconds.
The Skyhawks saw its men’s 4x400m relay team of Jhon-Wes Walker, Luke McNair, Kewan Slaton and Jonathan Conley excel, winning the relay with a time of 3:30.08.
Transitioning into the shorter distances, freshman Josiah Smith made it to the finals of the 60m dash with a PR time of 7.25 seconds. Meanwhile on the women’s side, Keilla Tud made it to the finals of the long jump with a PR distance of 4.86 meters while notching a time of 8.29 seconds in the 60m. In the women’s 60m hurdles, sophomore Malia Sanders also made it to the finals with a mark of 9.76 seconds.
Moving up in distance, freshman Darin Donnell posted a solid performance in the men’s 200m with a time of 24.46 seconds. Then in the 3k portion of the meet, freshman Andrew Dodson posted a PR and broke the nine-minute barrier with a mark of 8:55.84 while on the women’s side, newcomer Summer Pierson notched a strong showing in her Skyhawk debut with a third place finish of 10:46.49.
“The athletes have worked really hard over the break and all the signs we’ve seen today are very positive,” said UT Martin head coach Peter Dalton. “There is room for improvement team-wide, but we certainly have the talent and determination to make this track season a great success.”
UT Martin will return to the track on Saturday, Jan. 27 with an appearance at the A-State Invitation and Multis hosted by Arkansas State.