February 4, 2018

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The University of Tennessee at Martin track and field squads posted strong performances at the Don DeNoon Invitational hosted by Southern Illinois on Saturday afternoon, picking up three individual victories while posting a handful of school records and numerous personal bests.

The Skyhawks would compete against some of the region’s best while picking up victories in the 800m, mile and 3k. Included in the wins were school records in the 1k and mile for UT Martin to highlight a banner day.  

Jonathan Conley got the action started with a new PR and an event victory in the 800m run, notching a time of 1:54.93 to pace the field.

The Skyhawks would jump up in distance with several PRs in both team’s mile event. On the women’s side, it was sophomore Kara Martin who returned back to her home state and put on a show, breaking the school record and posting an event victory with a time of 5:00.17 to best her own previous mark by over four seconds set at the same meet. Meanwhile on the men’s side, Leonel Perez finish runner-up in the event while setting a new PR with a school-record time of 4:14.62, shattering the previous mark by over eight seconds. Will Oglesby would also post a PR in the mile with a time of 4:33.81.

Sticking with the theme of distance events, the Skyhawks saw several strong performances in each squad’s respective 3k. In the men’s 3k, the Skyhawk duo of Ryan Ford (8:33.85) and Fedrick Kipyego (8:36.04) finished in the top two spots in the field with PRs to notch the program’s third event victory of the day. On the women’s side, sophomores Lydia Lee (10:37.7) and Sydney Larkin (10:47.94) also notched PRs.

Dropping down in distance, Jhon-Wes Walker would post a school record of his own with a PR in the 1k event with a time of 2:36.71, besting the 15-year old record by five seconds. Joey Palumbo also notched a PR of his own with a time of 2:37.45 which also would have bested the previous school mark.

Moving into the sprint events, sophomore Maya Brown posted a new PR in the 60m dash with a time of 8:16 while Rashadda Dancy notched a nice afternoon in the 400m. The Skyhawk duo of Vashawnda Smith (26.50) and Jasmyn Pilcher (27.02) ran well in the women’s 200m dash while Kewan Slaton competed well in double-duty in the 200m (23.00) and 400m (52.51) events.

“This meet was a major step forward for the team,” said UT Martin head coach Peter Dalton. “Our confidence continues to climb as the races get more and more important.”

UT Martin will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 10 at the Samford Open.

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