May 13, 2018

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The University of Tennessee at Martin track squad put a strong wrap on its regular season over the weekend, with an impressive and strategic showing at the Ohio Valley Conference Outdoor Track Championships hosted by Tennessee Tech.

The Skyhawks saw several athletes not only post strong times, but run tactically to score points for the team. Junior Leonel Perez led the way for UT Martin notching a second place finish to reach the podium in the men’s 1500m, after also reaching the podium with a third place honor in 2017.

While Perez ranked as the Skyhawks lone standout to reach the podium, several others narrowly missed the platform with three different fourth place performances. Junior Jonathan Conley posted a fourth place time in the men’s 800m event. In the men’s 5k, sophomore Ryan Ford was impressive by garnering five points. On the women’s side, sophomore Kara Martin ranked fourth in the women’s 1500m event while doubling back to pick up additional points in the 800m with a seventh place finish.

Freshman Fedrick Kipyego actually started the scoring for the Skyhawks in his 10k debut with a fifth place finish on Thursday evening. Not only did his performance kick-start the action for the Skyhawks, he later returned to action in the 5k by scoring again with a strong seventh place finish.

Sophomore Austin Rogers paced a strong group of Skyhawk performers in the men’s 3k steeplechase with a seventh place finish.

Sophomore Kewan Slaton paced the sprint squad by setting a school record in the men’s 100m prelims with a time of 10.62. Earning a spot in the finals, he finished fifth in the 100m finals while notching a sixth place finish in the 200m final with another school record. With his strong stretch of performances to close out the track season, Slaton is certainly an athlete to watch in the future and will lead a talented group of incoming recruits.

In the women’s 4x100m relay, the group of Maya Brown, Jasmyn Pilcher, Jessica Smith and VaShawnda Smith posted a seventh place finish and scored for the team.

“What a great way to finish the season,” UT Martin head coach Peter Dalton said. “The men outdid themselves and really turned some heads. It’s an exciting time for both teams with how young both squads are and the rate of progress on display.”

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