April 9, 2016

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MARTIN, Tenn. – For the first time this season, the University of Tennessee at Martin cross country team split their men’s and women’s teams and embarked on differing sites of competition with the men traveling to the Auburn Tiger Classic while the women’s squad travelled to the Hilltopper Relays hosted by Western Kentucky.

While the squad dynamics and competition sites may have varied, the results and record-setting performances that have graced the Skyhawks throughout the spring track schedule remained explosive.

Traveling to the Hilltopper Relays in Bowling Green, Ky., the women’s squad saw strong performances from familiar names which proved dynamic during their freshman fall cross country seasons. The twin duo of Chantel and Cherie Wilson posted strong personal records in the women’s 3000 meter run.

Chantal Wilson stole the show in the event, posting a top-10 finish while shattering the previous school record set in 2003 by Shalaine Phaup. With a time of 10:26.8 in the event, she finished over nine seconds faster than the previous 13-year school record while ranking over 37 seconds faster than her previous personal-best set at the Vanderbilt Black & Gold Invitational earlier this year. Cherie Wilson was not far behind her twin sister, posting a time of 10:46.98 for a new PR while eclipsing her previous best by over 41 seconds.

With the men at the Auburn Tiger Classic, breakout star Jonathan Conley posted yet another record-breaking performance. In his first outdoor track season as a collegiate athlete, Conley has soared up the Skyhawk record books in his short stint. After breaking the school’s longstanding 800 meter record at the Rhodes Invitational earlier this year, Conley eclipsed that mark by two seconds to set yet another program standard with a time of 1:53.22. Conley currently holds the program records in both the 400 and 800 meter events.

On Friday night, it was the men’s 5000 meter run which highlighted the day as Bill Kinyor and Lionel Perez took to the track and achieve two PRs each. Kinyor posted a time of 15:18.53 which ranked just 12 seconds off the school record while besting his previous PR by 17 seconds set at the Rhodes Invitational. Perez wasn’t too far behind with a time of 15:39.66, finishing nine seconds faster than his previous PR.

“More school records have fallen this weekend like every weekend during the track season,” said UT Martin head coach Peter Dalton. “I look forward to seeing how our athletes keep going from strength to strength.”

The Skyhawks will rejoin forces next week when both squads travel to the Governors Invitational hosted by Austin Peay on Friday, April 15-16.

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