GAINESVILLE, Fla. and GREENVILLE, N.C. – Across a chaotic Saturday of track and field, Hokies punched in school records, PRs and high-ranking performances at the Bill Carson Invitational and the weather-delayed Florida Relays.
Originally scheduled to begin at 11:30 AM, severe weather in the Gainesville area delayed the Florida Relays nearly seven hours. Once the meet resumed, the temperature had dropped significantly, and rain continued to fall at James G. Pressly Stadium.
Opening the evening session in Gainesville was the 4x100m relay team of Kahleje “KJ” Tillmon, Kennedy Harrison, Torrence Walker, and Cole Beck. The squad passed the baton around the 400m track in just 39.14 seconds under the Florida rain to win the event, breaking the Hokies’ school record and setting the No. 1 time in the ACC and the No. 5 time in the NCAA this year.
Joining the efforts of the 4x100m stars was the throwing crew of Essence Henderson, Tyson Jones, Fiona Richards, and Rebecca Mammel. Henderson followed up her win in the discus invitational Friday night with a third-place finish in the shot put on Saturday, throwing a season’s best of 16.51m (54′ 2″) to move into third this season in the ACC.
In the men’s edition of the shot put Jones launched 18.25m (59′ 10.5″), taking second in the event and moving into the No. 2 spot in the ACC this year. In the discus ring, Fiona Richards finished in third place with Rebecca Mammel taking sixth in the final event of the Florida Relays.
At East Carolina’s Bill Carson Invite, the jumps and multi event groups continued their strong start to outdoor competition. Hokies swept the men’s and women’s high jump competitions, as Aidan Clark cleared 2.07m (6′ 9.5″) for the win on the men’s side, and Rosie Cicmanec leaped over a season’s best height of 1.70m (5′ 7″) to win the women’s section.
More pole vaulters opened their outdoor campaign in Greenville, as first Marley McCall debuted outdoors with third place and an outdoor PR of 3.55m (11′ 8″) in the women’s event. On the men’s side, Hokies claimed four of the top five spots. Jacob Rice took home the win for Tech with a clearance of 5.01m (16′ 5.25″) in his outdoor opener, as Jake Spotswood (2nd), Joey Badalamenti (4th), and Sean Murphy (5th) closed out the top-five finishers.
Long jumper Donovan Louis breezed out to a personal best in the 100m at the Bill Carson Invite, shaving four hundredths off his PR with a finish of 10.72 seconds for a third-place finish. In the triple jump, Hailey Huston Myles took second place in the women’s competition and Devin Daye-Schafer earned third in the men’s section.
Up next for the Hokies will be a trip to Knoxville, Tenn. for the Tennessee Relays. Throwers and sprinters will take a weekend off, as the distance squad, jumps and multis squads, and pole vaulters travel for the meet scheduled to run April 7-9.
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