Story by Justin Gaston, Contributing writer
Head Coach Jenny Swieton said this year’s freshman class has given the track and field team an extra boost of momentum heading into the OVC Championships on Feb. 26.
“We knew we had a really good freshman class coming in this year,” Swieton said. “So we definitely knew that this year could be a big improvement over the past couple years.”
This past Friday and Saturday at the Music City Challenge in Nashville, Tennessee, freshman sprinter Tamdra Lawrence finished ninth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.69 seconds. Sophomore sprinter Deja Rodgers also competed in the event, running 25.56 seconds. Freshman sprinter and hurdler Jocelyn Payne set a new personal record in the event with a time of 25.83 seconds.
Freshman hurdler Jabreuna Brimlett tied her personal best, running 8.61 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles to place sixth in the preliminaries. She took seventh in the finals with a time of 8.78 seconds.
Brimlett set a personal record in the triple jump, 39 feet 2.25 inches. The personal record ranks fourth in the all-time rankings at Murray State.
The Racers’ 4×400-meter relay team placed seventh at the meet. The team, made up of Lawrence, Brimlett, sophomore sprinter Anna Curlin and Payne, placed seventh, setting a season best with a time of 3 minutes 57 seconds.
Freshman thrower Christina Meinhardt placed tenth in the shot put, setting a personal record throwing 41 feet 3.75 inches.
Swieton said the freshmen class has transitioned and adjusted very well as has the entire team battling around weather conditions affecting how they practice.
Swieton, while proud of how well the team has been doing is still expecting growing pains to come from the underclassmen throughout the season.
“At the end of the day, there are going to be people that are going to be at their best maybe in March, maybe in April and they’re hanging on for dear life and that’s part of the coach-athlete relationship,” Swieton said.
Three Racers broke the school record in the 3,000 -meter. Sophomore distance runner Vallery Korir, senior distance runners Brittany Bohn and Ali Hester each put up record times that currently rank them first, second and third all-time in the 3,000.
Other notable stats:
- Korir placed 11th in the 3,000 with a time of 9 minutes 49 seconds. Bohn finished with a personal best time of 9 minutes 51 seconds. Hester finished with a time of 9 minutes 54 seconds, a new personal record.
- Sophomore distance runner Meagan Smith set a personal record in the event, finishing with a time of 10 minutes 11 seconds. Sophomore distance runner Caroline Grogan also finished nearing her personal best (10 minutes 24 seconds).
- Junior mid-distance runner Tia Weston finished second in the 800-meter dash. Weston finished with a time of 2 minutes 18 seconds almost matching her personal best.
- Sophomore mid-distance runner Emani Griffin placed third in with a time of 2 minutes 18 seconds, which is a new personal record.
- Senior long distance runner Emma Gilmore ran a season best in the mile with a time of 5 minutes 04 seconds.
- Senior distance runner Leah Krause (5 minutes 12 seconds), sophomore distance runner Rebekah Priddy who ran a time of 5 minutes 15 seconds and sophomore distance runner Emily Flaherty who finished 5 minutes, 30 seconds. Flaherty, Priddy and freshman distance runner Ida Mutai who ran 5 minutes 25 seconds, all set personal records in this event.
- Sophomore hurdler and jumper Taylor McCammon set a personal record in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.88 seconds.
- In the 5,000-meter Krause set a new personal record. Krause finished 10th as she ran 17 minutes 57 seconds, ranking seventh all time at Murray State.
- Priddy also set a personal record of 18 minutes 08 seconds coming in closely behind Krause.
The Racers have been firing on all cylinders this indoor season, hoping to carry that momentum into the OVC Championships.
The Racers are set to compete at the OVC Indoor Championship in Nashville, Tennessee on Feb. 26-27. This will be the final indoor track meet for the Racers this season.