Story by Justin Gaston, Contributing writer
After spending their Spring Break doing some team bonding, the Racers kicked off the start of their outdoor season at the Black and Gold Open Invitational last weekend at Vanderbilt.
While there were no overall team points scored in this invitational, the Racers came out strong by setting some personal best times as well as a new school record in the 2,000-meter steeplechase by sophomore distance runner Rebekah Priddy with a time of 7 minutes, 6 seconds, placing her fourth in the event.
Priddy also set a new personal best record in the 1,500-meter race with a time of 4 minutes 51 seconds. Sophomore distance runner Vallery Korir also ran a personal best of 4 minutes, 38 seconds. Senior distance runner Leah Krause ran a time of 4 minutes, 49 seconds, also a personal best.
The distance runners for Murray State continued their success on to day two of events with Korir running the 3000 meter in 9 minutes, 50 seconds, a new personal best that makes her time the second-fastest outdoor time in Murray State history.
Other notable times:
- Freshman sprinter Tamdra Lawrence finished second in the 200-meter dash, running the fourth-fastest time in Murray State history with a time of 23.94 seconds.
- Krause also ran her personal record in the 3000 meter, running a time of 10 minutes, 27 seconds. Her time is the tenth all-time best at Murray State. Senior distance runner Heatherly Paschall finished with her personal best time of 11 minutes, 38 seconds in the event.
- Freshman hurdler Jabreuna Brimlett ran the 100-meter hurdles, finishing in 13.97 seconds, placing her fourth-fastest time in Murray State history.
- Senior hurdler Lauren Miller also set a personal best time in the event with a time of 15.14 seconds.
- Senior jumper Jill Jachino made a personal best in the triple jump, jumping 11.63 meters putting her at seventh-best triple jump in Murray State history.
Head Coach Jenny Swieton talked about her satisfaction with the Racers performance in their opening meet of the season.
“I think we would’ve scored really well,” Swieton said. “If the invitational had kept an overall team score.”
The Racers competed well against more than 20 other Division I schools in two long days of meets with multiple competitors. Oftentimes when there are a large number of teams and competitors in a meet such as this, athletes are more susceptible to injury due to muscles tightening after long periods of waiting and weather changes throughout the day.
Swieton said they were lucky many of the Racers compete in multiple events, which really helps keep players from waiting around and tightening up. Swieton also said she plans to shorten the number of events her players compete in the smaller meets.
The Racers will compete again Friday, hosting their only home meet this season at Roy Stewart Stadium for the Margaret Simmons Invite.