Story by Blake Sandlin, contributing writer
Murray State’s women’s track team might have been experiencing a sense of déjà vu this last weekend upon entering the VU Multipurpose Center at Vanderbilt for the second consecutive time in a little over a month, but that didn’t stop them from competing with some of the NCAA’s top contenders.
The first invitational, the Vanderbilt Opener, included 10 teams, including the University of Louisville and Memphis University, along with many teams that are also a part of the OVC, such as Tennessee Tech and Austin Peay State. The most recent, the Commodore Invitational, invited a much tougher field, including nationally-ranked schools like eighth-ranked Louisiana State and 11th-ranked University of Tennessee.
Despite the talented field, the Racers were able to focus on their own performance and compete with some of the best in the country. By doing so, they were able to capitalize on their second opportunity to compete at Vanderbilt, placing highly in numerous events and improving on their times, setting new personal records.
For the sprinters, sophomore Tamdra Lawrence improved on her 24.46-second time in the women’s 200-meter set at the Dec. 3 meet, finishing with 24.32 to place ninth. Her performance this last weekend set her new personal best. Junior Taylor McCammon showed an improvement in her 60-meter hurdles time, surpassing her previous time of 8.79 to give her an 11th place finish out of 33 runners.
In the 400-meter, senior Taylor Adcock shed a second off of her original time to finish with a 1:02.18. Junior Rebekah Priddy set a new personal record in the 800-meter with a time of 2:27, earning her 27th place out of 37 runners. She also set a new personal record in the mile run, finishing in 28th out of 72 runners.
Moving to the field events, McCammon increased her long jump from 5.4 meters on Dec. 3 to 5.7 meters at the Jan. 17 meet. Shot put also showed big improvements, with freshman Jewel Wagner increasing her distance from 11.96 meters to 12.43 meters, freshman Destiny Carey increasing from 11.36 meters to 12.55 meters and sophomore Christina Meinhardt increasing from 11.33 meters to 11.93 meters.
While only two meets into Murray State’s 2016 indoor season, the team has already managed to improve on their previous times and is aiming to keep a steady pace as they carry their momentum into their next meet when they take action at 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 20 to compete in the Gladstein Invitational in Bloomington, Indiana.