Story by Quinnen Taylor, Staff writer
The Murray State track and field team competed in the Joe Walker Invitational from March 24-25 in Oxford, Mississippi, and came away with 19 top-10 performances.
Head Coach Jenny Swieton said she’s happy with how her team started the outdoor track and field season.
“They all look really good, we’re excited,” Swieton said. “I think Tamdra [Lawrence] started the weekend off really well with a PR in the 200s and we had some other really good performances in the 200s. The [5,000-meter] girls did really well. Meagan [Smith] ran an outdoor PR and moved into the top-10 list so that was nice. They all performed really well.”
Sophomore sprinter Tamdra Lawrence started the outdoor season with a second-place finish in the 100-meter dash clocking in at 12.11 seconds. Lawrence also placed third in the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.87 seconds.
Freshman sprinter Norma Abdur-Rafia ran 12.41 seconds in the 100-meter dash and 24.23 seconds in the 200-meter dash, finishing eighth in both events.
Junior distance runner Meagan Smith began her outdoor season with a run of 17 minutes, 46 seconds in the 5,000-meter run, earning third place. The Racers also took sixth in the 5,000-meter run after freshman distance runner Maura Farrell clocked in at 18 minutes, seven seconds.
Murray State’s 4×400 relay squad finished at three minutes, 47 seconds, placing second. Murray State also took third in the 4×100 relay sprinting at 46.42 seconds.
The Racers’ next meets will take place from March 31 through April 1. Some runners will race in either the Wash U Invitational in St. Louis or at the Margaret Simmons Invitational in Murray.
Last season, the Racers split up the runners for both events and came away with 13 top-10 performances.
Swieton said the training between the OVC Indoor Championships and the first outdoor meet will pave the way for the upcoming meets.
“We just had four weeks between indoor OVC and now,” Swieton said. “So, we use those four weeks to work hard and that makes when they have good performances even more exciting because they’re coming off some really hard training. But, we’ll really get going. Each weekend will get a little more competitive and more towards what we want to do at OVC.”
Murray State will then compete April 7-8, when they travel to Bowling Green, Kentucky, for the Western Kentucky Relays.
During the last Western Kentucky Relays, the Racers collected 11 top-10 finishes.
After the Western Kentucky Relays, the Racers’ next meet will be April 15 in Clarksville, Tennessee, for the Austin Peay Invitational.