JONESBORO, AR (astateredwolves.com) – The Arkansas State men’s and women’s track and field teams combined for nine first-place finishes during the second and final day of the A-State Invitational, held inside the Convocation Saturday.
The women’s team recorded six of those nine top finishes with Kristina Knott having a part in three of those, including the second leg of the 4x400-meter relay team which set the school record with a time of 3:50.76. Gracee Damron, Christin Dornback, and Keturah Smith were the other members of the squad with Knott. Additionally, Knott won the 55-meter dash by clocking a personal-best 6.90 and finished atop the long jump standings with a leap of 5.96m.
Sophomore Calea Carr set the school record in the shot put with a toss of 15.45m to win the event, while teammate Erin Farmer claimed third with a throw of 15.29m. Emenderlyn Iwuji won the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 8.07, while Darragh May finished second with a time of 8.39. May and teammate Ivery Guyton tied for the high jump title by clearing 1.66m to wrap up the titles on the women’s side.
“I thought this was a really good meet for us,” A-State head track and field coach Jim Patchell said. “I can only think of one or two other meets for us across the board where we had this many good performances. There are still some areas we have to get better at, but we lost some mental focus in some areas. Overall though, we had 17 personal records and two school records. We had kids moving up on the national list so overall I’m happy with where we are for the second meet of the year.”
Rickus Jacobs was victorious for the men in the 5000-meter run with a time of 14:56.18, while senior Wil Norris clocked a time of 15:02.57 to claim second place. Tiaan Steenkamp tied with Jordan Wesner of Memphis to win the high jump with a personal-best leap of 2.16m. Roelf Pienaar was the other first-place finisher on the men’s side with a jump of 15.31m in the triple jump.
“In track and field we’re practicing to be competitive because you can’t have peak performances across the board every single meet,” continued Patchell. “We are actually training through this meet, so I’m surprised we had so many personal bests, which is a good sign for later in the year. We’re ahead of the game of where we were at last year so if we stay focused and healthy we’ll be alright.”
Erika Christian registered a second-place finish in the 400-meter dash for the women’s team with a time of 57.90, while Alexandra Pevtsova and Megan Wright both finished in a tie for sixth place in the pole vault by clearing 3.65m.
On the men’s side, Travius Chambers clocked a 49.60 in the 400-meter dash to place second, while teammate Zach VanGundy also tallied a second-place finish in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:56.50. The Red Wolves were also very successful in the 1-mile run with Jacobs earning second place (4:15.16), Drew Mueller third place (personal-best 4:16.14), and Norris fifth place (4:22.28). Jaylen Bacon finished third in the 55-meter dash by clocking a time of 6.34.
A-State’s 4x400-meter relay team of Quinten Nash, Bacon, Henry Offiah, and Chambers placed second with a time of 3:20.20. Senior Billy Ellis clocked a time of 7.67 to finish fifth in the 55-meter hurdles, while Clint Ligon posted a personal best of 4,842 points in the heptathlon to finish second. Ligon was followed by teammate David Phillips in the event with 4,760 points, good for third.
The team will travel to Birmingham, Ala., Jan. 31 for the University of New Orleans Invitational at the Birmingham CrossPlex.