|Middle Tennessee sophomore Cordairo Golden won the men’s long jump competition while junior Ann Dudley claimed the women’s high jump to highlight Day 1 at the Sun Belt Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Golden leaped 24 feet, 5.75 inches (7.46 meters) to capture the event championship. Meanwhile Blue Raider freshman Solomon Atosona finished fifth and sophomore Junior Cadet finished sixth, each posting marks of 23-8.25 (7.22). Golden also claimed a sixth-place finish in the men’s high jump, leaping 6-2.75 (1.90m).
In the women’s high jump, Dudley successfully cleared the bar at 5-9.75 (1.77), two inches higher than runner-up Tikiera Relaford of FIU to win the event. The Jacksonville, Fla., product began the day by placing fourth in the women’s heptathlon.
The Blue Raider men finished Saturday’s events with a total of 24.5 points which puts them in third place while the women are currently in fifth with 31 points. Western Kentucky has 37.5 points to lead on the men’s side and North Texas grabbed 44 points on Saturday to claim the women’s lead.
Middle Tennessee junior Euphemia Edem and seniors Rosina Amenebede and Kiara Henry all claimed vital top-eight finishes in the women’s long jump. Edem placed fourth, jumping 19 feet, 11.50 inches (6.08 meters) while Amenebede finished seventh with a leap of 19-6.25 (5.95m). Henry meanwhile posted a mark of 19-2.00 (5.84m) to place eighth.
Senior Justus David placed second in an exciting finish in the men’s 3,000 meters. Trailing the entire race, he nearly completed a thrilling comeback but was edged at the line by Western Kentucky’s Joseph Chebet. David clocked a time of 8 minutes, 12.08 seconds while Chebet ran an 8:11.80.
Freshman Lucy Kapkiai placed second in the women’s 3,000-meter competition, recording a time of 9:43.77. North Texas’ Sarah Dietz won the race while logging a time of 9:39.18.
In the men’s 800-meter preliminaries, Robinson Simatei was deemed winner while David was second in the third heat of the event with equal times of 1:54.20 as they both advanced to Sunday’s final. Amber Jackson and Autumn Gipson advanced to the women’s finals with respective times of 2:13.29 and 2:15.62.
Middle Tennessee had a nice day in the sprints preliminaries. Steven Palmer ran a time of 48.22 seconds and Asa Bowman logged a 49.18 to advance to the finals of the men’s 400 meters. Kiara Henry recorded a time of 24.82 while Christal Wilson crossed the finish line in 24.90 seconds to advance to the finals of the women’s 200 meters.
In the 55 meters, Drayton Calhoun posted a time of 6.33 seconds to win the second heat while Kenneth Gilstrap clocked a 6.38 to win the third heat. They will be joined in Sunday’s finals by Kendall Bacchus who also advanced. Henry logged a 7.14 while Sheniece Daphness and Amenebede ran equal times of 7.17 seconds to make it to the finals.
Senior Roscoe Payne recorded an impressive time of 7.22 to win the second heat of the men’s 55-meter hurdles preliminaries and guarantee himself a spot in the finals. Meanwhile Amenebede, Dudley and Wilson all advanced in the women’s competition.
Live statistics as well as web streaming of select events of the Sun Belt Championships can be followed at SunBeltsports.org. Results of Sunday’s events will be posted on the teams’ Facebook and Twitter pages as soon as they become available with a full recap and results available on GoBlueRaiders.com at the day.
Follow the Blue Raider track and field teams on Twitter @MTTrackField and on Facebook at the MT Track & Field page. Also, stay up-to-date on the teams on the new Track & Field Notebook, which can be found here as well as linked on the Track & Field page on GoBlueRaiders.com.