Track and Field excel in first home meet of season

Sophia Belletti
Contributing Writer

Sophomore Christina Solomon finished second in the women’s high jump at the VCU Ram Invitational on Saturday, March 21. Solomon finished seventh in the women’s long jump. Photo by Mary Clarke

The men’s and women’s track and field teams had strong showings in their first outdoor meet of the season.

The meet was held at Sports Backers Stadium on Saturday, March 21, as it was the track and field teams’ first home meet of the season. Both the men’s and women’s teams hosted the VCU Ram Invitational, where student-athletes competed against one another in preparation for the outdoor season.

On the men’s end, nine runners recorded top-three finishes. Senior Mohamed Adam led the Rams, placing third in the 800-meter run, with a time of 1 minute, 57.06 seconds. Senior Matt Earman was just shy of the podium, finishing fourth in the 5000-meter run with a time of 15:43.83. In the 110-meter hurdles, junior Kyle Martin earned fourth place with his 14.86 time. 

VCU had an even more impressive finish in the field events.

Freshman Shawn Scornaienchi earned a spot on the podium, finishing second in the javelin with a throw of 49.30 meters, while junior teammate Darlington Tawiah finished right behind him at fourth, throwing 45.43 meters. Sophomore Radford University transfer Ryan Enos placed second in the pole vault competition with a 3.90-meter mark.

Seniors Ryan Coles and Brandon Ruffin brought the Rams mega points. Coles placed first in discus with a throw of 51.10 meters and placed second in the hammer throw with a 47.52 meter throw. Teammate Ruffin took the top spot in the hammer throw with a mark of 3.90 meters and came in behind Coles, placing second in discus with a mark of 49.08 meters.

Finally, sophomore Richmond native Benjamin Melton placed third with a 44.31 meter throw, leaving it a strictly Ram zone on the hammer throw podium.

Two of the women’s first place finishes came from relay events. The first win came from the 4×100 meter relay team, made up of senior Alexis Stroman, junior Verna Hilaire-Lee, sophomore De’Nisha Smith and junior Carina Peter, coming in at 47.07. The second relay team was made up of freshman Nichelle Scott, junior Briana Krumholz, senior Nicole Grasty and senior Qualitra Brown. The 4×400 member team crossed the line at 3:52.62.

The women’s team also saw first place finishes from senior Kiara Porter and sophomore Emily Dyke. Porter ran an 11.75 in 100-meter dash, which matches the meet record that was set back in 2011, while Dyke ran a 2:15.55 in the 800-meter run. Senior Qualitra Brown placed second and junior Carina Peter placed third, following closely behind Porter in the 100-meter with 12.19 and 12.30 times.

In the 400-meter dash, sophomore De’Nisha Smith was the top VCU finisher, taking second at 57.51, while teammate and senior runner Amethyst Polk crossed at 57.72 for fourth place.

In the hurdle events, two VCU runners, freshman Irielle Little and senior Amani Harper, squeezed their way onto the podium, finishing third. Little finished with a time of 15.16 in the 100-meter hurdle and Harper finished at 1:06.21 in the 400 meters hurdles.

In the field events, sophomore Christina Soloman recorded a jump of 1.65 meters in the high jump to place second. Freshmen Amiaya Carey, D’aysa Jones and Denise O’Rourke also performed well. Carey rounded out the top-five at 1.60 meters, and Jones placed second in the pole vault with a mark of 2.85 meters. O’Rourke placed third in the discus with a throw of 43.12 meters. Lastly, junior Briana Ratchford  brought home a gold for the Rams, winning the javelin with a throw of 40.50 meters.

Next up for both men’s and women’s track and field teams is a March 29 split squad meet, where one squad will compete in the Fred Hardy Invitational in Richmond, Virginia and the other squad in the Raleigh relays in Raleigh, North Carolina. 

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