The Rams women’s track and field squad is looking to build upon its strong showing last year, and have already participated in two meets.
While the Rams welcomed 17 newcomers to the team, that did not stop them from starting their season on a high note. On Jan. 9, the Rams began their season at George Mason University, where they took third in the GMU Father Diamond Invitational.
The Rams 4x800m relay team finished third and set a school record with a time of 9:23.80. Members of the team were junior Emily Dyke, freshman Ashley Greenlee, sophomore Nichelle Scott and senior Elizabeth Stump.
The Rams 4x400m relay team also finished third with a time of 3:52.88. The relay team was led by senior leadoff runner Verna Hilaire-Lee, freshman and second leg Taylor Watkins, third leg Greenlee and freshman anchor Latrice Morris.
Other notable finishes were sophomore jumper Amiaya Carey, whose high jump reached 5’3″ and earned her fifth place. Freshman jumper and hurdler Alliyah Stevens also finished fifth in the long jump with a distance of 17’11.5”.
“The first meet of the year is always an opportunity to see where we are and evaluate the athletes after the winter break,” said Head Coach Jon Riley. “Our women went out and competed hard. The staff wanted to see the athletes compete with passion and fire and that’s exactly what they did.”
On Jan. 13 the Rams traveled to Hampton University, where they took first place at the Hampton University Tri-Meet. It was a team effort that led VCU to get its first win of the season.
Redshirt-freshman sprinter Kia Carson placed second and third respectively in the 200m and 60m dashes where she ran times of 25.65 and 7.72.
Stevens, who built upon her impactful first collegiate showing at the GMU Father Diamond Invitational, had a personal best time in the 60m hurdles where she ran a 9.07. Stevens also participated in the long jump where she finished second with a 18’4”.
In the 400m dash, junior mid-distance runner Iman Lee took first place, while sophomore Jasmine Lackey placed second with times of 1:01.51 and 1:02.59.
Again, Riley was enthusiastic about the way his players performed and enjoyed seeing older players show their leadership throughout the meet.
“Today was a great opportunity to learn and compete,” Riley said. “We had some of our returners step up and show the young kids how to compete with passion. We are still a ways away from where we want to be but today we took one step closer.”
The Rams will travel to George Mason University on Saturday, Jan. 30, to compete in the GMU Patriot Games.
Erika Robinson, Contributing Writer