Adam Cheek, Staff Writer
Track and Field continued the indoor season at the VMI Keydet Invitational this weekend, taking home an array of results, a quartet of top-five finishes, over the course of the two-day event.
The 4-x-400 relay team posted a second-place result with senior mid-distance runner Ashley Greenlee and senior sprinter Taylor Watkins leading the way. They teamed up with junior sprinters Kayla Smith and Kara Lyles to finish with a time of 3:49.55. Lyles also set a new personal best in the 400-meter, with a new time of 57.68.
Redshirt-senior mid-distance runner Nichelle Scott brought home a bronze finish with a 5:06.36 time in the one-mile run, while junior jumper Janelle Cheatham recorded a fourth-place long jump effort with a 5.53-meter jump, a personal best.
Men’s track and field ended the weekend on a high note as well, recording a number of top-10 results. Freshman thrower Jaekob Vollbrecht finished with a third-place effort in shot put with a 16.93-meter throw, while sophomore high jumper Xyan Xrichardson took home fifth in high jump with a two-meter leap.
The 4-x-400 meter relay squad recorded a sixth-place effort with freshman hurdler Daiqwaun Faircloth and three sprinters — redshirt-senior Nicholas Buckingham, junior Chukwuezugo Aguolu and freshman Emmanuel Waller — combining to clock in just under 3 1/2 minutes.
Junior distance runner Lucas Sidle set a personal best and a seventh-place effort in the one-mile run with a time just under 4 1/2 minutes, while freshmen distance runners Archie Blaes and Paul Rosacia recorded new bests in the 3000. Blaes recorded a time of 9:01.69, while Rosacia was just two seconds behind.
The women’s team kicked off the weekend with some podium finishes, including junior distance runner Emily Mulhern, who brought home a victory in the 5000. Mulhern clocked in at 16:57.60, a full minute quicker than the runner-up in the event.
The Black and Gold 4-x-800 meter squad won the event with a time of 9:07.27. Junior mid-distance runners Ashley Brown and Judith White, as well as seniors Greenlee and Scott, teamed up to get the victory.
Redshirt-junior thrower Samantha Yankson recorded a 14.72-meter toss in the weight throw, good for 11th place, while sophomore jumper Aliyah Newman took home second in the triple jump with a 12.09-meter leap.
The men’s team also started out strong at the invitational. Senior sprinter Jamik Alexander and junior distance runner Bryce Catlett each recorded fourth-place efforts in their respective disciplines, Alexander in the 60 semifinals and Catlett in the 5000. Alexander recorded a 7.11 time in the second heat, while Catlett came home with a time of 15:19.52.
Redshirt-senior sprinter Devon Thompson placed ninth out of 32 in the 500 with a time of 1:06.04, while Vollbrecht also finished ninth in the weight throw with a new personal best of 16.01 meters.
The 4×800 meter team — composed of h distance runners Sidle, freshman Jacari Jennings, freshman Alvin Hamilton and sophomore Jordan Fountain — came home in third with a time of 8:02.14.
Track and Field will travel to Fairfax Jan. 25 for the George Mason Invitational.