Freshmen Show Up Big at Invite

The track team is well into their season and each week the athletes are getting better and better. This week was no different as the team traveled to Roanoke College to compete in the Finn Pincus Invitational. Although the meet was not scored the Koalas put up some great times and distances. This week produced 17 qualifying performances which also lead to a number of new school records and multiple top ten performances.

The freshman class really stepped up this week and a majority of those qualifiers mentioned earlier came from freshman. Leading this first year group was Amber Bell, who comes to Columbia from Sebastian, Florida. She started off the day by running a qualifying time of 8.12 in the 60m. Follwed up by running not only a qualifying time but also a new school record for the 200m with a time of 26.62. Following Bell's lead was fellow freshman Aija Wall who also qualified in the 200 with a time of 28.34. Heather Woolard qualified in the 400 (1:06.60), Long Jump (5.01m), and Triple Jump (10.25m) all of which were top ten performances as well. Tehraja Owens competed in the long jump and qualified for conference with a jump of 4.46m. Capping off the freshman class takeover for this meet were throwers Aleah Bromell and Alondrea Reid. In the shot put even Bromell threw for a distance of 10.97m which is a top ten throw. As well as broke the school record for weight throw with a toss of 13.05m. Reid was able to qualify for the conference meet in the weight throw with a distance of 10.08. 

Although this meet featured breakout performances from the first year athletes, the upper classmen still came out and performed very well. Sophomores Kelsey White- Kennedy and Sabree Walker both qualified in the 60m dash with times of 8.09 and 8.39 respectively. White-Kennedy also put together a 400m race that would qualify her as well at 1:05.00. 

And last but not least were Juniors Aleah Haltiwanger and Alyssa Waibel. Haltiwanger qualified in both the long and triple jump with a distance of 4.49 and 9.38m respectively. Waibel competed the way she has since cross country season. Qualifying in the 600m with a time of 1:46.62 and also breaking the school record for the mile with a time of 5:37.25. 

The ladies are running strong and look to continue to grow as a team. This weekend coming up the teams will be traveling seperately. The jumpers will be heading to East Tennessee for a jumpers only meet. The sprinters will be going up the street to USC to compete in an invite.