The Murray State track and field team returned to action for the first time in the new year as they competed at the Illini Open at The Armory at the University of Illinois. In a field of eight teams, which included multiple Big Ten and Big East teams as well as OVC rivals Southeast Missouri and Eastern Illinois, the Racers finished fourth.
“Today was a good day to get closer to our goals,” said Coach Adam Kiesler. “We put a lot of athletes in a lot of events and they all worked very hard. Each group had a goal heading into this meet and they all achieved them. The throwers got us started with a solid showing in the weight throw and it kept going from there. We look forward to the next few weeks of practice to continue working towards our overall goals.”
Senior Aubrey Main was the first winner on the day for the Racers as she placed first in the high jump with a mark of 1.70m, matching her personal best.
Shortly after that, Antoinetta Avant and Tamdra Lawrence swept the short sprints, as Avant won the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.83 and Lawrence won the 60m with a time of 7.52. Avant also placed seventh in the 60m about five minutes after winning her hurdles race.
The Racers saw many other great performances including Rachel Hagans and Daijah White who finished third (1:00.07, PR) and sixth (1:01.16) respectively in the 400m dash. Hagans also finished eighth in the 60m (7.94)
Katelyn Gilbert set a new personal record in the mile with a time of 5:35.39 while finishing seventh.
Three Racers finished in the top 10 in the 600m as D’Miya Thornton finished third (1:38.81), Main finished seventh (1:40.65), and Norma Abdur-Rafia was ninth (1:43.48).
Hilary McAdam was the lone runner in the 800m and ran to a second-place finish with a personal-best time of 2:16.46.
Emma Creviston (10:46.58) and Ida Mutai (10:48.81) each ran personal records in the 3000m.
Christina Meinhardt was the top Racer in the shot put as she put up a distance of 12.19m, while Destiny Carey led the Racers in the weight throw with a personal best throw of 14.58m
Brooke Misukonis finished sixth in the pole vault with a vault of 3.46m. Gabby Kennedy also vaulted 3.46m to finish eighth while Jessie Kinder Emily Heil were ninth and tenth with vaults of 3.31m. For Kinder, it was a personal best.
Jabreuna Brimlett placed sixth in the long jump with a mark of 5.55m. She also had the top time (8.78) in the 60m hurdle preliminaries but finished eighth in the finals after hitting some hurdles.
Jessikha Ribeiro competed in two jumping events and had a top-ten finish in both as she finished fifth in the high jump (1.55m) and ninth in the long jump (5.42m).
A couple of other Racers broke personal records as Alayna Stalter ran her best in the 60m (8.38) and Shannon Riley surpassed her previous best in the pole vault (3.16m).
The relays ended the day which saw the 4×400 team of Thornton, McAdam, White, and Adbur-Rafia finish second with a time of 3:59.08. The 4×800 team of Gilbert, Morgan Vosler, Sophie Grogan, and Riley placed fifth with a time of 10:24.08.
Assistant Coach Conner Neu also competed in the weight throw as an unattached participant and won the event with a throw of 20.14m.
The Racers are back in action next Saturday when they travel to the University of Indiana to compete in the Gladstein Invite.