PHILADELPHIA, April 28, 2011 - The James Madison track and field team began competition at the 2011 Penn Relays at Franklin Field on Thursday afternoon.
Sophomore Marissa McDonald(Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin East) turned in a fifth-place finish in the Eastern competition of the long jump with a personal-best and ECAC-qualifying leap measuring 5.96 meters (19'6 3/4"). That mark ranks her first in the Colonial Athletic Association this season.
JMU's 400-meter relay team consisting of Marissa McDonald, and freshmen Jordan Simmons (Plainfield, N.J./Bishop Ahr), Ashley Williams (Shillington, Pa./Governor Mifflin) and Ciarra Morris (Richmond, Va./Meadowbrook) finished in 30th position with an ECAC-qualifying mark of 47.08 seconds. That finish qualified them for the Friday's College final race at 1:05 p.m.
In the distance medley relay, sophomore Katie Harman (Clarksville, Md./River Hill), junior Aubrie McAlpine (Douglasville, Pa./Daniel Boone), juniorBrittany Wilhelm (Stafford, Va./Brooke Point) and sophomore Annie Reiner (Virginia Beach, Va./Ocean Lakes) completed the race in 11:55.63 to place sixth.
Senior Kelly Jemison (Alexandria, Va./West Potomac) completed the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 11:02.59, which was less than one second off her season-best time (11:01.89).
Sophomore Maria McDonald (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin East), junior Jaclyn Smith (Arlington, Va./Yorktown), sophomore Whitney Staton (Fredericksburg, Va./Chancellor) and sophomore Gabrielle Poore (Wyomissing, Pa./Wilson) took 56th in the 1,600-meter relay after crossing the line in 3:54.77.
The Dukes will have a pair of relay teams and one jumper in action on Friday, along with the 400-meter relay team.
McAlpine, Simmons, Williams and Morris are set to compete in the 800-meter relay, while McAlpine, Poore, Maria McDonald and Wilhelm will be in the sprint medley relay. Smith, the reigning CAA Co-Field Athlete of the Week, will try to improve on last weekend's personal-best mark in the triple jump.
Live results will be available following each event on the Penn Relays website. Live video is also available for a nominal fee.