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Courtesy: Photography/JMU Athletics Communications
Stewart and Sheaffer Pace Track & Field at Virginia Tech Challenge
Courtesy:JMUSports.com Release:02/21/2014

BLACKSBURG, Va., Feb. 21, 2014 – Sophomore Kathleen Stewart (Holland, Pa./Council Rock South) and junior Morgan Sheaffer (New Bloomfield, Pa./West Perry) posted third-place finishes for the James Madison track & field team Friday on the first day of the Virginia Tech Challenge.

Running in the mile for the fourth time this season, Stewart improved on her best time of the year by over six seconds. She crossed the line in 5:05.08 to finish third in the 15-runner field. Sophomore Emily Cole (Stafford, Va./North Stafford) was ninth.

Sheaffer picked up her third-place finish in the 600-meter run, competing in a 14-runner field. Her time of 1:32.74 is the fastest by a JMU runner this season.

Coming in at sixth-place for the Dukes were junior Rachel Hagen (Sterling, Va./Potomac Falls) and freshman Ebony Owusu-Sampah (Woodbridge, Va./C.D. Hylton). Hagen crossed the line in 10:26.97 to finish near the top against 20 runners in the 3,000-meter run, while Owusu-Sampah jumped 11.53 meters to place in the top half of 18 jumpers in the triple jump.

Rounding out the Dukes in the top ten of their respective events were a pair of freshmen in Annie Johnson (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) and Deana Forbes (Danville, Va./George Washington).

Johnson turned in a personal best time of 7.83 in the 60-meter dash. Finishing right behind her were two of her teammates, freshman Abby Duncan (Keedsville, Md./Boonsboro) and sophomore Rachel Watkins (Frederick, Md./Tuscarora). Duncan was 11th and Watkins was 12th as both finished in 7.87 seconds.

Forbes has been JMU’s top athlete in the 60-meter hurdles all season and continued that at Virginia Tech, taking 10th in 8.79 seconds.

Competition at the event continues Saturday, starting with the 800-meter run and the high jump. The Dukes will send a pair of distance runners, senior Katie Harman (Clarksville, Md./River Hill) and freshman Tessa Mundell (Mohnton, Pa./Governor Mifflin) to Notre Dame’s Alex Wilson Invitational.

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