BLACKSBURG, Va., Feb. 22, 2014 – The James Madison track & field team received top-notch performances from athletes at two separate events Saturday, including a record-breaking toss in the shot put by sophomore Adrienne Alexander (Queens, N.Y./Bishop Loughlin) at the Virginia Tech Challenge. Senior Katie Harman (Clarksville, Md./River Hill) narrowly missed giving the Dukes two new records on the day with her third-place finish in the mile run at Notre Dame’s Alex Wilson Invitational.
Junior Tiel Westbrook (Mechanicsville, Va./Lee-Davis) was the top James Madison finisher by place, winning the 1,000-meter run with a time of 2:53.83. The time ranks ninth all-time at JMU and qualifies Westbrook for the ECAC Championships. She is the third JMU runner to qualify in the event this season.
Alexander’s record-breaking toss of 13.94 meters in the shot put came on her third attempt and was nearly a full meter better than any of her five other attempts. It was good enough for fourth out of 25 competitors. The throw edged the previous record of 13.93 meters, which was set by Alexander in the season-opening Navy Invitational.
Harman was one of two athletes sent to compete at Notre Dame and didn’t disappoint in the distance-heavy field. She took fifth out of 21 runners with a time of 4:41.63, good enough for the second-best indoor mile run in JMU history. She improved on her personal-best time by over 10 seconds.
The majority of the James Madison squad traveled to Virginia Tech, where the Dukes had eight top-five finishes.
The Dukes’ distance runners excelled in two events, placing three runners in the top five in the 1,000-meter run and two in the 5,000-meter run. Freshman Carol Strock (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley) and freshman Lillie Brown (Boiling Springs, Pa./Boiling Springs) were third and fifth, respectively, to join Westbrook in the top five in the 1,000-meter run, while freshmen Meghan Malloy (Haddonfield, N.J./Haddonfield Memorial) and Allison Huschke (Charlottesville, Va./Albemarle) were third and fourth in the 5,000-meter run.
Freshman Ebony Owusu-Sampah (Woodbridge, Va./C.D. Hylton) continued her streak of top-five finishes in the long jump, taking fifth out of 29 with a leap of 5.67 meters. She has now placed in the top five all four times she has competed in the long jump this season. Freshman Kennedy King (Hampton, Va./Phoebus) took eighth.
Junior Destiny Simmons (Staunton, Va./Robert E. Lee) became the Dukes’ 18th ECAC qualifier this year with her time of 56.85 in the 400-meter dash. It was the fifth-fastest indoor time in JMU history, and was good enough for 14th out of 32 runners.
Rounding out the top performers for JMU at Virginia Tech were junior Kelsey Langton (Hamilton Square, N.J./Notre Dame H.S.) and junior Kristen Landry (Boonton Township, N.J./Mountain Lakes). Langton took eighth out of 26 runners in the 800-meter run, while Landry wasn’t far behind in 11th.
JMU has just one meet remaining before the ECAC Championships in Boston, Mass. The Dukes will travel to Fairfax, Va. for George Mason’s Last Chance Meet on Sunday, March 2.