CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., March 23, 2013 – Junior Ciarra Morris (Richmond, Va./Meadowbrook) won the 400-meter dash and freshman Adrienne Alexander (Queens, N.Y./Bishop Loughlin) tallied a victory in the shot put to help the James Madison track & field team win two of four duals at the Virginia Cup to open the outdoor slate of the season.
Competing against four other teams from Virginia, JMU won the head-to-head battle against Radford 86.00 to 63.00 and against Virginia 73.00-70.00. The Dukes tied VCU at 74.00-all while they fell to Liberty 110.00-66.00.
Morris finished the 400-meter dash in 55.42 seconds, 1.48 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. Her time was just 0.29 seconds behind her personal record of 55.13 seconds that she set at the 2012 Colonial Athletic Association championships. On Saturday, she also anchored the second-place 4x100-meter relay team that finished in 47.88 seconds. Senior Marissa McDonald (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin East), freshman Rachel Watkins (Frederick, Md./Tuscarora) and junior Ashley Williams (Shillington, Pa./Governor Mifflin) were also on the team.
The Dukes claimed the first three spots in the shot put event, led by Alexander. The freshman heaved the shot put 13.40 meters in her collegiate outdoor debut, the second-best toss in JMU history. Sophomore DaQuaa Scott (Staunton, Va./Robert E. Lee) finished second with a 13.28-meter toss, third on the JMU career list, and junior Kristen Greene (Colonial Heights, Va./Thomas Dale) rounded out the top three with a 12.85-meter toss, fourth on the JMU career list.
Greene also notched a third-place finish in the javelin throw with a personal-best distance of 40.37 meters. Sophomore Morgan Sheaffer (New Bloomfield, Pa./West Perry) placed seventh in the event with a distance of 32.83 meters.
Posting her own personal best was senior Adrena May (Chesapeake, Va./Great Bridge). In the hammer throw competition, she launched the hammer 48.68 meters, the second-best distance in school history, to finish in third place. Her distance Saturday was 3.43 meters farther than she had previously tossed the hammer.
In the 400-meter hurdles, senior Whitney Staton (Fredericksburg, Va./Chancellor) notched a second-place finish in 1:07.20. Sophomore Jasmine Waddell (Mount Royal, N.J./Kingsway Regional) was just behind her in third place with a time of 1:08.57. In her outdoor debut, freshman Anna Harpster (Lovettsville, Va./Woodgrove) came in fifth place with a time of 1:09.66.
Also making her outdoor track & field debut was freshman Kathleen Stewart (Holland, Pa./Council Rock South) who picked up a third-place finish in the 800-meter run as she crossed the line in 2:19.05.
JMU will run a split schedule March 29-30. Some athletes will travel to Palo Alto, Calif., for the Stanford Invitational while others will trek to Raleigh, N.C., for the Raleigh Relays.