Freeman, Okorie, Okafor Pace Track Teams

February 15, 2003 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Kim Freeman, Rosemary Okafor and Victor Okorie paced the Middle Tennessee track teams Saturday during the Middle Tennessee Classic at the Murphy Center, the final meet before the conference championships for both the Blue Raiders and Lady Raiders.

For the Lady Raiders, Okafor picked up her third win in as many races in the 400m this season, crossing the finish line in 53.97. Kishara George and Nicolette Jarrett finished second and third, respectively, both collecting season-best times of 56.09 and 56.56. Lanora Gray was fifth (57.24) and Kerry Barrow finished sixth (58.11).


Rolanda Howard got her first victory in the 55m hurdles, running a personal-best 8.40 in the finals to edge teammate LaToya Brown, who was second in 8.52. Jerkita McClorin placed fourth in the event in 8.62.


Okafor was the top collegian in the 200m, finishing second, as the Lady Raiders went two through five in the event. Okafor ran 23.85, while Barrow (24.59), Jarrett (25.24) and Gray (25.25) were 2-4, respectively. All four ran their best times of the season in the event, and Barrow set a personal-best mark. Lady Raider graduate assistant Tasha Jenkins won the 200m in 23.30.


Trisha DeValcourt finished fourth in the mile in 5:28.69, her best time of the season by almost 30 seconds.


In the field events, Brown tied for fourth with a mark of 5-4 in the high jump, tying her personal best. Meaghan Byrd placed second in the shot put with a toss of 42-1 and second in the weight throw with a school-record 45-2, besting her own mark from earlier this year. Dara McLean also claimed fifth in the weight throw with a season-best 39-3.


Freeman won the long jump with a mark of 18-10.75, her best of the season, while KeKe Deckard was second (18-6.5) and Letitia Eady placed fourth (18-1). Freeman was second in the triple jump and was the top collegian with a mark of 40-2.75, second-best in the conference this year behind Eady. Eady came in third with a mark of 39-6, while Deckard was fourth (39-4.5) and Howard finished sixth (37-10).


For the Blue Raiders, Jasper Demps won the 55m hurdles in 7.37, while teammate Linnie Yarbrough was fourth in 7.61 despite taking a nasty spill at the end of the race.


In the 400m, Tim Hicks finished second in 47.74, his best time of the year, while Okorie was fourth (48.57) and Fred Williams came in fifth (48.66) in his first race in three weeks. Both Okorie and Williams ran season-best times in the 400m. Former Blue Raider Godfrey Herring won the event in 46.16.


Okorie came back to win the 200m in 21.68, while Ali was fourth in 21.74. Both were season-best times in the 200m. Former Blue Raider Christian Nsiah was sixth in the event in 21.77 despite begin sick and just getting back into competition.


Wesley Dupar-Scott won the 55m in 6.34 and Ali was third in 6.44. DJ Spann ran the fastest time in the prelims at 6.32, but false-started in the finals.


Levi Sybert came in second in the mile in 4:19.14, while Middle Tennessee graduate assistant David Lyle was third (4:20.15) and Anthony McGary placed fourth (4:28.25).


The Blue Raiders won the mile relay with a time of 3:11.48, as Ali, Spann, Hicks and Waller won handily over second-place finisher Wallace State.


In the field events, Willie Parker was fifth in the shot put with a mark of 43-2, a season-best, and Randy McKeever cleared a season-best 6-2 in the high jump to take second. Sean Waller placed third in the long jump with a mark of 23-7.5, while Blue Raider graduate assistant Andrew Owusu won the triple jump with a mark of 54-7.75.

Both track squads will take next week off before traveling to Jonesboro, Ark., for the Sun Belt Championships, March 1-2. Both teams are the two-time defending conference indoor champions in the Sun Belt, and the men have won three straight indoor titles dating back to the final year in the OVC.

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