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Okafor, Darden Lead Tracksters At Bulldog Invitational

March 27, 2004 · MT Media Relations
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Middle Tennessee track standout Rosemary Okafor broke a school record that had stood for 13 years when she qualified for the NCAA Regional in the 800-meter with a time of 2:10.03 at the Mississippi State Bulldog Invitational Saturday.

Okafor, who had qualified for the NCAA Regional in the 100 and 200-meter races, respectively, last weekend at the Alabama Relays, broke the record of 2:13.15 set by Leigh Weathers in 1991. She finished second to Mississippi State's Tiffany McWilliams, who ran a 2:03.23.

Making Okafor's record run even more impressive is the fact it was her first time running the 800-meter.

"She ran a great race," Middle Tennessee track coach Dean Hayes said. "It was her first time to run the 800 and she qualified for the NCAA Regional, so I would say it was a good showing."

Okafor isn't the only Middle Tennessee track standout that will be busy at the NCAA Regional in Baton Rouge, La., at the end of May.

Blue Raider senior Xavier Darden, already qualified in the 200-meter, turned in a personal-best 10.48 to finish second and qualify for the NCAA Regional in the 100-meter in Starkville, Miss., Saturday. In fact, the only person faster than Darden in the 100 at the Bulldog Invitational was former Middle Tennessee great Christian Nsiah, who ran unattached in the meet.

Darden also finished third in the 200 with a time of 20.97. Sean Waller led three Blue Raiders placing in the 400-meter with a time of 47.15, followed by Tim Hicks (48.15) in fifth, and Wesley Dupar-Scott (48.33) in sixth.

J.J. Sturn finished third in the long jump with an effort of 24-feet, one-inch, which qualifies him for the NCAA Regional.

Lady Raider Meaghan Byrd finished fourth in the hammer throw with a personal best 141-07. Katie Mirgliotta's throw of 132-10 was seventh. Laetitia Florimond was fourth (118-06) in the javelin throw, and fifth (133-11) in the discus. Mirgliotta was sixth (131-11) in the discus.

Jessica Anderson was fifth (14.69) in the 100-meter hurdles. Rolanda Howard (37:09.25) and Letitia Eady (37:00.50) were sixth and seventh, respectively, in the triple jump.

Middle Tennessee will continue its Outdoor Track and Field season at the Yellowjacket Invitational at Georgia Tech next weekend.

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