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Nambawa earns two NCAA automatic qualifiers

Blue Raiders wins 15 events at MT Valentines Invitational

February 14, 2009 · Christian Lemon

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Sarah Nambawa earned NCAA automatic qualifying marks in the long jump and triple jump Saturday as the Blue Raider track teams concluded the regular season at the MT Valentines Invitational at Murphy Center.

Nambawa's long jump of 20-10.00 broke a 15-year old Middle Tennessee indoor record held by Dionne Rose by almost two feet. Her triple jump of 44-08.25 tied her own school record. This is Nambawa's second NCAA automatic qualifier in the triple jump this season and third of her collegiate career.

She also finished third in the 800 meters in 2:19.80.

Coach Dean Hayes said, "Sarah did really well. She earned an automatic qualifier in the long jump and tied her school record in the triple jump."

Festus Chemaoi broke the school record in the men's 800 meters running a 1:51.64. His time edged Dennis Voltava's previous time of 1:51.84, a record which had stood since 1977. Chemaoi finished second in the 3000 meters behind teammate William Songock, who won the race in a time of 8:45.47. Songock came in sixth in the 800 meters in a person best time of 1:58.87.

Female distance runners Ashley Comstock and Zamzam Sangau had strong performances, winning the mile and 3000 meters respectively. Comstock ran a 5:07.27 mile and Sangau finished the 3000 in 10:36.15.

In the sprints, Stanley Gbagbeke won the 200 meters in 22.18. Gbagbeke also finished third in the 55 meter dash behind teammate Curtis King and Blue Raider alumni Mardy Scales.

DeRay Sloss won the men's 55 meter hurdles in 7.55.

For the women, Nyeisha Wright won the 55 meters and the 200 meters. Her time of 7.15 in the 55 meters and 24.47 in the 200 meters were the fastest runs of her collegiate career.

Hayes said, "Nyeisha hasn't competed in almost two years and she is doing a great job coming back."

TraMayne Gillyard won the women's 400 meters in 56.98.

Other Middle Tennessee winners included Carl Morgan in the triple jump with a season best 50-09.00, Brittany Cox in the shot put with a 58-01.00 toss, and David Emery in the mile finishing in 4:20.02.

Overall the two teams combined for 15 first place finishes in their seventh meet of the indoor season.

Hayes said, "I think we had a pretty good meet. Right now it's all about getting them some confidence going into the conference meet in Jonesboro."

The teams will be off next weekend as they prepare for the Sun Belt Conference Indoor Championships in Jonesboro, Ark. Results will be available on sunbeltsports.org and goblueraiders.com.

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