Cox and Robertson qualify at Blue Raider Invitational

Both athletes earn first time NCAA Provisional Marks

January 23, 2010 · Christian Lemon

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Brittany Cox and Cherice Robertson highlighted the Blue Raider Invitational meet for the Middle Tennessee track teams on Saturday as both athletes earned NCAA Provisional qualifiers in their respective events.

Cox made herself eligible for March's NCAA Indoor Championships by hurling a school-record 62-8 (19.10m) in the women's weight throw. Her throw was the 15th longest in the NCAA this year. She also won the shot put with a toss of 48-5 (14.75m). Teammate MeLyn Thompson placed second in the shot put with a mark of 47-0 (14.45m).

Robertson was the top finisher in the 55-meter hurdles, earning an NCAA Provisional time of 7.84. She also won the high jump, tying the Middle Tennessee record of 5-8 (1.73m). Robertson is competing her first season for the Blue Raiders upon transferring from Vanderbilt a year ago.

"It is exciting getting to compete after having to sit out last season," said Robertson. "It was big getting the qualifying time. I have been trying to get my time down each week so I can score some points for the team in conference. If we can all stay healthy, I feel really good about our chances at the Sun Belt meet.

Other women's highlights included Marla Bailey and Jackie Serem both earning lifetime bests in the indoor mile with times of 5:10.00 and 5:24.00, respectively. Stephanie Smith and Alissa Ruggle also set lifetime bests in the 800 meters with times of 2:20.61 and 2:22.66, respectively.

Freshman Amber Jackson continues to improve and took first place in the 400 meters in 57.79.

Nyeisha Wright won both the long and triple jump events, leaping 19-0 (5.79m) in the long and 39-10.25 (12.14m) in the triple. Kortney Thurman finished second in both the long and triple jump behind her teammate.

Head coach Dean Hayes commented, "I thought the women really had a good meet. We won a lot of events, but the performances are what are important at these meets. We had a handful set personal bests and we really got some good work in today."

On the men's side, Roscoe Payne and DeRay Sloss finished one and two in the 55-meter hurdles. Payne finished with a time of 7.50 and Sloss crossed the line in 7.54.

Stanley Gbagbeke was the top finisher in the long jump, recording a leap of 24-1 (7.34m). Gbagbeke also ran the 55 meters, placing second in 6.47. Teammate Robert Carter was the top finisher in the 55, edging Gbagbeke by garnering a time of 6.45.

In the distance races, David Emery won the 800 meters in 1:58.40, while Isaac Biwott coming in second in 1:59.94. Chris Mason set a lifetime best of 4:27.57 in the mile to earn a fifth-place time.

Justin Chambers won the 400 meters in 51.00 with Festus Chemaoi narrowly coming in second at 51.03

The Middle Tennessee teams will travel to Lexington, Ky., next weekend for the Rod McCravy Memorial meet hosted by Kentucky. Full results and coverage will be available on goblueraiders.com.

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