Five Blue Raiders take victory at SBC Indoor
Women second, men third after first day of competitonFebruary 27, 2010 · Christian Lemon
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - It was a day of early highs for the Middle Tennessee track and field teams as team opened competition hosting the 2010 Sun Belt Indoor Championships. Five of teams' athletes finish with first place in their respective events.
Three first place finishes on the women's side have put the team second behind the Western Kentucky while the two men's victories have the team in third position.
Senior Brittany Cox scored first for the Blue Raiders taking gold in the morning's shot put competition. The Antioch, Tenn. native won the event throwing 48-11.5 (14.92m) on her second toss of the preliminary round. This is the second time in which she has won the event, taking the crown at the 2007 meet. Teammate MeLyn Thompson took fourth in the competition with a throw of 46-6 (14.17m).
In the women's long jump, Nyeisha Wright took first with a leap of 20-6.5 (6.26m) with teammate Cherice Robertson placing third jumping 19-4.75 (5.91m). Wright becomes the first woman since Kim Freeman in 2003 to take the Sun Belt Indoor Long Jump title. Kortney Thurman finished sixth with a mark of 18-11.75 (5.78m).
Robertson would continue to perform well taking the women's high jump competition jumping 5-6 (1.68m).
Robertson commented, "I just wanted to score in the long jump, but I ended up getting a good one and placing third. I felt confident going into the high jump as I held the top conference seed. I went out and competed well."
Robertson also finished with the a top time in the 55 meter hurdles this evening as well qualifying for tomorrow's final with a time of 7.91.
The women's distance medley relay team scored took second play. Run by Stephanie Smith, Amber Jackson, Alissa Ruggle and Zamzam Sangau, the team was just beaten by leaders Western Kentucky.
Marla Bailey and Jackie Serem were the other Blue Raider scorers taking sixth and seventh in the 3,000 meters for five total points.
The lone Middle Tennessee men's field competitor was Stanley Gbagbeke in the long jump. The Nigeria native won the long jump with a leap of 25-4.25 (7.73). This marks the 17th time a Blue Raider athlete has won a conference indoor long jump crown. His jump was a Sun Belt Conference Championship record.
Festus Chemaoi won the men's 3,000 meter crown in dramatic fashion continuing to prove himself as the top distance runner in the Sun Belt Conference. His time of 8:15.54 is a personal best.
"I felt confident with the pace we were running in the early portion of the race," said Chemaoi. "When we hit the second to last lap I knew I was going to win."
Teammate William Songock scored three points for the team placing sixth in the race.
Many of the other Blue Raider athletes competed in the preliminary track races of the competition. Overall the teams did well and many of the athletes will run in final race tomorrow.
Head coach Dean Hayes commented on the day's performance, "The women have a shot to win tomorrow. We have most of our athletes who should be in the finals, qualify. Now they have to go get a place."
The teams' will resume competition tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. with the men's triple jump competition. Web broadcast and full coverage will be available on GoBlueRaiders.com.
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