Yarbrough Breaks School Record; Walker Wins Three Times at Blue Raider Invite

January 21, 2006 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee's Linnie Yarbrough broke a 14-year-old record in the hurdles and junior Juan Walker won three events, including the best mark in the long jump in the nation this season, Saturday during the Blue Raider Invitational at Murphy Center.

Yarbrough continued his stellar career at Middle Tennessee with his 13th victory in four years in either the 55- or 60-meter hurdles. The senior posted a winning time of 7.20 in the 55-hurdles, breaking the mark of 7.23 set in 1992 by Micah Otis. Yarbrough said he felt the race was not nearly one of his best, but the time proved otherwise.

"This has been a goal for me for a while, to break the school record," Yarbrough said. "There is a sign on my wall that says 'Run the fastest time in the Murph and be the best ever.'

"The race really felt like my slowest of the season. I really felt sloppy, but I competed and it paid off, all of the hard work and time and energy put in everyday. The time really took me by complete surprise."

Walker won both the long and triple jump as well as besting teammate VanTonio Fraley in the 55-meter dash. The junior's mark of 25-3.75 tied Jason Daley of Maryland-Eastern Shore for the best long jump in the country this indoor season.

Walker also won the triple jump with a mark of 49-1 and beat Fraley by one-tenth of a second in the 55 with a winning mark of 6.34. The Nashville, Tenn., native has won six events in his first three meets as a Blue Raider.

Another Middle Tennessee senior, Willie Parker, posted personal-bests in both the weight throw and shot put, earning a victory in the shot put for the team's only other first-place finish on the day. Parker's mark of 51-0 bested his PR from last week by almost two feet, while his mark of 47-2.5 was more than three feet better than his previous best this season.

In other action for the men, Fraley finished second in the 55-meter dash in 6.35 and Derek Carey was fifth in 6.49. Peterson Senatus placed fourth in the 200-meters in 22.19, with Jermaine Barton right behind in fifth in a time of 22.29. Marc Curry finished eighth in 22.79.

In the 400-meters, Daryl Terrell was fourth in 49.08, with Orlando Reid sixth in 49.80. Jonathan Guillou placed second in the mile run in 4:25.24 and Tony Carufe was fifth in 4:30.32. Guillou finished fifth in the 800-meters later in the day in 2:20.65, while Ryan Hood came in sixth in 2:03.39. In the 3000-meters Derek Dell placed seventh in 8:56.71.

The men's mile relay of Samuel Adade, Terrell, Reid and Barton defeated an unattached team with three Middle Tennessee runners (Peterson Senatus, Tavaris Leak and Jeremy Turner) as well as former Blue Raider All-American Godfrey Herring. The Adade-Terrell-Reid-Barton foursome posted a winning time of 3:17.45.

In the field events, Julius Defour placed fourth with a mark of 6-4, a season-best. JaKeith Hairston finished second in the long jump with a mark of 24-10.25, good enough for an NCAA provisional mark. JJ Sturm came in fourth with a mark of 21-9.

In the triple jump Yarbrough set his personal-best with a mark of 45-9.25, placing fifth, and Brandon Jones was seventh with a mark of 44-7.25.

James Thomas was right behind Parker in the shot put, finishing second with a mark of 49-6, while Nick Diel came in fifth with a mark of 42-0. In the weight throw Thomas, Diel and Parker finished 2-3-4 with marks of 54-7, 49-11.5 and 47-2.5, respectively.

On the women's side, Stephanie Tamgho and Meaghan Byrd both placed second in a pair of events, while Erika Palmer, Candice Robertson and Marjorie Gombert all had second-place finishes as well.

Tamgho was second in both the long jump (18-10) and triple jump (40-2, season-best), while Byrd came in second in both the shot put (42-9.5) and weight throw (50-7, season-best).

In the running events Palmer placed second in the 200-meters in 25.09, and Robertson led a trio of women who finished 2-3-4 in the 55-meters hurdles. Robertson posted a time of 7.96, with Sierra Douglas (8.38) and Iceca Epps (8.42) right behind.

Gombert was running with a heavy heart on Saturday, as was the entire Middle Tennessee team, but especially the sophomore. She and teammate Ashleigh Thaler were the other two members of the track team running with Kaitlyn Hammond, Catherine Chester and Tiffany Sawyer on Tuesday when the three were hit by a vehicle on Rutherford Blvd. in Murfreesboro. Gombert finished second in the 800-meters in 2:20.56, tying her best finish of the season.

"Running today really refreshed my mind," Gombert said. "Our whole team was running for [Kaitlyn, Catherine and Tiffany]. They are always on my mind and winning for them today was really a goal of mine and our team's.

"Coach [Hayes] has been talking about going to class and training, really just trying to get us back in our routine and help us get better. Right now it's really good just to put a smile on their face, and I know our results today will do that."

In other results for the women, TraMayne Gillyard, Veronia Patterson and Kerry Barrow finished 3-4-5, respectively in the 400-meters with times of 57.33, 59.26 and 59.69. Palmer and Tiffany Owens were fifth and sixth, respectively, in the 55-meter dash with marks of 7.23 and 7.46.

The women's mile relay team of Patterson, Shanna-Kay Campbell, Gillyard and Antranette Stringer finished fourth with a time of 3:53.83.

Both teams run again next Saturday at Murphy Center in the Middle Tennessee Open. Full results from this weekend's meet may be found at /?go=stats&doc=2679.

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