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Sturm, Tamgho, Walker All Win Twice

February 12, 2006 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Senior JJ Sturm and sophomore Stephanie Tamgho both won the long jump and triple jump and junior Juan Walker was first in two events, as the Blue Raiders posted 14 first-place finishes Sunday at the Middle Tennessee Valentine Invitational at Murphy Center.

Sturm had his best day of the season, rounding into form as the conference championships approach in just two weeks. The senior had knee surgery last year and has competed in only five meets this season.

He won the long jump with a season-best 23-11, more than a foot better than his previous best this year, and the triple jump with an indoor personal-best 47-1.5, six inches better than an indoor PR set two weeks ago.

Tamgho recorded her second victory in both events this season with marks of 19-4 in the long jump and 39-4.75 in the triple jump. Her long jump mark was a season-best by almost five inches.

Walker continued his stellar season with two first-place finishes. The Hunters Lane High School product led a six-place sweep in the 55-meter dash with a time 6.36, and he was first in the 55-meter hurdles in 7.51. Walker also placed second in both the long jump (23-9.5) and triple jump (46-1.5).

Also for the men, junior James Thomas won the weight throw with a mark of 53-0 and was second in the shot put with a mark of 49-0. Senior Nick Diel and junior Willie Parker finished fifth and eighth, respectively, in the weight throw with marks of 48-9 and 45-5.

In the running events, Walker led six athletes in the 55-meter dash, with freshman Samuel Adade second in a season-best 6.48, junior Derek Carey third in 6.50, senior VanTonio Fraley fourth in 6.51, freshman Jonathan Oliver fifth in 6.59, and freshman Ryan Robinson sixth in 6.79.

In the 200-meters, junior Orlando Reid won with a team season-best time of 21.39, also leading six runners in the top eight. Junior Daryl Terrell was second in 21.93, freshman Pete Senatus was third in 22.12, Adade placed fourth in 22.16, Fraley came in sixth in 22.28, and Carey finished eighth in a season-best 22.43.

Junior Sean Waller led three Blue Raiders in the 400-meters, winning with a time of 48.23. Terrell came in second in 49.16, with freshman Tavaris Leak third in a personal-best 49.71. In the 55-meter hurdles, Walker was first, with Senatus third in 7.85. The men's mile relay of Senatus, Leak, Terrell and Fraley won with a time of 3:18.38.

In the middle distance events, seniors Jonathan Guillou and Derek Dell finished third and eighth, respectively, in the mile run with times of 4:20.84 (season-best) and 4:28.69. In the 800-meters, junior Tony Carufe was second in a team season-best 1:59.51 and freshman Ryan Hood came in eighth in 2:05.77.

In other field events, Waller placed third in the long jump with a mark of 22-11.25, while junior JaKeith Hairston was fifth (22-3) and Leak came in seventh (21-1). Hairston also placed fourth in the triple jump with a season-best mark of 45-11.5, while Yarbrough was sixth (43-8) and freshman Brandon Jones placed eighth (42-5). Senior Julius Defour finished second in the high jump after clearing 6-4.

For the women, junior Tiffany Owens won the 200-meters in 25.43, with senior Candice Robertson third in a personal-best 25.68 and junior Veronia Patterson fourth in 25.82. Owens placed third in the 55-meter dash in 7.26, with Robertson fifth in 7.38, another personal-best. Patterson finished second in the 400-meters in a season-best 58.10, while freshman Erika Palmer was sixth in 1:03.84.

Robertson also won the 55-meter hurdles, tying her personal-best with a time of 7.96 and leading a contingent of four Middle Tennessee runners. Freshman Iceca Epps was second in 8.21, sophomore Sierra Douglas came in fifth in 9.04, and senior Lamunika Eberhart was sixth in 9.12.

In the 800-meters, sophomore Marjorie Gombert finished third in a season-best 2:19.44. The women's mile relay of freshman TraMayne Gillyard, junior Shanna-Kay Campbell, sophomore Antranette Stringer and Patterson won the event with a season-best time of 3:50.24.

In the field events, senior Meaghan Byrd won the weight throw with a season-best mark of 54-11. Douglas placed third in both the long jump (17-5) and triple jump (37-1.25).

Head coach Dean Hayes said Sunday's efforts were on both ends of the spectrum, but it was also tough with the meet changing to a Sunday.

"We were either pretty good or not so good today," Hayes said. "We got some really good efforts from Candice and JJ and Meaghan, and then some that weren't very good.

"But it was different with the meet changing, and South Alabama was supposed to here, and then not as many people are able to come because it's a Sunday. All-in-all it was good though and we'll build on it as we head into the conference meet."

Both teams take next week off before hosting the Sun Belt Championships, February 25-26, at Murphy Center. The Blue Raider men and women won four straight SBC Indoor titles from 2001-04 before both missed out last season.

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