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Henry leads women's track at MT Invitational

Junior's 200 meter time is the fastest in the SBC this year

February 5, 2011 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Kiara Henry led the Middle Tennessee women's track and field team at Saturday's Middle Tennessee Invitational, winning the collegiate 55 and 200 meter dashes.

Henry's winning 200 meter time of 24.37 is a personal record and the fastest in the Sun Belt this year. It also ranks as the 10th fastest in program history. In the 55 meters, the junior recorded a time of 7.03 in the final heat for her fastest time this year and second quickest in the SBC. Teammate Nyeisha Wright placed second in the 200 meters in 25.32.

"Kiara really ran well and showed she can compete well at the Sun Belt level," said head coach Dean Hayes. "Based on her performance today, I think has a better chance to score well in 200, but should do good in both."

In the women's long jumps, Wright won the event with a leap of 20-0.25 (6.10m). Teammate Kortney Thurman took second, marking 19-6.75 (5.96m).

France Makabu won the collegiate triple jump, in a personal best mark of 41-1.5 (12.53m). Makabu's jump is the third longest in the Sun Belt this season.

Ann Dudley leapt 5-6 (1.68m) to win the high jump, beating teammate Cherice Robertson on jumps. Robertson matched Dudley's winning height, but placed second.

Other highlights included, Robertson winning the 55 meter hurdles in 7.97, Amber Jackson placing second in the 400 meters in 57.54, and Stephanie Smith came in second in both the 800 meters and mile run. Smith's times were 2:18.0 and 5:14.61, respectively.

"Some pieces are coming together for the women's team," said Hayes. "I was happy with the way our jumpers came out. This week was another important stepping stone that will get us better and help us going toward the Sun Belt Championships."

For the men, Justus David won the 800 meters in a conference time of 1:52.38. This sets a personal best for the junior-transfer and ranks as the ninth fastest in the program's history.

Festus Chemaoi continued to return to full form after an early-season groin injury. The senior won the 5,000 meter in a time of 14:56.52, kicking to victory in the last two laps. Justin Cacaro and Chris Mason each ran strong races, taking third and fourth, respectively. Carcaro finished in 15:10.54 with Mason crossing the line in 15:13.46.

In the 200 meter dash, Ken Gilstrap won the event in 21.80. This was the fourth fastest time in the Sun Belt this season. Teammate Steven Palmer took second in 21.95.

"It was a good day for the men's distance runners," said Hayes. "Festus is starting to look like the Festus of old, which we need. Justus is running well and will continue to get better. The sprinters, Gilstrap and Palmer, will each run multiple events for us at conference and should perform well."

The team's return to action next weekend as they wrap up regular season competition, hosting the 2011 MT Valentine Invitational. Live results and post-meet coverage will be available on GoBlueRaiders.com.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.