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Thurman leads women at MT Valentine Invitational

David break 30-year-old record in 3,000 meters

February 12, 2011 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee's Kortney Thurman won the long jump, Saturday, to lead the women's squad at the 2011 MT Valentine's Invitational. Justus David set a school record in the 3,000 meters.

Thurman's jump of 20-5.25 (6.23m) is a personal best and unofficially ranks as the 12th best in the NCAA this season. The collegiate position will not be official until all the weekend's results have been posted.

The Blue Raiders dominated the long jump, taking the top five places in the event. Led by Thurman, Nyeisha Wright, Kiara Henry, Rosina Amenebede and Cherice Robertson would finish in descending order.

Amenebede clocked a quick 7.85 in the preliminary rounds of the 55 meter hurdles. Her time is the third fastest in the Sun Belt Conference and puts her in the top 50, nationally. She won the event, running 7.99 in the finals.

Jackson won the 400 meters in 56.24.

The mile relay rounded out the day, running 3:53.49. The team comprised of Amber Jackson, Wright, Henry and France Makabu ran the second fastest time in the conference.

"Kortney and Rosina had the two most impressive performances," head coach Dean Hayes said. "I thought we did really well as a team in the long jump. This this will help our confidence going forward."

On the men's side, Steven Palmer won the 400 meters in a time of 47.95. This is a personal best for the freshman and is the second fastest time in the conference this season behind only teammate Noah Akwu.

Akwu won the 55 and 200 meter dashes in respective times of 6.41 and 21.36 on Saturday. His 200 meter time is the second fastest in the SBC this season.

Distance runners David and Festus Chemaoi ran on Friday night at the GVSU Big Meet hosted by Grand Valley State. At the meet, David broke the Middle Tennessee indoor record in the 3,000 meters finishing with a time of 8:06.95. This tops Joe O'Loughlin's previous MT standard of 8:12.64 set in 1981. David's time is the best in the conference and ranks as the 35th fastest in the NCAA. Chemaoi ran a season best 4:11.57 mile, placing 12th.

Chemaoi would return to Murphy Center on Saturday and win the 800 meters in 1:54.78, also a season best.

Teams return to action in two weeks as they will travel Jonesboro, Ark., to compete at the 2011 Sun Belt Championships hosted by Arkansas State. Live results and full post-meet coverage of both days will be available on GoBlueRaiders.com.

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