Sadie Appleton, Correspondent
Jacksonville State University’s track and field team hit the road this past weekend to compete in Marshall University’s Thundering Herd Invitational in Huntington, West Virginia, the team’s first real competition on the road this season.
The Gamecocks cemented themselves in the top ten teams of the tournament, coming home with a seventh-place finish in their first team-scored indoor event of the year by edging out Morehead State, Wright State and Winthrop. Ohio Valley Conference companion, Austin Peay, took home the top spot of the tournament, followed by host Marshall University.
A plethora of personal bests helped pushed Jax State up in the final placements of competition. The first day of the event saw personal bests set between the triple jump and weight throw from four Gamecocks. Freshman Kha’Myah Townsend placed fifth in the triple jump with a distance of 11.16 meters. Her performance currently stands as the seventh-best distance in the conference for this season.
In the shot-put event, sophomore Adrian Rock led the team with a distance of 15.93 meter to place third for the event. She was followed by freshmen London Shaw with 13.16 meters and Kirsen Gardner with 12.08, placing seventh and 13th, all of which recorded personal marks for the trio. Both Rock and Shaw returned the next day to participate in the shot-put event to place back-to-back in fifth and sixth place.
Later in the competition, two Gamecocks had memorable performances in the field. Redshirt sophomore Casey Phelan etched in her third-straight top five finish going over 3.57 meters in the pole vault. Meanwhile, senior Madison Rollins slotted herself in to the seventh-place position in the high jump, clearing the bar at 1.56 meters.
Sophomore Ashton Coats had a top-ten performance in the lanes with a sixth-place time of 9.14 seconds in the finals of the 60-meter hurdles. Coats represented JSU as one of the five of eight spots in the final race that were held by host team Marshall University. Additionally, the time set a new personal best for Roswell, Georgia native and currently is in the top ten for the OVC. Junior Tylynn Register just nearly missed qualifying for the finals, clocking in 9.30 second performance in the prelims.
South Africa native and sophomore Leandra Custodio lead the Jax State squad in the 400-meter race, finishing in 16thwith a time of 1:00.11. Two other Gamecocks placed in the top 20 with Register coming in 18thand sophomore Uriah James following in 20th. Senior Emily Sorrell placed just outside the top ten in the 800, posting a time of 2:25.03, just ahead of freshman Elizabeth Wetmore at 2:27.05. Wetmore would also place 15thin the mile run.
Jacksonville State will have a week off before hitting the road again to Columbia, South Carolina to compete in the South Carolina Invitational that will take place at SEC the University of South Carolina. This event will take place on Friday, February 7 and Saturday, February 8.