EDINBURG, Texas – The UMKC track and field team watched five student-athletes battle for first-place finishes at the Western Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Friday, while several others qualified for Saturday's event finals.
“Very exciting day for both the men and the women,” commented head coach Shameika McField. “The teams are building off of each other, so with today's performances, it was not only the hard work, but the confidence they have in themselves and one another.”
On the men's side, Marcus Johnson (Nixa, Mo.) won his third consecutive 3,000-meter steeplechase event with a time of 9:18.51. Teammate Daylan Quinn (Mountain View, Mo.) finished fifth in the event with a time of 9:57.61 to add four points of his own to the UMKC team total.
Senior Blake Hocking (Lawrence, Kan.) heaved a winning throw of 50.96 meters in the discus, while Jacob Hockman (Centralia, Mo.) finished fifth in the event with a mark of 44.02 meters. Hockman also competed in the hammer throw, where he recorded a personal best performance of 48.52 meters for a third-place finish.
In the long jump, Christopher Bryan (St. Catherine, Jamaica) leapt a personal best 7.42 meters to collect the gold medal. Richard Smith (Kansas City, Mo.) also tallied a personal best in the event with a jump of 7.24 meters.
On the track, several individuals qualified for the Saturday's finals including Bryan, Fred Boyd (Detroit, Mich.) and Devin Burton (Prairie Village, Kan.) in the men's 110-meter hurdles. In the women's 100-meter hurdles, all three student-athletes – Remy Abrought (Kansas City, Mo.), Mallory Short (Columbia, Mo.) and Jada Steele (Detroit, Mich.) – also qualified after going one-two-three in the preliminary round.
Senior Sarah Fogarty (O'Fallon, Mo.) completed the Roos sweep of the 3,000-meter steeplechase, turning in a winning time of 11:00.09 in the event. Sprinter Chantel Bethune (St. Louis, Mo.) continued to shine for the Roos, qualifying for the 400-meter dash and 200-meter dash after finishing first and fourth, respectively, in the events. Rachel Culberson (Florissant, Mo.) will join Bethune in the 400-meter dash, after crossing the line third with a personal best time of 56.42 seconds.
Pole vaulter Christy Nell (Cape Town, South Africa) broke her own school record in the event for the fourth-straight outing after clearing the winning mark of 3.75 meters.
“In addition to wins, we simply had people step up today and set new personal records and do something they haven't done all year,” continued McField. “Making the finals is only half the battle. We will have to continue to build off the performances the last few days and get the job done.”
The men's squad is currently sitting in first place in the team standings, while the women's team is in third. Events will resume on Saturday with the women's hammer throw at 11 a.m. CT.
– UMKC –