CHARLESTON, Ill. – The University of Tennessee at Martin continued its progress through the early parts of the indoor track season with an appearance at the John Craft Invite hosted by Eastern Illinois on Saturday.
The Skyhawks took advantage of a first-hand glance at the upcoming Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Championship site with a meet against a pair of league foes. Included in the appearance were several additional school records including a team championship in the women’s DMR.
UT Martin saw its first stretch of strong performances in both the men’s and women’s 3k. On the women’s side it was senior Ann Asipan who set yet another school record with a time of 10:00.07 to place first in the field. Asipan’s time eclipsed the school’s previous mark by over 34 seconds which was set during the 2003 season. Also posting strong performances was freshman Kara Martin who finished second overall with a personal-best time of 10:17.59 and junior Amelia Martin which also set a new PR with a finals time of 10:50.55.
In the men’s 3k it was freshman Edwin Kurgat who posted yet another school record. Kurgat would break the program’s school record which was set just a week ago with a time of 8:34.99 to finish second overall. Fellow freshman Marcos Macias also notched an impressive showing with a PR time of 9:09.64.
The Skyhawks continued their strong showing in both the women’s and men’s distance medley relay. The women’s team of Emma Edmonds, Jasmyn Pilcher, Martin and Asipan combined to post a time of 12:20.27 to win the event and set a new school record in the process, surpassing the previous mark set in 1998. On the men’s side it was the quartet of Leonel Perez, Jonathan Conley, Ryan Ford and Austin Rogers which finished second overall with a time of 10:32.64 for a new school record, besting the previous record also set in 1998.
Along with their success in the men’s DMR, the freshman duo of Rogers and Ford posted blazing times in their respective mile runs. Both athletes broke the program’s previous mile time with Rogers now ranking as the program’s leader with a time of 4:21.97 while Ford was close behind at 4:22.83.
The program’s dual athletes of Antonio Clifton, Joseph Este, Porter Streator III and Brandon Anderson also posted strong showings. In his second meet in as many weeks, Clifton made the finals of the men’s long jump with a distance of 6.60 meters. He then returned to the meet in the men’s 200m dash along with three of his teammates. Este led the charge for the Skyhawks in the 200m dash with a time of 24.07 while Clifton (24.88) and Streator (25.21) trailed behind. Anderson would later join the action in the 60m dash with a time of 7.43 seconds.
Wrapping up the afternoon for the Skyhawk men was Cameron Murrell. Murrell competed in the men’s 400m dash, where he posted a time of 57.15 seconds in his Skyhawk debut.
Last but not least, the women’s 600m run was highlighted by freshman Agok Ayuen who battled back from an injury during cross country season to make a strong showing at the John Craft Invite. Ayuen put a cap on the day by setting a new program record in the 600m run with a time of 1:42.5.
“In just one short week we can already see the progression starting to happen for the entire team,” said UT Martin head coach Peter Dalton. “We are certainly moving in a positive direction.”
UT Martin will return to action at the Don Denoon Invite on the campus of Southern Illinois on Saturday, Feb. 4.