CARBONDALE, Ill. – The University of Tennessee at Martin track and field teams returned to competition over the weekend by setting several new school records at the Don DeNoon Invite hosted by Southern Illinois University.
In just three competitions, the Skyhawks have wasted little time rewriting the program record books. With this week’s stretch of performances, UT Martin has posted 13 school records in such a limited amount of time, proving the future is bright.
UT Martin began the Don DeNoon Invite with a pair of strong performances in the long jump. On the men’s side it was junior newcomer Antonio Clifton who continued his impressive start to his track and field career by notching a new school record with a distance of 7.01m, eclipsing the previous record set by Brice Lovan in 2000. On the women’s side, it was freshman Ivana Cherry who posted a new personal-best with a distance of 4.92m.
In the 3k event, school records were reset in the third consecutive meet. In the women’s 3k, senior Ann Asipan bested her previous school record once again with a time of 9:42.37 to top the previous mark by over 17 seconds while winning the individual event. Also posting strong times was the quartet of Emma Edmonds, Amelia Martin, Lydia Lee and Sydney Larkin who each set sizable personal-bests. Edmonds posted a 13th place finish with a time of 10:20.61 while Martin (10.34.6), Lee (10:46.1) and Larkin (10:53.78) notched career days.
In the men’s 3k, freshman Edwin Kurgat once again led the pack with a first place finish of 8:29.68 while besting his previous school record by five seconds. Not far behind Kurgat was another freshman duo in Ryan Ford (8:30.52) and Austin Rogers (8:38.59) who posted PRs of their own while finishing third and fourth, respectively.
The sprint side of the Skyhawk men’s squad was led by sophomore Porter Streator III who paced the team in both the 60m and 200m events. Along with Streator’s pair of personal-bests, freshman Cameron Murrell competed nicely to achieve new personal marks as well.
In the men’s 800m, junior Jonathan Conley just narrowly missed his own school record which he set in the Don Denoon Invitational last year by just two-tenths of a second with a time of 1:56.91. On the women’s side of the 800m, it was freshman Agok Ayuen who posted a strong performance, setting a new PR with a time of 2:24.37.
“With just our third meet of the season, it is nice to see the progression from week to week as we strive to get better and build this program,” said UT Martin head coach Peter Dalton. “If we can keep getting better every week, more and more school records will fall as we prepare for the OVC Championships in just three weeks.”
UT Martin will compete in its final tune-up prior to the OVC Championships at the SEMO Redhawk Invite on Friday, Feb. 17-18.