MARTIN, Tenn. – Decorated University of Tennessee at Martin athlete Ann Asipan continued her illustrious Skyhawk career by qualifying for the NCAA East Regional Championships with an individual victory in the “Championship” section of the 51st annual Hillsdale College Gina Relays. Meanwhile, the rest of the men’s and women’s track and field squads posted dominating performances at the Memphis Invitational.
Rated as one of the most elite competitions in the country, Asipan posted a dazzling performance in the Gina Relays held in Hillsdale, Mich. In the loaded 5k event, Asipan would post a time of 16:08.43 to rank as one of the top-24 times in the nation and almost 30 seconds faster than her previous school record set earlier this season. With the top-48 times garnering an invite to the upcoming NCAA East Regional Championship, Asipan’s time is a near lock for inclusion.
While Asipan was competing as an individual in Michigan, the rest of the Skyhawk track and field squad travelled to the Memphis Invitational to wrap up the regular season. Looking for a final tune-up before the team travels to Oxford, Ala. for the OVC Outdoor Track and Field Championships in just a few weeks, the Skyhawks posted several PRs in the event.
Beginning the festivities was freshman Kara Martin who won the mile event while setting a new PR of her own with a time of 4:38.32 to finish just 10 seconds off the school record. While in the 5k, freshman Emma Edmonds just narrowly missed out on winning the event with a time of 17:46.06 to set a new PR. Just outside of medalist contention was freshman Lydia Lee with a fifth place finish at 18:10.92.
In the men’s 5k event, freshman Edwin Kurgat just missed out on setting yet another school record despite outpacing the field with a time of 14:33.97. Meanwhile Ryan Ford finished third overall with a time of 15.17.04.
In the sprint events, the men’s squad performed nicely in the 4x100m. The quartet of Joseph Este, Porter Streator III, Rakeem Battle and Jaylon Moore posted a time of 43.90 seconds. Streator then returned to the track later where he set a new school record in the men’s 100m with a time of 10.95 seconds.
In the men’s long jump Antonio Clifton set a new PR and a third place finish with a jump of 7.25 meters.
Wrapping up the day was Jasmyn Pilcher who posted a PR of her own with a time of 26.13 in the women’s 200m.
“There were some difficult conditions in Memphis with the heat, humidity and wind resulted in the times not being a true reflection of our fitness,” said UT Martin head coach Peter Dalton. “Regardless, the athletes performed strongly and we are looking forward to the OVC Outdoor Championships. Lastly, we are so proud of Ann’s achievement of earning her spot in the NCAA first round. Ann has led like a true champion and we are excited to see her succeed at the regional and national level.”
UT Martin will now turn its focus to the OVC Outdoor Championships which run May 11-13 in Oxford, Ala.