10k finishes give Tech team lead in OVC meet opener

10k finishes give Tech team lead in OVC meet opener

By Layne Weitzel, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech's one-point lead following the opening day of the 2018 OVC Outdoor Track & Field Championship has everything to do with Micayla Rennick and Purity Sanga.

In the meet opener's final event on Thursday, the senior and freshman stepped to the line for one of the most grueling races in track & field – the 10,000m run. Rennick and Sanga entered tonight's race with the first and third-fastest times in the OVC respectively but had competed just once in the event this season.

Through the first 23 laps of the race, Rennick stayed on the hip of Eastern Kentucky junior Gladys Cheriuyot. With just about two laps to go though, Rennick inched away from Cheriuyot and opened up an insurmountable lead in the last lap to win Tech's first title of the meet in 36:15.72.

Just hours before the start of the meet, the conference recognized Rennick as the OVC Female Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year.

Sanga, in just her second 10,000m race ever, placed fifth with a time of 37:23.75 to score four points for Tech.

The pair's finishes were important, representing the only scoring opportunities Tech would get on Thursday. The Golden Eagles now carry a one-point lead over second-place team Eastern Kentucky following one day of competition.

Two Golden Eagles started Tech's meet in the heptathlon, getting through four events.

Khemani Roberts finished fourth or better in all of her events, winning the high jump with a mark of 1.73m/5'8". She also finished second in the 200m dash by just .02 seconds. With three events to go in the heptathlon on Friday, Roberts sits in second place with 3,309 points.

Eshe Robinson is 11th with 2,626 points after placing within the top eight in three of her four events. She put up two season-best marks, along with a personal record of 27.79 in the 200m dash.

On Friday, Tech is scheduled to compete in the high jump, long jump, 100m hurdles prelims, 400m dash prelims, 100m dash prelims, 800m run prelims, 400m hurdles prelims and 200m dash prelims. Khemani Roberts and Eshe Robinson will finish up the heptathlon with the long jump, javelin and 800m run. Events will begin at 9 a.m. CT.
100m hurdles (heptathlon)
Khemani Roberts – 14.64; 3rd place overall
Eshe Robinson – 14.88; 6th place overall – new season-best
high jump (heptathlon)
Khemani Roberts – 1.73m/5'8"; 1st place overall
Eshe Robinson – 1.49m/4'10½"; tied for 7th place overall
shot put (heptathlon)
Khemani Roberts – 11.17m/36'7¾"; 4th place overall
Eshe Robinson – 9.72m/31'10¾"; 8th place overall – new season-best
200m dash (heptathlon)
Khemani Roberts – 24.62; 2nd place overall
Eshe Robinson – 27.79; 13th place overall – new personal record
10,000m run
Micayla Rennick – 36:15.72; 1st place overall
Purity Sanga – 37:23.75; 5th place overall
1. TENNESSEE TECH (14 points)
2. Eastern Kentucky (13 points)
2. SIUE (13 points)
4. Southeast Missouri (12 points)
4. Belmont (12 points)
6. Eastern Illinois (6 points)
7. Tennessee State (4 points)
8. Jacksonville State (2 points)
8. Austin Peay (2 points)
10,000m run (Micayla Rennick) – 36:15.72
Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information