By Nate Perry, TTU Sports Information
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Lisa Wickham reigned supreme in the 60 meters, Raven Smith broke the Tennessee Tech indoor triple jump record, and other Golden Eagles recorded new personal bests, as the TTU track and field team took another step forward on Saturday at the Indiana Relays.
"The ladies were exceptional today," said coach Wayne Angel. "They represented Tennessee Tech in grand style, and I am so proud of everyone. They all competed with a high level of intensity."
Wickham matched her performance from Friday, running the 60 in 7.50 seconds to claim the title. In a finals section that featured four Power 5 athletes, Wickham was head-and-shoulders above the rest, crossing the line nearly one tenth of a second before anyone else (runner-up was 7.59).
It's Wickham's third career victory, and fourth top-five result.
"Lisa continues to shine in the 60 meters," Angel said. "She won convincingly. I'm looking for some great things from her in the future."
Her 7.40 60-meter time from last week is still the best mark in the Ohio Valley Conference by a wide margin, and ranks 34th nationally.
Smith leapt 12.00 meters (39 feet, 4.5 inches) in the triple jump, which reset her own mark as the best in TTU's indoor history. It surpasses her previous pinnacle of 11.95 meters (39-2.5) from the 2016 OVC Indoor Championships.
The senior from Atlanta already owned the top mark in the OVC, but is now separated from the No. 2 by more than eight inches, and is the only athlete to have met the 12-meter plateau.
Smith took fifth place out of nine jumpers in the event, and bested representatives from Ole Miss and Wisconsin in the process.
"Raven continues to prove that she is one of the best triple jumpers in the OVC," said Angel. "She did a super job in breaking the school record today."
After setting a new school record in the 5,000 meters Friday night, Purity Sanga followed up with a personal-best 4-minutes, 54.5-seconds in the mile run on Saturday. That time is the new No. 1 in the OVC, and marks the first time she has broken the five-minute barrier in her career. She placed sixth out of 29 runners in the competition.
Janet Kwambai ran alongside Sanga, and also recorded a new top mark for herself. The freshman completed the mile in 5:08.49, which cut over 10 seconds off her previous best, and slots in as the fourth-best time in the OVC this season.
"Purity and Janet did a wonderful job in the mile, as both of them set PRs," Angel said. "Purity now leads the OVC in the mile, the 3K, and the 5K."
Khemani Roberts improved on her mark from Friday's 60-meter hurdles prelims, crossing the line at 9.03 seconds. That time is her best this season, and ranks tied for 10th on the OVC Indoor Performance List.
Tech also ran its 4x400-meter relay team on Saturday, which recorded its fastest time of the season, 3:55.33. The squad, which ran together for the first time this year, was made up of D'Airrien Jackson, Roberts, Wickham and Teauna Anderson.
"I'm very pleased with what we were able to accomplish this weekend," said Angel. "We came in fired up, and that was clearly evident by our results on both days. I feel very good about where we are, and where we're headed."
Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information