Four top-five finishes highlight Saturday showing at Fred Wilt Open

Four top-five finishes highlight Saturday showing at Fred Wilt Open

By Nate Perry, TTU Sports Information

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A day after Khemani Roberts shined in the pentathlon, the Tennessee Tech track and field team recorded a quartet of top-five finishes on Saturday at the Purdue Fred Wilt Open, including a 4x400-meter relay victory, and another from Na'Scottisha Drummond in the high jump.

"I was very pleased from top to bottom with our performances today," said head coach Wayne Angel. "We came here to compete and that's exactly what we did."

"For the most part, we had a strong presence in all the events that we competed in," Angel said. "That, coupled with some strong individual performances, made for a great day."

Drummond was one of two athletes to get over the bar at 1.66 meters (5 feet, 5 1/4 inches), which gave her the second high jump victory of her career, and her first indoors. She shared the top spot with Alexis Zatta of Purdue, who also was successful on her second attempt at 1.66. Neither jumper could muster a 1.71-meter jump.

Drummond's leap is her second best of the season, and ties for the second best of her indoor career. Her 1.70-meter result from this year's Vanderbilt Invitational is her top mark, which is tied for second in the Ohio Valley Conference for the 2018-19 campaign.

The 4x400-meter relay team headed a group of five in the event, and with a converted time of 3-mintues, 53.78-seconds, was more than three and a half seconds faster than any other foursome.

D'Airrien Jackson, Khemani Roberts, Lisa Wickham and Ciera Tate were responsible for that time, which is Tech's best in the 4x400 this season by more than one and a half seconds. It also comes in as the second-fastest mark put up by an OVC school this year.

"We continue to rise to the level of our competition at the right time with the right attitude," Angel said.

Raven Smith was third in the long jump, recording a new indoor personal best with a 5.63-meter leap (18 feet, 6 inches). It was a half-inch improvement on her previous best, 5.62 meters, which was set at the Vanderbilt Indoor Opener.

Her new mark was the best out of the four OVC long jumpers at the Fred Wilt, and moves her into a three-way tie for the fifth-best distance in the conference.

Jackson was the top OVC finisher in the 200 meters, taking fourth place out of 28 with a time of 25.80 seconds. It was the fifth career indoor top-five finish in the 200 for the senior.

Tate was eighth in the 200, posting a time of 26.04 seconds in her first appearance in the event this year.

Teauna Anderson came in 11th in the 200 with a time of 26.19 seconds.

Anderson also advanced out of the preliminaries section of the 60 meters, taking the second-fastest time in her heat and seventh-fastest overall with a 7.98. She was TTU's fastest entrant in the event.

Jordan Toney matched her career best in the 60, clocking a time of 8.12 seconds for 11th place. She also competed in the 200, where she ran a 26.92.

Alexa Brugere was Tech's last top-five finisher, running the 800 meters in a personal-best 2:23.14 for fifth place among 15 athletes. The time is the team's fastest this season by almost 12 seconds, and cracked the top 15 on the OVC Indoor Performance List.

Courtney McCowan joined Brugere in the 800 and finished in 2:38.19.

Sharon Chepkemboi was the fastest Golden Eagle in the mile run, as she posted a time of 5:31.39 for seventh place in her second career attempt.

Vivien Chesire ran the mile as well, recording a mark of 5:43.07.

"We continue to rise to the level of our competition at the right time with the right attitude," Angel said. "I think our team atmosphere is outstanding and our espirit de corps is second to none. We will be ready when the time comes in a couple of weeks in Birmingham."

Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information