Robinson, Jackson win individual titles, Golden Eagles eighth at OVC Championships

Robinson, Jackson win individual titles, Golden Eagles eighth at OVC Championships

By Rob Schabert, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Information

Click here to view (PDF) complete meet results

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Freshman Na'Asha Robinson repeated her championship in the 400-meter dash and missed the title at 200 meters by the absolute narrowest of margins, pacing the Tennessee Tech track & field team on the final day Saturday at Tennessee State's Ed Temple Track.

Robinson earned first, second, third and fourth place finishes, including two individual races and two relays, accounting for 29 points for the Golden Eagles on their way to scoring the team's highest total in history at the meet with 59.5 points. It left the Golden Eagles in eighth place, just 5.5 points shy of sixth.

In addition to Robinson's individual championship, freshman D'Airrien Jackson also sprinted her way to an individual crown when she ran away from the field in the 800-meter event. Jackson, who also ran on both relay squads, accounted for 21 points.

Freshman Raven Smith finished sixth in the triple jump to earn six points, while Sharnique Leonce scored points in both relays and placed sixth in the heptathlon to total 17 points. The Golden Eagles also scored points in the 1,500-meter run when Sarah Brandt finished seventh for two points.

Tech's 4x100 relay team, featuring Robinson, Jackson, Leonce and freshman Crystal Liebenberg, placed fourth for five points, and the same foursome finished third in the 4x400 relay for six points.

Two school records were broken Saturday, and several others barely stood despite the breezy conditions. The 4x100 relay team finished in 46.38 to eclipse the previous mark of 46.54, set a week earlier.

In the triple jump, Smith's sailed 39 feet, 11 inches to narrowly top her own mark by a half-inch.

Robinson's second-place finish in the 200-meter dash came in 24.00 seconds flat, just 0.01 seconds behind the winning time of 23.99 seconds. Her time was just off her own school record time.

Likewise in the 400-meter dash, where Robinson cruised to the victory with a huge gap before the balance of the field crossed the finish line – a sight reminiscent of Secretariat's 1973 Belmont runaway. Her time was 53.19 seconds.

Jackson also took control in the 800-meter run, finishing in a time of 2:10.37 and a comfortable margin from the runnerup.

In the 4x400 relay, Jackson was nothing short of brilliant in the second leg of the race, covering her distance with a split of 51.77 seconds (better than the school record at 400 meters). It was a key factor in Tech's third place time of 3:42.54, just a second off the school record pace.

Eastern Illinois won the women's team title with 163 points, easily outdistancing host Tennessee Tate (144.5). Austin Peay (81) was third, followed by Southeast Missouri (79), SIUE (72), Jacksonville State and Murray State (65), and Tech (59.5).

The Golden Eagle women finished ahead of perennial power Eastern Kentucky (52), as well as Belmont (32) and Morehead State (5). Golden Eagle results from Saturday at the OVC:
Event – Finish, Athlete(s), Performance, Meet Points
200m – 2 Na'Asha Robinson, 24.00 (8)
400m – 1 Na'Asha Robinson, 53.19 (10)
800m – 1 D'Airrien Jackson, 2:10.37 (10)
1,500m – 7 Sarah Brandt, 4:36.65 (2)
               20 Jenna Storms, 4:58.43
               22 Anna Cooper, 4:59.77
5,000m – 25 Lera McNamara, 21:00.82
4x100m Relay – 4 Leonce, Jackson, Liebenberg, Robinson, 46.38 (5)  School Record
4x400m Relay – 3 Robinson, Liebenberg, Jackson, Leonce, 3:42.54 (6)
Triple Jump – 6 Raven Smith, 39' 11" (3) School Record
Hammer – 14 Makayla Kington, 121' 7"
Heptathlon – 6 Sharnique Leonce, 4227 (3)
     800m – 2, 2:33.58
     Long Jump – 3, 17' 3"
     Javelin – 5, 88' 7"

Some photos from Saturday's action:

The following photos by Katherine Seghers, TSU Sports Information: