By Nate Perry, TTU Sports Information
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Raven Smith and Purity Sanga showed once again why they are among the stars on the Tennessee Tech track and field team, recording top-eight finishes in the triple jump and the 1,500 meters, respectively, at the Louisville Lenny Lyles/Clark Wood Invitational on Saturday afternoon.
Smith took the top finish of the day, placing fourth among 29 in the seeded section of the triple jump with a mark of 12.26 meters (40 feet, 2 3/4 inches). It marked the third time in four tries that Smith – the owner of the league's top triple jump, 12.46 meters (40-10 3/4) – has notched a top-six result in the event this outdoor season, and the second time she has leapt more than 40 feet. It was the third-best outdoor triple jump of the Atlanta native's career.
Sanga came in seventh in the 1,500 meters, clocking a time of 4-minutes, 37.17-seconds in the 49-member field. Sanga has now finished among the top eight competitors in each of her three appearances in the event. With just one week left in the regular season, she remains atop the OVC Outdoor Performance List with her personal best mark of 4:26.32.
The 4x100-meter relay team, made up of Ceirra Tate, Khemani Roberts, Jordan Toney and Na'Scottisha Drummond, took the team's top time of the season by nearly a full second, completing the race in 46.99 seconds.
It was a marked improvement on the 47.83 posted by Teauna Anderson, Tate, Roberts and Toney at the Vanderbilt Black and Gold Invitational in March. While the new season standard keeps Tech in the No. 4 spot on the OVC list, it moves them significantly closer to No. 3 Austin Peay's 46.86.
Freshman Vivien Chesire joined Sanga in the 1,500 and improved on her only other collegiate attempt, producing a new personal best time of 5:14.03.
Ceirra Tate finished 15th out of 54 in the 200 meters, posting a time of 24.79 seconds. It's Tate's second-fastest time of the outdoor season, and the third-fastest recorded by a Golden Eagle.
Eshe' Robinson and Jessica Walsh joined Tate in the 200 and took times of 29.08 and 30.95, respectively.
Robinson had herself a very busy weekend, as she also competed with Smith in the triple jump for the very first time in her career, and tried her hand at the open section of the high jump. Her first-ever triple jump attempt amounted to an 11.34-meter showing (37-2 1/2), and she cleared 1.56 meters (5-1 1/4) in the high jump.
Sharon Chepkemboi ran the steeplechase for the first time in a Tech uniform and recorded a mark of 11:34.38. While the times from this weekend have not yet been updated, the freshman from Kenya currently slots in at No. 8 on the OVC leaderboard.
Alexa Brugere and Courtney McCowan competed alongside one another in the 800 meters, with Brugere taking the top time and placement, a 2:20.01 for 20th out of 50 entrants. McCowan came around in 2:36.31.
As mentioned, Tech will now take the next week off before attempting to repeat as Ohio Valley Conference Outdoor Track and Field champions. Southeast Missouri will be the host for the three-day meet, which will be held Thursday-Saturday, May 9-11 in Cape Girardeau, Mo.
Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information