COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Former Tennessee Tech cross country and track and field student-athlete Anna Cooper passed away on Monday following her battle against a rare form of cancer. She was 23.
Cooper graduated from Tech in May 2018, wrapping up a four-year career on the Golden Eagles’ cross country and track and field teams. She was a member of Tech’s first Ohio Valley Conference women’s indoor and outdoor track and field championship teams. Cooper also set a personal-best time in the 800-meter run in the OVC Outdoor Championships in Tucker Stadium in 2018.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Khemani Roberts and Purity Sanga exerted tremendous effort among the nation’s elite at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field East Preliminary on Thursday, but unfortunately saw their 2019 outdoor seasons come to an end at the University of North Florida’s Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville.
“Very proud of these young ladies,” said Tech head coach Wayne Angel. “It was a very long season, and they accomplished what most (Ohio Valley Conference) athletes can only dream of. They certainly are a part of Tennessee Tech legend and lore.”
With the best collegiate athletes from the eastern half of the United States in attendance, the margin for error becomes incredibly slim.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Khemani Roberts, Purity Sanga and Raven Smith will bring their talents to the University of North Florida for the first round of collegiate track and field’s version of the postseason, the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field East Preliminary. UNF’s Hodges Stadium will be the venue for the three-day meet, which will be held Thursday-Saturday, May 23-25.
The Golden Eagle trio marks four straight outdoor seasons that the program has sent at least two athletes to the East Preliminary. Roberts and Sanga are both qualifiers for the second straight year.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Battling a cold rain that hung around for most of the day, the shorthanded Tennessee Tech track and field team received runner-up results from Raven Smith and Purity Sanga on its way to a sixth–place team finish on Saturday at the Ohio Valley Conference Outdoor Championships in Cape Girardeau, Mo.
Taking sixth in the final standings ends Tech’s reign of three consecutive OVC championships (2018 indoor, 2018 outdoor, 2019 indoor), which were also the first three in the program’s history.
While some key pieces were not in the lineup this weekend, the Golden Eagles never gave up, and still managed to finished in the top half of the 12 women’s teams in attendance.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Jumpers Khemani Roberts and Raven Smith generated the storylines for Tennessee Tech on the second day at the Ohio Valley Conference Outdoor Championships, as Roberts claimed her second straight league title in the high jump, while Smith broke the school record with her second-place finish in the long jump.
Roberts’ crown gives her the indoor/outdoor sweep as league champion in the high jump, where she was the only competitor to get over the bar at 1.75 meters (5 feet, 8 3/4 inches). The Bon Accord, Trinidad and Tobago native was perfect at the first five heights in the competition, needing just one attempt to eclipse 1.59, 1.64, 1.69, 1.72 and 1.75 meters, before bowing out at 1.80.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – In the final event of the evening, Sharon Chepkemboi scored Tennessee Tech’s first three points in the 10,000 meters, and Purity Sanga Khemani Roberts and Ceirra Tate posted qualifying marks in their respective preliminaries to highlight Tech’s Day 1 effort at the OVC Outdoor Championships on Thursday.
Participating in the race for the first time as a collegian, Chepkemboi collected her three points as a result of a sixth-place finish out of 19 runners in the 10,000. She was the fastest non-senior in the competition, completing the meet’s longest distance event in 38-minutes, 6.01-seconds. Eastern Kentucky’s Lillian Kiborus claimed the league crown with a 36:13.98.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Coach Wayne Angel and the Golden Eagle track and field team will likely face their stiffest challenge to date as they try to repeat as outdoor champions of the Ohio Valley Conference. Rising programs around the league, along with an adjusted Tech lineup will make for an especially tall task when the OVC Outdoor Championships are contested at Southeast Missouri Thursday-Saturday, May 9-11.
Action from Abe Stuber Track Complex, SEMO’s on-campus venue, will get underway at 9 a.m. on Thursday morning, continue Friday morning at 9:30, and conclude Saturday with events beginning at 8:30 a.m.
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Two more major awards will soon be added to the Tennessee Tech track and field trophy case, as it was announced Wednesday afternoon by the Ohio Valley Conference office that Purity Sanga was named Co-Track Athlete of the Year, while Khemani Roberts was selected as Field Athlete of the Year.
The respective honors salute the dominant outdoor seasons put forth by both Sanga and Roberts, two athletes who have not only helped rewrite the Tech record book in 2019, but have recorded multiple No. 1 conference marks, and included themselves among the best in NCAA Division I.
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Raven Smith reeled in the fourth Ohio Valley Conference Athlete of the Week honor for Tennessee Tech track and field this outdoor season, as the league office recognized the senior jumps specialist on Wednesday for her most recent performance at the Louisville Lenny Lyles/Clark Wood Invitational last weekend.
The Female Field Athlete of the Week award is Smith’s first of the outdoor season and her third overall in 2019, coupled with the two she won during the indoor year.
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.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – With only seven Golden Eagles in action on Friday at the Louisville Lenny Lyles/Clark Wood Invitational, Na’Scottisha Drummond led Tennessee Tech’s relatively quiet day with a seventh-place finish in the long jump, while others posted new personal records and season bests.
Drummond’s seventh-place nod out of 29 competitors was also a huge personal best for the Duncan, S.C. native, as she soared 5.81 meters (19 feet, 3/4 inches), nearly an entire foot further than her previous standard (5.53m, 18-1 3/4).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – With the Ohio Valley Conference Outdoor Championships just two weeks away, Tennessee Tech track and field will undergo its final preparative step this weekend when it travels to Louisville for the Lenny Lyles/Clark Wood Invitational.
The Friday-Saturday meet will be held at UL’s Track and Soccer Stadium inside Cardinal Park, with the first TTU athletes competing at 3 p.m. CT Friday afternoon and 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning.
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – For the second time this outdoor season, Tennessee Tech track and field standouts Khemani Roberts and Purity Sanga reeled in a sweep of the Ohio Valley Conference Athlete of the Week awards. Released by the league office Wednesday, Roberts clinched her third Field Athlete of the Week honor of the outdoor season, while Sanga took home Track Athlete of the Week for the second time.
Roberts turned heads on the national scale with her second-place heptathlon performance at the Virginia Challenge. Her score of 5,482 points is the best in TTU history, surpassing the previous mark of 5,353 points that she also held. The total ranks eighth on the NCAA Division I East Outdoor Qualifying List and 21st on the NCAA Division I Combined List, and tops the OVC Outdoor Performance List by a whopping 693 points.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Khemani Roberts and Purity Sanga continued their impressive outdoor seasons for Tennessee Tech track and field, as Roberts reset her own program mark in the heptathlon, and Sanga added another No. 1 time to her Ohio Valley Conference resume on Saturday at the Virginia Challenge.
Following an outstanding first day that saw her score 3,353 points over four events, Roberts responded with 2,129 points over the final three on Saturday for a new Tech record 5,482. Roberts took second place out of 17 entrants with that total, and finished just 199 points behind the winner, Jordan Gray of Kennesaw State.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – While it was only a small contingent of Golden Eagles competing on Friday at the Virginia Challenge, the group certainly left its mark. Raven Smith took second place with an outdoor-school-record triple jump, and heptathlete Khemani Roberts sits in second place after four events, keyed by a school record and victory in the high jump and another victory in the 200 meters.
Smith soared 12.46 meters (40 feet, 10 1/2 inches) on the second of her six-jump series to reset her own outdoor program record and notch the runner-up finish. The mark was almost three inches better than her previous standard in the Tech record book, a 12.39-meter jump (40-7 1/2) from last year’s Ohio Valley Conference Championships.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Five Tennessee Tech track and field athletes will be back in action following a week off from competition, as Na’Scottisha Drummond, Khemani Roberts, Purity Sanga, Raven Smith and Ceirra Tate have all met the marks to be invited to this weekend’s Virginia Challenge.
The two-day meet, which perennially hosts some of the nation’s top talent, will be held at the University of Virginia’s Lannigan Field on Friday and Saturday, April 19-20.
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Khemani Roberts has been among the elite track and field athletes in the Ohio Valley Conference so far this outdoor season, a fact validated by the league office on Wednesday when it named the senior its Co-Field Athlete of the Week for the second time in three weeks.
In addition to being her second of the outdoor season, the weekly honor is the Trinidad and Tobago native’s third in 2018-19 (one indoor) and fifth of her Tech career (three outdoor, two indoor).
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Tennessee Tech track and field got back to business in a big way on Saturday at the Western Kentucky Hilltopper Relays, led by a school-record performance and two runner-up finishes from jumper/sprinter Khemani Roberts, and several other Golden Eagle marks that have assumed high ranks on the Ohio Valley Conference Outdoor Performance List.
“I was very pleased with our level of intensity today,” said 2018-19 OVC Indoor Coach of the Year Wayne Angel. “We competed like we meant business, and we produced a school record, personal bests and conference-leading performances.”
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – After dividing its forces for a pair of Power 5 conference meets last weekend, and seeing another program record fall courtesy of Purity Sanga, the Tennessee Tech track and field team will reunite for a single-day competition at Western Kentucky on Saturday, as they take part in the Hilltopper Relays from WKU’s Charles M. Reuter Track and Field Complex.
Tech’s day will begin at 9 a.m. CT on Saturday morning when Abby Mink looks to record her first collegiate mark in the discus throw.
RALEIGH, N.C. and GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Purity Sanga added another item to her sensational 2018-19 track and field season, crushing the Tennessee Tech outdoor 10,000-meter record by 12 seconds with a time of 34-minutes, 13.02-seconds at the N.C. State Raleigh Relays.
Sanga’s time bested Micayla Rennick’s previous Tech standard of 34:25.22 set at the 2018 Virginia Challenge. The sophomore from Kenya added further credence to her title as one of the best distance runners in the nation, as her mark is currently the ninth-fastest by a Division I athlete this season.
RALEIGH, N.C. and GAINESVILLE, Fla. – For the first time this season, Tennessee Tech track and field will separate its personnel to tackle two meets in the same weekend, each hosted by a Power 5-conference institution. One Golden Eagle delegation will compete Friday at the N.C. State Raleigh Relays, while the other will be bound for action on Friday and Saturday at the Pepsi Florida Relays.
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Some things change, others don’t.
While the Tennessee Tech track and field team has now moved to the outdoor portion of its schedule, its trend of raking in Athlete of the Week awards from the Ohio Valley Conference has continued, as both Khemani Roberts and Purity Sanga were recognized by the league office Wednesday afternoon as Co-Field Athlete and Co-Track Athlete of the Week, respectively.
The awards add to Tech’s impressive total over the 2018-19 indoor and outdoor seasons, bringing the overall count to a whopping nine over seven regular-season meets.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Khemani Roberts was the top performer on Saturday for Tennessee Tech track and field, notching a third-place high jump finish, as the Golden Eagles wrapped up their first meet of the 2019 outdoor season at the Vanderbilt Black and Gold Invitational.
Roberts elevated over the bar at 1.71 meters (5 feet, 7 1/4 inches) to place third out of 19 athletes, finishing behind only Carly Hinkle and Ellen Ekholm of Kentucky, the No. 7-ranked team in the country according to the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association. Hinkle won the event, passing over 1.81 meters on her second attempt.
The effort was Roberts’ fourth best in her outdoor career at Tech, and was just two and a half inches shy of her personal record. It also marked her fourth career top-five finish in the event while out in the elements.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Ohio Valley Conference Female Indoor Track Athlete of the Year Purity Sanga got off to an excellent start to her outdoor season Friday evening, running the 1,500 meters in 4-minutes, 26.32-seconds for second place at the Vanderbilt Black and Gold Invitational.
Sanga missed the overall victory by the slimmest of margins, coming in just two hundredths of a second behind Grace Jensen of Vanderbilt (4:26.30).
Sanga’s mark stood out among the field of 76 runners, and was an encouraging improvement on her previous best of 4:37.93. She must cut off roughly five and a half seconds to catch Micayla Rennick’s program standard of 4:20.92.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For the Tennessee Tech track and field team, it's on to the next one.
Just over a month removed from their second straight Ohio Valley Conference indoor championship, the Golden Eagles will try to accomplish the same feat with back-to-back outdoor titles, as they begin their six-meet regular season schedule with the Vanderbilt Black and Gold Invitational on Friday and Saturday, March 22-23.
The events will get started at 4 p.m. CT on Day 1, and 10 a.m. on Saturday morning from the Vanderbilt Track in Nashville.
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – For as much winning as she’s done on the track in her two seasons at Tennessee Tech, Khemani Roberts has also been a winner in the classroom, and a key piece of the leadership core for Golden Eagle track and field. Roberts will now add another victory to her resume, as she has been named the TTU Athletics Golden Eagle Unsung Leader for the month of February.
Roberts punctuated her indoor season by competing in 10 different events at the Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Championships on Feb. 20-21. Five of those events were included in her gold-medal pentathlon performance, where she dominated the field with a school-record 3,954 points.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Trailing upset-minded Murray State with three events remaining, the Tennessee Tech track and field team needed a crucial lift in crunch time to keep its hopes of a second straight Ohio Valley Conference indoor championship alive.
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – A tradition that the Cookeville community could get used to, Tennessee Tech women’s track & field head coach Wayne Angel was once again named the Ohio Valley Conference’s Women’s Indoor Coach of the Year following his team’s triumphant run through the 2019 OVC Indoor Track & Field Championships Wednesday and Thursday.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – After the first day of action at the Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships, it would appear that the defending champion Tennessee Tech track and field team arrived at the Birmingham CrossPlex on a mission: to add another piece of hardware to the trophy case.
Through just five scored events on Wednesday, the Golden Eagles have totaled 41 points, and hold a 10-point lead on Southeast Missouri, who currently occupies the No. 2 spot.
Again, with just five events completed, Tech has already racked up three gold medals and one silver medal.