Women Place Second; Men Third At Samford Invite
Four Yellow Jackets win events in Birmingham
Birmingham, Ala. – The Georgia Tech women’s and men’s track and field teams placed second and third Friday at the Samford Invite at the Birmingham CrossPlex. The women totaled 79 points on the day, less than two points back from winner Western Carolina, and the men tallied 61 points, six less than second-place finisher Samford.
Highlighting the day for the women were Bailey Weiland, who won the high jump with a mark of 1.75m (5’8.75”) for 10 points, and Samantha Becker, who won the pole vault with a huge PR of 4.15m (13’7.25”) for 10 points. Ksenia Novikova took sixth in the pole vault (three points) with a height of 3.65m (11’11.75”).
“We had a couple of wins and a plethora of career bests today, and the team had the kind of day we were looking for in our last competition prior to the conference championships in two weeks,” head women’s track coach Alan Drosky said. “Samantha Becker's win in the pole vault was not only a career best, but symbolic of how our women's team is reaching new heights each week.
“Bailey Weiland continues to jump really well, and Carissa Tipler had a great day in both the long and triple jumps. We had big breakthroughs today in the hurdles with Kenya Collins' big personal best, Jazmyne Taylor in the 400m, Samantha Kiblinger in the 800m, Caroline Kissel and Rachel Hammond in the mile, and Melissa Fairey and Laura Nelson in the 3000m. This team is working hard with a great attitude and is really coming around at the right time.”
The men’s 800 meter and pole vault shined for Georgia Tech. Six Yellow Jackets placed in the top 10 of the 800 meters, including four Jackets that scored points. Brandon Lasater won the event (1:49.43; 10 points), Zack Fanelty placed third (1:50.23; six points), Andres Littig took fifth (1:51.39, four points), and Chris Burnett placed eighth (1:51.75, one point). Nat Estes (ninth; 1:52.89) and Gabriel Darosa (10th; 1:53.17) rounded out Tech’s top finishers.
“It was a good team effort today,” head men’s track coach Grover Hinsdale said. “Nikita Kirillov, with his win in the pole vault, looks to be back into form. However, this day belonged to the 800m group. Brandon Lasater looked as good or better than I have ever seen him indoors. And, the rest of the group was outstanding as well with several PRs.”
Nikita Kirillov won the pole vault with a height of 5.35m (17’6.50”) for 10 points. In the long jump Myles McDavid placed fourth with a mark of 7.12m (23’4.50”; five points), and William Solomon took sixth with a distance of 6.89m (22’7.25”; three points).
Also in the field events, Ryan Thomas placed fifth in the triple jump with a leap of 14.50m (47’7”; four points).
Carissa Tipler earned points for Tech in three events; four points in the 200m (fifth place; 24.65), eight points in the long jump (second place; 19’1.25”), and six points in the triple jump (third place; 40’3.50”).
Additional point scorers for the women included Jazmyne Taylor in the 400m with two points (seventh place; PR: 56.38) and Samantha Kiblinger in the 800 meters with four points (fifth place; PR: 2:12.70).
Carolina Kissel, Morgan Jackson and Rachel Hammond placed in the top 10 in the mile to earn Tech points. Kissel placed third (PR: 4:56.62) for six points, Jackson followed in fourth (4:57.52, five points), and Hammond placed seventh (PR: 4:59.01, two points). For the men, Patrick Fleming took sixth (4:12.30; three points).
Melissa Fairey placed fourth in the 3,000 meters for five points with a career-best time of 9:56.87 and Laura Nelson took seventh (PR: 10:07.35, two points). For the men, Matthew Munns took seventh (8:43.30; two points).
Kenya Collins took seventh in the 60-meter hurdles preliminaries (8.70), and improved her time to 8.60 for third place in the finals and six points. Andreas Ward qualified for the 60-meter hurdle finals with a time of 8.46, and took seventh in the finals (8.55; two points).
Zachary Gunnz finished the 60-meter prelims with a time of 6.95, and finished fifth in the finals for four points. Gunnz placed fifth in the 200 meters (four points) in a time of 21.87.
The women’s 4x400-meter relay team of Dominique Hall, Jazmyne Taylor, Ama Larbi and Christina Pensock placed third (six points) in a time of 3:45.64. The men’s 4x400-meter relay team made up of Alexander Reese, Fanelty, Estes and Lasater placed sixth in a time of 3:19.44 (three points).
The Jackets are back in action Feb. 26-28 at the ACC Indoor Championships hosted by Virginia Tech at the Rector Field House in Blacksburg, Va.