The UCA men and women’s track and field teams earned a combined 14 golds during the UCA Open and participated in a graduation ceremony, conducted by UCA President Houston Davis, at the Bill Stephens Track and Soccer Complex on April 14, Senior Day.
Coach Richard Martin said despite last-minute changes to the schedule due to inclement weather and having to perform in colder than expected temperatures, the team performed well.
“As a whole, the athletes competed well. I’m satisfied with the way it turned out. Everybody’s doing a great job,” Martin said.
He said the performance was what he wanted to see as the teams are looking forward to the Southland Conference Championships in the beginning of May.
The women’s team finished the open with 10 first-place finishes.
For women’s track events, sophomore Ajah Criner won the 400-meter with a time of 57.05 seconds, junior Taylor Dunn won the 5,000-meter run with a time of 18 minutes and 04.48 seconds, sophomore Aysha Anderson won the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.26, junior Logan Morton won the 400 hurdles with a time of 1:01.16 and the 4×400 team junior Aliyah Robinson, junior Tia Coleman, senior Samantha Ellis and senior Molly Sampson won in 4:03.95.
For the women’s field events, freshman Taylor Coleman won the long jump with a length of 17 feet and 04.75 inches, junior Hannah Noble won the high jump with a 5’7, freshman Teshuna Sheppard won the
triple jump with a 37’5, senior Shawanna Brockman won the shot put event with a 37’06.75 and senior Rachel Durler won the javelin with a throw of 128’9.
The men’s team finished the day with four gold finishes.
For track events, sophomore Alex Hanson won the 800 with a 1:54.19 and junior Julien Jeandree won the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a 9:33.54. For field events, senior Eric Moore won the high jump with a 6’09.75 and sophomore Darius Herl won the javelin with a throw of 169 — 1.
Moore said he was satisfied with his gold-winning performance in the high jump, but that there is always room for improvement, especially with conference championships coming up.
“I’m going to work on holding, being more patient. Definitely going to work on that,” Moore said.
Moore got back up to a height of 6-10 after jumping a 6-04 the week before in Little Rock. Junior Alex Hanson, who won his first outdoor 800 gold of the season April 14, will be traveling to the University of Virginia next week to compete in regionals.
Hanson currently holds the SLC record for the 800 meter with a time of 1:50.87 and was recognized last week as the SLC Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week.
Along with the track and field events, nine student athletes received degrees in a graduation ceremony on the track of the Bill Stephens Complex.
President Houston Davis handed out the degrees to the athletes.The track and field teams will travel to the University of Oklahoma this weekend to compete in the last meet of the season before conference championships.
Photo by Taylor Sone.