By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech track & field team produced a strong finish to the 2021 regular season Saturday, gathering a number of personal records among the ranks of the Golden Eagles in competition at the Tennessee Challenge.
"There were many positives all around the track today," Tech head coach Peter Dalton said. "This year has been exceptional in many ways, but the student-athletes out there representing us with pride have stuck to the task and they deserve the positive results. We are excited to focus on the OVC Championships next."
Kicking off the day for the purple and gold were personal-best showings in the long jump from freshmen Cayla Johnson and Samaria Allen and sophomore Anya Akili. Johnson led the trio with a leap of 5.42m, one of her three PRs on the day.
The Upper Marlboro, Md. native also clocked career showings of 27.75 in the 200m and 16.18 in the 100m hurdles. Akili delivered her best showing with a jump of 5.40m and won her heat in the 100m hurdles, registering a person-best time of 15.34 to lead the team. The Mason Hall, Trinidad and Tobago native also turned in a time of 25.54 in the 200m.
Allen, a Lithonia, Ga. native, lept to a distance of 5.30m for her top performance of her young career. She also anchored Tech's 4x100m relay team, sharing the race with teammates Teauna Anderson, Ashtin Holman and Chanel Bishop to finish in a time of 49.39.
Competing in the 800m for the Golden Eagles, junior Alexa Brugere posted a career-best showing with a time of 2:18.27. Freshman Nyla Armand also took part in the 800m, collecting a season-low time of 2:25.73.
Senior Tieara Norman narrowly missed her person-best in the 400m hurdles, clocking a solid time of 1:02.98. The Portland, Ore. native then rallied and competed in the 4x400m relay with Anderson, Akili and freshman Ayanna Haywood, posting a time of 4:20.72.
For the final time in her Golden Eagle career, senior Courtney McCowan suited up in the purple and gold, collecting a personal-best time in the 1500m run in her final collegiate race of 5:29.02. Junior Tina Cesnik led Tech in the event with a time of 4:47.15.
Making her Tech track & field debut was freshman Amanda Laboy, one of the Golden Eagles' top performers from the cross country season. The Franklin, Tenn. native produced a time of 11:01.33 in the 3000m run for a top-10 finish.
Joining the party of PRs on the day were sophomore Jalena Curbeam and freshman Jadae Joseph, each leaping to new personal marks in the triple jump. Curbeam, a Nashvillian, led the way with a distance of 11.30m while the Miami, Fla. native, Joseph, turned in a distance of 11.23m.
The Golden Eagles wrap up the 2021 season at the Ohio Valley Conference Championships, hosted by Eastern Illinois in Charleston, Ill. from Thursday, May 13 through Saturday, May 15.
Photos by Tennessee Tech Track & Field