By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
CHARLESTON, Ill. – More personal records and a phenomenal preliminary performance were among the highlights for the Tennessee Tech track & field team on day two of the Ohio Valley Conference Outdoor Championships Friday at O'Brien Field on the campus of Eastern Illinois.
The Golden Eagles added five points to their total from Thursday, wrapping up the second of three days of action in seventh place with 18 total points. Belmont continued to lead, ranking first with 69 points.
Producing the scoring for her squad on Friday was sophomore Anya Akili, placing an impressive fourth overall in the heptathlon, her first attempt at the event in her collegiate career. Hailing from Mason Hall, Trinidad and Tobago, the youngster finished the fifth leg of the event, the long jump, with a distance of 5.27m.
She followed it up with a toss of 25.96m in the javelin. To wrap up the event, she turned in a PR in the 800m, racing to a time of 2:25.11 to finish fourth. All-in-all, Akili concluded the heptathlon with 4,584 points, earning five points for the Golden Eagles.
Freshman Cayla Johnson also finished her first career attempt at the heptathlon, totaling 4,089 points to rank in the top-10. She established a new personal-best mark in the long jump, leaping to a distance of 5.44m.
Competing in the 100m for the first time in her young career, Lyn'Nikka Vance turned in a remarkable showing in the preliminaries. Not only did the sophomore advance to the finals on Saturday, she blitzed her way to the top of the leaderboard with an impressive qualifying time of 11.64, just four-hundredths of a second behind Lisa Wickham's program record.
Also setting new career milestones on the day were freshman Trenia Stephens and sophomore Rahab Sawe. Taking part in the 400m prelims, Stephens recorded a time of 59.07, her first performance under one minute on the year.
As for Sawe, the Eldoret, Kenya native shattered her previous top showing in the 3,000m steeplechase. She captured a time of 11:41.68 to completely eclipse the mark of 12:17.14 she set earlier this season.
Saturday's final day of competition is scheduled to kick off with field events at 11:00 a.m. CT and running events at 12:30 pm.
Photo by Femi Usikalu, Eastern Illinois Athletics