By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech track & field team opened the 2022 indoor season with a bang Sunday, recording a plethora of personal best marks and several podium finishes at the Ed Temple Classic hosted by Tennessee State in Nashville.
Competing in an indoor campaign for the first time since 2020 due to COVID-19 protocols, the Golden Eagles combined for nine placements on the podium and personal best essentially across the board.
Tech saw four first-place finishes on the day, led by a pair from Cayla Johnson. The Upper Marlboro, Md. native secured the top spot in the high jump, leaping to a personal best of 1.65 meters. Kendall Medders joined her teammate on the podium, claiming a third-place showing with an indoor best of 1.55 meters. Anya Akili also turned in a personal record of 1.50 meters, completing the event fifth overall.
Johnson took home medalist honors in the long jump as well, establishing a personal indoor record of 5.32 meters. Also enjoying her top distance in indoor competition was Samaria Allen, posting a mark of 4.82 meters to finish eighth.
Bryant & Stratton College transfer Tenae Minor produced at an elite level in her Golden Eagle debut, winning the 55-meter dash with a time of 7.17 seconds. She was followed by rookie Kategie Casseus, who placed third with a mark of 7.40 seconds.
Rounding out medalist honors for the purple and gold was Northern Illinois transfer Britnie Dixon. The junior native of St. Elizabeth, Jamaica clocked in a time of 2:24.23 in the 800-meter run. Right behind her in second place was McDonough, Ga. native Nyla Armand with an indoor PR of 2.27.12.
Freshman Amara Nwajagu capped a podium finish in the 400-meter dash, racing to a time of 1:01.36. Junior Jalena Curbeam collected a personal record in the triple jump, earning a runner-up finish with a distance of 11.50 meters.
In the 200-meter dash, Ashtin Holman clocked a time of 26.89 to place fourth while Casseus posted a mark of 27.09 and Minor completed the event at 27.58 seconds. The 4x400-meter relay team of Amara Nwajagu, Anya Akili, Ayanna Haywood, and Diamond Rush finished with a time of 4:28.90.
The Golden Eagles will return to action at the Commodore Challenge hosted by Vanderbilt in Nashville from Friday, Jan. 14 through Saturday, Jan. 15.
Photos by TTU Track & Field