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Tech prospers with plenty of PRs at the Tennessee Invite

Tech prospers with plenty of PRs at the Tennessee Invite

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – It was a banner weekend for the Tennessee Tech outdoor track & field team, as the purple and gold wrapped up competition at the Tennessee Invite at the Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium in Knoxville.

On the track, there were a healthy amount of highlights for the Golden Eagles, starting with the sprints. In the 200-meter dash, Bay'Andria Hodges rifled off a top-15 showing behind a new personal record of 24.75 seconds, the seventh-fastest mark in the Ohio Valley Conference this season.

Doubling down into the 400-meter dash, Amara Nwajagu blazed to a fourth-place finish. The veteran clocked in at 54.95 seconds for a new PR and the top time in the league this year. Paris Bowles showed out in the 800-meter dash, placing 13th with the OVC's fourth-fastest time and a season-best of 2:15.91.

Moving on the long-distance side of the track, Hayley Stegall and Kendall Johnson impressed in the 1,500-meter run. Stegall produced a career-best mark of 4:53.28 while Johnson's season-best showing displayed at 5:02.67.

Four Golden Eagles enjoyed a fun weekend in the 5,000-meter run, with veteran Helen Pacurariu-Nagy leading the way with a sixth-place, season-best time of 17:27.25. Cookeville native Maddie Long followed with a PR of 17:47.77 and a 12th-place performance.

Right on her teammate's heels in 13th was Makaleigh Jessee. The rookie marked a season-best of 17:49.43. Ava Costello rounded out the group with a new personal record of 18:22.24.

Teaming up for the 4x100-meter relay, Kategie Casseus, Nwajagu, Anya Akili, and Hodges produced a seventh-place result with a season-best time of 46.88 seconds.

Over in the field events, a trio of the Cookeville crew showed off their hops in the high jump. Leading the way with a top-10 leap was Ally Beneke clearing 1.65 meters (5'5"). Kendall Medders marked off 1.60 meters (5'3") while Madison Johnson matched her teammate with a season-best 1.60-meter jump.

Taking off in the long jump was Mattie Bush, leaping to a top-15 showing and PR of 5.50 meters (18'0.5"). She followed it up with a season-best performance in the triple jump, landing at 11.06 meters (36'3.5"). Leading the Tech effort in the triple jump was Sidnee Stanton and her top-15 leap of 11.36 meters (37'3.25").

Rookie Carolina Bannach continued her breakthrough season in the pole vault, registering another outdoor school record with a PR of 3.40 meters (11'1.75").

Competing as individuals for the purple and gold were a trio of Tech's men's cross country team. Carter Bradford earned a PR in the 1,500-meter run, clocking in at 3:55.80. James Hyland picked up a fifth-place finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a season-best mark of 9:16.06. Miceal McCaul placed 10th with a new career-best time of 14:54.48 in the 5,000-meter run.

"It was a phenomenal meet overall with a host of PRs and stellar season-bests," Tech head coach Peter Dalton expressed. "We're excited to go back to work as we pivot into the most important part of the season."

The Golden Eagles head to Cullowhee, N.C. for the Catamount Classic presented by The Everson, competing Friday, Apr. 19 and Saturday, Apr. 20 at the Catamount Athletic Complex.

File photo by Michael Wade

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