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Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles

Golden Eagles soar to success at Catamount Classic

Golden Eagles soar to success at Catamount Classic

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information

CULLOWHEE, N.C. – The Tennessee Tech track & field team took another step forward in its outdoor campaign Friday and Saturday, competing at the Catamount Classic presented by The Everson at the Catamount Athletic Complex.

The podium was a fan of the purple and gold throughout the event,  supporting a number of superb performances by the Golden Eagles. In the 800-meter dash, Paris Bowles was just one of the Tech crew to stand taller than anyone else, earning a first-place finish with a season-best time of 2:13.38.

Joining her with medalist honors was Ally Beneke, leading an incredible effort from Tech in the high jump. The rookie placed first with a season-best-tying mark of 1.66 meters (5'5.25") on the fewest attempts. Madison Johnson matched the leap on more attempts, settling for a second-place display with her top showing of the season. Kendall Medders and Cayla Johnson tied for third in the event with jumps of 1.61 meters (5'3.25").

In the 5,000-meter run, Cookeville native Maddie Long captured another first-place finish for the Golden Eagles, clocking in at 18:08.24. Savanna Amos locked down a personal record while placing fourth with a time of 18:50.04.

Delivering a runner-up showing in the 200-meter dash, Amara Nwajagu recorded the 10th-best time in the Ohio Valley Conference this year with a season-best mark of 24.64 seconds. Bay'Andria Hodges was close behind, finishing fourth with a time of 24.84 seconds.

Carolina Bannach continued her sensational rookie campaign with a second-place display in the pole vault. The freshman cleared 3.55 meters (11'7.75") to turn in both a PR and an outdoor school record. Angela Hoover placed third overall in the triple jump, flying to a season-best mark of 11.23 meters (36'10.25").

Continuing across the banner day for the purple and gold, Hodges blazed to a fifth-place showing in the finals of the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.23 seconds. In the 100-meter hurdles, it was veteran Anya Akili paving the way with a fifth-place showing of 14.92 seconds in the finals. Cayla Johnson locked down a season-best time of 15.58 seconds.

Stretching out to the 1,500-meter run, Helen Pacurariu-Nagy paced a group of PRs with a top-10 showing and a new career-best of 4:48.66. Makaleigh Jessee followed closely behind with her own PR of 4:52.10. Right on her heels with her own personal-best mark of 4:52.80 was Hayley Stegall. Kendall Johnson also finished under five minutes, clocking in with a season-best 4:58.70.

In the long jump, Akili's season-best leap of 5.40 meters (17'8.75") was good for a sixth-place finish while Sidnee Standon placed seventh with a jump of 5.31 meters (17'5.25"). Cayla Johnson produced a mark of 5.28 meters (17'4") to round out the trio of qualifies for the final. Johnson also recorded a new season-best mark in the shot put, tallying a distance of 11.81 meters (38'9") to place fifth.

Tech's 4x400-meter relay team turned in an eye-popping race, winning the event with a season-best mark of 3:49.02. That time was also good for the second-best performance in the OVC this season.

Competing as individuals were a number of members of the Tech men's cross country team, with plenty producing at a high level. James Hyland highlighted the group, winning the 3,000-meter steeplechase behind a season-best showing of 9:35.64.

Carter Bradford was spectacular in the 1,500-meter run, using a PR of 3:54.922 to finish 7th overall. He also earned a top-10 showing in the 800-meter dash, clocking in with a career-best 1:56.29. Isaac Legault nailed down a season-best mark of 1:57.81.

"I'm proud of our athletes for their approach and execution today," Tech head coach Peter Dalton expressed. "This was a big step team-wide as we ready ourselves for the championships segment of the season coming very soon."

The Golden Eagles will now head to Nashville for the Music City Challenge, competing Friday, Apr. 26 and Saturday, Apr. 27 at the Vanderbilt Outdoor Track.

File photo by Michael Wade

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