Commodore Momentum Continues on Day 2

Three Vanderbilt student-athletes recorded program all-time top 10 marks Saturday

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Dores wrapped up Day 2 of the Vanderbilt Invitational Saturday at the David Williams II Recreation Center. Over the two days of competition, Vanderbilt track and field tallied two school records, seven program all-time top 10 marks, 12 top 5 placements and eight personal bests.

“I think collectively, as a team, we were able to ride off the momentum from last weekend,” director of track and field Althea Thomas said. “Momentum allows you to stay consistent on the things you’re trying to improve, and I think the whole team really built off the momentum from last meet. It was positive to see that.”

To start off Saturday’s action, Taylor McKinnon advanced to the 60-meter hurdles final with a time of 8.69 seconds. She placed fifth overall, turning in a time of 8.62 seconds in the final, 0.01 seconds off her personal best.

In the shot put, Sarah Omoregie and Giavonna Meeks improved upon their marks from the Commodore Challenge. Omoregie finished second among collegians and fourth overall in the invite division with the third-best shot put throw in school history (16.46 meters). In the open division, Meeks finished second overall, throwing a personal best 15.46 meters. Veronica Fraley was again the top collegiate finisher in invite division of the shot put. She came in third overall with a top throw of 16.68 meters.

Caroline Eck earned a sixth-place finish in the mile, crossing the finish line in 4:48.36. In the same event, Gigi Clifford had a time of 5:08.63, which is a personal best.

Allyria McBride recorded yet another all-time top 10 time, finishing second in the 400 meters with a time of 54.56 seconds, the No. 5 time in program history.

In the last event of the weekend, the 4×400-meter relay team of Ella Escobar, Lena Gooden, McBride and Falon Spearman placed first with a time of 3:43.01. The four Dores shaved more than a second off their 4×400-meter time from the Commodore Challenge.

On Friday, Meeks and Julia Rosenberg reset school records in their respective events—the weight throw and the 1,000 meters. McBride, who was the top collegiate finisher in the long jump, came up 1 centimeter short of the school record and now holds the No. 2 spot on the all-time top 10 list with a 5.98-meter jump. In the same event, Anaya Webster and Gooden reached marks of 5.85 and 5.79 meters, respectively, both ranking in the top 10 in program history.

“We saw Giavonna ride the momentum from last meet in an event she does every week,” Thomas said. “We saw that, too, with athletes like Julia in the 1,000 meters, coming off her strategic race last week (in the 3,000 meters), and Allyria going from the 300 to the 400 meters. Even with individuals in the long jump, we saw them put it all together. It was what any coach wants to see—brick by brick we’re getting closer to our goal.”

In the pentathlon, Madison Murray recorded a 500-point PR, totaling 3,540 points over the five events. The score is ninth-best in Vandy history.

“We have a great leader in Madison Murray, and this particular meet is the one where we get to see our multi-event athletes put it all together,” Thomas said. “Madison never disappoints in how she shows up every day and tries to be better than she was yesterday, last week, last year. Her 500-point PR definitely ignited the team and helped to solidify and confirm that this is possible and that Vandy is here.”

Vanderbilt track and field will take a weekend off competition before heading to Boston, Massachusetts, for the Crimson Elite (Feb. 2) and Bruce Lehane Scarlet and White Invitational (Feb. 3).

“We hope coming off the two meets that we embrace the characteristics that created this momentum,” she said. “We want to make it a lifestyle so that regardless of whether we have a meet or not, we have that type of intention and intensity in our training that allows us to be even more prepared for our upcoming meets. We’re looking forward to a full week to dive into those techniques and those paces to be most prepared for the next time we step on the track.”

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