OXFORD, Miss, – The Vanderbilt track and field team finished the final day of the Joe Walker Invitational with several first-place finishes on Saturday evening.
“This weekend was a good day for the program,” said Althea Thomas, director of cross country and track and field. “One of our goals is to make meaningful progress within our program and in the SEC. Making Vanderbilt visible and a brand in the world of track and field. Competing at this years site for SEC Outdoor Championships gave us the motivation we needed to give our best.”
The heptathlon continued with the long jump, 800 meter run, and javelin throw. Josephine Dal finished sixth overall in the long jump with a mark of 5.21 meters, 19.93 meters in the javelin throw, and with a time of 2:37.94 in the 800 meter run. Jess Creedon tallied a 4.95 meter mark in the long jump, 29.07 meters in the javelin throw, and with a first-place time of 2:25.68 in the 800 meter run.
“Today we saw Divine continue her legacy in the throws winning yet another competition, throwing one of the top marks in the NCAA, and defeating some great athletes,” said Thomas. “Madison and Taiya showed their versatility tackling what may be considered their secondary event and etching their names in our record books. And the 4×400 meter relay team won the event and showed their ability to execute their second event of the day. We had a great meet overall with motivation for us to keep moving forward while being teammates, is stronger than ever.”
Divine Oladipo competed in the shot put and discus on the night. Her first-place mark of 17.25 meters led the way in the shot put. She set a mark of 51.93 meters in the discus, finishing sixth on the day.
In the second round of the 1,500 meter run, Vandy was represented by the trio of Cameron Fawcett, Julia Rosenberg, and Joslin Blair. The Commodore trifecta tallied times of 4:34.86, 4:04.98, and 4:46.65 respectively.
Zach Hodges finished with a time of 4:04.84 in the men’s 1,500 meter run.
Several Commodores competed in the 800 meters, led by Taiya Shelby‘s fourth-place time. Shelby paced the Dores with a time of 2:05.16 which is now the fourth fastest time in school history. Nicole Anderson and Kaira Brown both finished the race with times of 2:13.61 and 2:13.97 respectively.
To conclude the Joe Walker Invitational, the 4×400 meter relay team took first in the event. The quartet of Shelby, Fuller, Brown, and Bishop notched a time of 3:37.75 for the sixth fastest time in school history.
“Day 1 was an unordinary day with frigid April temperatures,” continued Thomas. “For Haley Bishop to run a lifetime best in the 200 meters, shows she is discovering her greatness and believing in her ability to be one of the nation’s best. Our distance squad showed grit and determination running in less than ideal outdoor conditions. Nick Lanning showed his worth as one of the best in the conference by winning the 5,000 and establishing a new outdoor personal best. His humility and servant leadership is so admirable and it was amazing to cheer him on during the 5,000.”
Vanderbilt will continue the outdoor season in Atlanta, Georgia for the two-day Georgia Tech Invitational on April 22 – 23.