Fast Friday

Fast finishes highlight Friday's Arkansas Qualifier

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Five new entries in the school record book highlighted a series of fast finishes at the Arkansas Qualifier on Friday for the Vanderbilt women’s track and field team.

Sophomore Madison Fuller became the second Commodore ever to break 7.6 in the 60 meters and was one of three Vandy sprinters to rewrite the record book in the 200 meters.

Fuller, junior Taiya Shelby and freshman Haley Bishop combined for three of the top six times in school history in the 200 meters in back-to-back-to-back heats. Prior to Friday, only nine Commodores had broken 25 seconds in the event in the program’s history, while Fuller, Shelby and Bishop all did so consecutively at the Randal Tyson Track Center.

Fuller was first with a personal best of 24.63 which ranks fifth all-time, and was followed by Shelby, who stopped the clock at 24.35. That is the second-fastest time in program history and now trails only NCAA champion Ryan Tolbert (23.99) in the school record book.

Bishop continued the trend and crossed the finish line in 24.78 — which now ranks sixth at Vanderbilt.

Fuller and Bishop each broke the school record in the 60 meters in the season opener Jan. 16 and Bishop still holds the top time in the event at 7.51. On Friday, Fuller improved on the second-best time in program history with a personal best of 7.59 in the preliminaries.

Bishop was just three-thousandths or a second (.003) from qualifying for the finals and was ninth overall at 7.68 (7.676). Fuller finished sixth in the finals at 7.61.

Silver Medal and Top 10 Time 
Senior Ruby Stauber finished second in the 800 meters and moved into 10th-place in the school record book. She crossed the finish line in 2:09.36 to record the fastest time for a Commodore since Haley Walker at the 2019 SEC Championships.

Mile Barrier Breakers
In the mile, three Commodores broke five minutes at the second meet of the year. Sophomore Caroline Eck was under five minutes for the first time in her career at 4:57.95 and was fourth in her section and 11th overall.

Meanwhile, Haley Walker (4:58.20) and Grace Jensen (4:58.83) were 12th and 14th, respectively. Freshman Lainey Phelps (5:01.75) and junior Annie Gallagher (5:01.76) were also near the five-minute barrier.

More Commodore Highlights
In the 400 meters, sophomore Kaira Brown was seventh overall with a time of 56.07.

Sophomore Jada Sims finished eighth in the high jump. She just missed a career-best and finished at 1.68 meters (5-6 ft.).

Sophomore Kaitlyn Deutsch was 12th in the pole vault at 3.7 meters (12-01.50 ft.) and sophomore Josephine Dal was 10th in the 60-meter hurdles at 8.99.

Senior Gillian Mortimer broke 10 minutes and was fourth in the 3,000 meters (9:59.92) while classmate Anna Grace Morgan was sixth at 10:04.94.

Next Up
Vanderbilt returns home to host its annual Music City Challenge on Friday and Saturday. It is the final scheduled meet prior to the SEC Championships — which are right back in Fayetteville — Feb. 26-27.