Off to Oxford

SEC Outdoor Championships begin Thursday

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Vanderbilt track and field team will be represented by 20 student-athletes at the three-day 2022 Southeastern Conference Outdoor Championships.

“It’s officially championship season and we feel our team is prepared physically, mentally and emotionally to give their best at this point in the season,” said Althea Thomas, director of cross country and track and field. “The last two regular season meets saw us improve our conference and regional marks putting us in striking position to score in multiple events. Our coaches and support staff have developed and groomed these ladies to a level that has transformed the program.”

The meet will begin on Thursday and conclude on Saturday in Oxford, Mississippi making Ole Miss the site host.

The meet will commence on Thursday with the women’s hammer throw at noon and concludes with the men’s 10,000 meters at 9:20 p.m., both finals races. Friday begins at 1:45 p.m. with the men’s 110 meter hurdles, a part of the decathlon, with the day ending at 9:20 p.m. with the men’s 3,000 meter steeplechase. Saturday opens up with the women’s discus, final, at 12:30 p.m. and the championship wraps on the track at 8:40 p.m. with the men’s 4×400 meter relay.

“The SEC championship meet is the greatest meet in track and field and we are going to Anchor Down and show our greatness with some of the NCAA’s bests,” said Thomas.

Although the Commodores have had a week off from competition, the Dores prepped well at the Outdoor Music City Challenge a few weekends ago. Hosting the only home meet of the outdoor season, Vandy looked to capitalize on that home field advantage as well as celebrate its seniors fashionably.

The two-day meet on April 29 and 30, welcomed student-athletes from Alabama A&M, Arkansas State, Austin Peay, Belmont, Carson-Newman, Lindenwood, Lipscomb, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, Murray State, Ohio, SIUE, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech, Trevecca, UT-Martin, Western Kentucky, and a trio of shot put Olympians.

On Friday, Haley Bishop and Taiya Shelby took first and second in the 200 meters with times of 23.28 and 23.36 respectively. Shelby’s time is her new personal best in the event. Divine Oladipo‘s second place finish of 55.18 meters in the discus not only reset the school record, which was previously hers as well, but is the new top mark all-time and the top mark in the Southeastern Conference.

Niki Narayani’s bronze 9:36.70 personal best race in the 3,000 meters set the pace for the Commodores in the event. Narayani’s time is now fifth all-time in this event. Philip Metcalf and Lucas Mowery competed in the 1,500 meters for the first time in their careers. Nick Laning and Caleb Van Geffen both set personal bests in the 3,000 with times of 8:11.06 and 8:40.51 respectively.

After a successful senior day recognition, Vanderbilt locked in. In the very first track event of the day for the Dores, the 4×100 meter relay – Nicole Anderson, Madison Fuller, Bishop, and Shelby – took first-place with a time of 45.18.

Josephine Dal raced into the record book with a 13.97 finish in the 100 meter hurdles, taking fifth overall. Dal’s time is now fourth all-time in school history. Bishop cruised to the finish line at 11.23 in the 100 meters, with a gold finish. Vanderbilt raced six in the 800 meters, paced by Grace Jensen‘s second-place time of 2:05.91. This time is a personal best for Jensen and now sixth all-time in the event.

Oladipo contended against Olympians in the shot put and finished second overall at 17.12 meters. Paced by his teammates, Jonah Bird‘s bronze finish came at a time of 15:14.20 in the men’s 5,000 meters. The 4×400 meter relay team of Kaira Brown, Anderson, Julia Rosenberg, and Jensen concluded the meet for the Commodores at 3:49.30.