BATON ROUGE, La. — On Saturday, the Commodores wrapped up the SEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships. After three days of competition, the Vanderbilt women’s track and field team finished in 11th place and totaled 39 points, which is the most scored by the program since 1999. This weekend, Vanderbilt boasted two individual SEC champions, six scoring performances and a plethora of personal bests and entries into program record books.
“The whole team from the athletes to the coaches to the support staff were working to be the best. Not just to have a presence and be better but to be the best, and it’s showing in everything that we do” director of track and field Althea Thomas said. “It feels really good. I’m most proud of how they’re doing everything with confidence and assurance, even beyond rankings and what people expect.”
Veronica Fraley was crowned SEC discus champion after breaking the Vanderbilt and Bernie Moore Track Stadium facility records with a personal best 62.84-meter throw. Her mark is No. 13 in collegiate history. Over the course of six throws, five surpassed Fraley’s previous best mark of 60.24 meters.
This is the first year that the Vanderbilt track and field program has ever had two individual outdoor conference champions.
Jada Sims finished 10th in the high jump final, clearing 1.71 meters.
After finishing eighth in Friday’s 400-meter prelims, Taiya Shelby competed in the 400-meter final on Saturday, clocking 53.11 seconds to finish ninth. She PRed during prelims, crossing the finish line in 51.43 seconds, which is the No. 2 all-time mark at Vanderbilt.
The 4×100-meter relay team of Madison Fuller, Ella Escobar, Nicole Anderson and Allyria McBride recorded 46.37 seconds, the sixth fastest time in school history.
In the 400-meter hurdle final, Brooke Overholt and McBride posted scoring marks for Vanderbilt, finishing fifth and seventh, respectively. Overholt ran a personal best 56.64 seconds in the prelims, the No. 2 time in school history, and finished with a time of 56.98 seconds in the final. McBride’s time of 56.72 seconds from prelims is a personal best and third in program history. In the final, she recorded 57.71 seconds.
Niki Narayani completed the 5,000 meters in 16:43.98, claiming 11th-place. Finishing 18th, Caroline Eck ran a time of 16:58.41.
In the last event of the meet, the 4×400-meter relay team of McBride, Shelby, Kaira Brown and Overholt reset the school record with a time of 3:32.29, finishing in eighth place and scoring for the Dores.
On Thursday and Friday, Beatrice Juskeviciute, Sims and Madison Murray represented the Commodores in the heptathlon, all posting scoring performances. Juskeviciute won the conference title, totaling 6,079 points. Sims finished fourth with a score of 5,638 points, and Murray scored 5,239 points, good for seventh place.
Fraley recorded a 17.23-meter toss in the shot put on Friday, finishing in fourth place and scoring for Vanderbilt. Sarah Marvin and Giavonna Meeks PRed in the shot put, throwing 15.93 meters and 14.11 meters, respectively. Marvin ranks fourth in program history, and Meeks ranks fifth.
On the track on Friday, Santana Spearman tied her personal-best time of 13.63 seconds in the 100-meter hurdle prelims. Julia Rosenberg finished 14th and recorded a personal best 4:26.85 in the 1,500 meters, and Haley Walker recorded a season best 4:31.83 in the same event.
To close out the evening, Joslin Blair and Emma Curry competed in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. Blair finished the race in 11:00.19, and Curry turned in a time of 11:26.57, which is No. 9 on the program’s all-time performer list.
“It’s not just what the team is doing but how they’re doing it. It’s a mindset, even when the rankings suggest we’re going to do one thing. It’s the way we’re performing to show that we’re more than they think we are” Thomas said. “I’m happy to see that they have the vision and belief and faith in the coaches and this program to go out in this conference and execute at the highest level when it matters most. The goal for us is not just to be top 10 at Vanderbilt. For us, the goal is to have top marks in the nation and in the history of different events, like with Veronica and Beatrice. To PR in the biggest way, like Jada, Madison Murray, Allyria and Brooke, says a lot about we’re capable of doing here at Vanderbilt.”
Qualifiers for the NCAA D1 Outdoor Track & Field Championships First Round in Jacksonville, Florida, will be announced later this week.