April 21, 2018
Multiple Commodore track athletes established personal records for the second straight day while competing at meets in North Carolina and Alabama.
Most of the fireworks came from Durham, N.C., where six Commodores set new bests in the 800 meters and 5,000-meter run at the Duke Invitational.
At the War Eagle Invitational in Auburn, standout sprinter Jenn Edobi provided the main Commodore highlight by breaking 24 seconds in the 200 meters for the first time in her four-year Vanderbilt career.
Vanderbilt head coach Steve Keith was impressed with the overall production in one of his squad’s final preps before the Southeastern Conference Track and Field Championships. The meet is set for May 11-13 in Knoxville.
“We had a number of tremendous distance and middle distance performances at Duke. And at Auburn, I thought Jenn really provided a strong highlight in windy conditions that impacted several of our field event athletes,” Keith said.
Three Commodore middle distance runners – Reagan Bustamante, Ginger Hutton and Kendall Derry – provided personal records in the 800-meter run at Duke one day after accomplishing the same feat in the 1,500-meter run.
Bustamante, in the middle of her best stretch of races as a Commodore, lowered her career-best in the 800 to 2:06.22 with a second-place result. Hutton and Derry followed Bustamante in the event by setting personal records of 2:10.57 and 2:10.73, respectively.
The distance corps capped a superb Duke Invitational showing in the 5,000-meter run, where Devon Grisbaum, Mailin Struck and Gillian Mortimer all produced career-best performances. Grisbaum knocked 17 seconds off her previous best with a 16:44.07 effort that earned a sixth-place finish. Struck followed in 10th place in 16:57.20 while Mortimer finished 13th in 17:04.44.
Edobi sliced her outdoor best in the 200, becoming just the second Commodore ever to break the 24-second barrier. She took .27 of a second off her collegiate-best with a time of 23.90.
Recent Commodore pole vault record holder Kristen Denk finished second in Auburn’s windy conditions. Her top clearance was 12-11.75 (3.96 meters). Teammate Margaret Ollinger was seventh with a leap of 12-06 (3.81 meters).
Courtney Clayton, an All-American performer last year who was returning from a two-month layoff, demonstrated excellent form by finishing fourth in the 800-meter run at Auburn. She was clocked in 2:09.50.
The Commodores are expected to send a select squad to the Penn Relays in Philadelphia next weekend in their final prep for the SEC Championships in Knoxville.
Duke Invitational – Day 2 Results
800-meter run – 2. Reagan Bustamante 2:06.22. 15. Ginger Hutton 2:10.57. 17. Kendall Derry 2:10.73.
5,000-meter run – 6. Devon Grisbaum 16:44.07. 10. Mailin Struck 16:57.20. 13. Gillian Mortimer 17:04.44. 17. Caroline Pietrzyk 17:34.88. 19. Anna Grace Morgan 17:56.08.
War Eagle Invitational – Day 2 Results
Pole vault – 2. Kristen Denk 3.96 meters (12-11.75). 7. Margaret Ollinger 3.81 meters (12-06.00).
Long jump – Sophia Falco 5.53 meters (18-1.75).
100 meters – S. Falco 12.34.
200 meters – 10. Jenn Edobi 23.90. S. Falco 24.62. Regan Clay 24.81.
400 meters – 2. J. Edobi 53.96. R. Clay 57.65.
800 meters – 4. Courtney Clayton 2:09.50.