Sights Set on SEC Championships

Vanderbilt track and field travels to Fayetteville, Arkansas for the SEC Indoor Championships

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — After having last weekend off, the Vanderbilt track and field team will travel to Fayetteville, Arkansas to compete in the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships this Friday and Saturday.

Over the course of the indoor season, four school records have been broken, more than a dozen Commodores have added their names to at least one of Vanderbilt’s top 10 lists, and many others have posted career- and season-best performances.

In the pentathlon, graduate student Beatrice Juskeviciute and senior Jada Sims finished first and fourth, respectively, earlier this season at the Vanderbilt Invitational. Juskeviciute broke the school’s 20-year-old record with her score of 4,084. Sims’ performance earned a score of 3,708 and the No. 6 spot on the school’s top 10 list. In the event, Juskeviciute and Sims are now ranked third and ninth, respectively, in the SEC

On the track, graduate student Taiya Shelby broke the 25-year-old school record in the 600 meters (1:29.06) at the indoor season opener, the Commodore Challenge. Shelby also holds the program’s second-fastest time in the 800 meters, finishing the race in just 2:05.79 at the PNC Lenny Lyles Classic. Shelby ranks in the top 10 in the SEC in the 800 meters, holding the No. 8 spot on that list.

In the 60-meter hurdles, graduate students Juskeviciute and Brooke Overholt are at No. 2 and No. 3 on Vanderbilt’s top 10 list. At the most recent meet, Juskeviciute earned third overall in the 60-meter hurdles and ran her personal best time of 8.44 during that event’s semifinals. At the same meet, Overholt posted a personal best time of 8.51 in the 60-meter hurdle preliminaries.

Also at the Music City Challenge, seniors Niki Narayani and Caroline Eck broke the almost 10-year-old 3,000-meters school record; they now rank first and second on Vanderbilt’s all-time list. Narayani finished the race in 9:18.66 and Eck clocked 9:20.85 in the event. Both athletes are among the top 15 in the conference, Narayani at No. 13 and Eck at No. 15.

The 4×400-meter relay of freshman Allyria McBride, senior Kaira Brown and Overholt and Shelby posted a winning time of 3:36.99 at the Music City Challenge. This time was just 0.26 short of the almost 25-year-old school record, now positioning their relay performance at No. 2 on Vanderbilt’s top 10 list.

Other notable track performances from the Commodores’ last outing include sophomore Ella Escobar’s ninth-place finish in the 60-meter dash preliminaries with a personal best time of 7.61 (third in school history), Overholt’s fourth-place finish in the 400-meter dash with a time of 54.14 (No. 4 on Vanderbilt’s all-time list) and junior Rondajai Washington’s 24.46 time in the 200-meter dash (fifth in program history).

On the field, freshman Kosi Umerah has set a new personal best four weeks in a row and has broken the school record in the weight throw each of those four weeks. She is currently the top-ranked freshman in the SEC and 11th overall in the event with her throw of 19.87 at the Music City Challenge.

In the shot put, senior Veronica Fraley ranks second in program history with her throw of 16.56 at the Music City Challenge. This performance ranks Fraley eighth in the SEC. Freshman Commodore Sarah Marvin’s shot put throw of 15.94 at the Music City Challenge places her at No. 11 in the conference. She is the No. 2 ranked freshman in the SEC and holds the No. 4 spot in Vanderbilt history in the event.

Sims started off the indoor season by posting a 1.73 high jump at the Commodore Challenge, finishing fourth in the meet and landing at No. 6 in Vanderbilt history and 15th in the conference.

The SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships will begin on Friday at noon with the women’s pentathlon 60-meter hurdles. Friday’s track events will commence at 4:15 p.m., and field events will start at 5:15 p.m. Saturday’s action will begin at 2:15 p.m. on the field and 4:15 p.m. on the track.

Fans can follow Vanderbilt women’s Track and Field on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @VandyXCTrack.