By Michael Myers
ROANOKE, Va. – The Southern Virginia University men's and women's track and field teams traveled to Roanoke College to compete in the Bast-Cregger Invitational over the weekend. Several school records and career bests were set as the Knights kicked off a promising indoor season.
On the women's team, Sydney Bigelow and Clarissa Barton finished first and second in the one-mile run, with times of 5:40.05 and 5:40.55, respectively. Bigelow returned to competition in the same evening, placing third in the 3,000-meter race with an impressive time of 10:50.37.
Freshman Lexi Speas became the first women's pole-vaulter in program history at the meet. She finished tied for third place in the pole vault event, reaching 2.80m. In the women's shot put, Mesi Havea threw 10.82m on her final throw, which earned her fifth out of 35 competitors.
As for the men, the distance medley relay team comprised of Colter May, Porter Jones, Nelson Rader, and Michael Myers came in second place with a time of 10:59.2, besting last year's school record by over 28 seconds.
Colter May led the middle-distance group in the mile event, finishing in first with a time of 4:39.64. Braden Robbins and Kevin Shelley followed suit in second and third place with times of 4:46.50 and 4:47.57, respectively.
Derek Blasko set a career and program best in the shot put, with a throw of 13.66m. In a competitive field of 34 throwers, Blasko finished third for the Knights.
After the meet, first-year head coach Elizabeth Wilson is optimistic about where the Knights can finish by the end of the indoor season. "I am pleased with what I saw this weekend" she commented. "After the Christmas break, we will be ready to hit the ground running and start training with the intent of having our best performances at the conference meet."
The Knights return to action on Friday, January 19 when they travel to Newport News, Va. to compete in the CNU Captains Invitational.