By Michael Myers
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Behind an all-conference performance in the 3000 meters and several new program records, the Southern Virginia University track and field team competed well in the Capital Athletic Conference Indoor Championship over the weekend.
Freshman Clarissa Barton carried the Knights on the track, beginning with a career best in the mile. Her time of 5:25 was good for fourth place in the conference. In just a few hours' time, Barton returned to competition in the women's 3000 meters. While in third place with just two laps to go, Barton took a fall as she turned the corner to go around the bend.
"I was concerned that I would lose the ground I had been working to cover" she commented after. "I got up as quick as I could and had to kick it into high gear, but I think that helped me push myself even more." Her gritty performance earned her second team all-conference honors in the event.
Also scoring for the Knights was freshman Zach Nerdin in the men's high jump. His leap of 6'2" finished tied for fifth place at the meet and was over three inches higher than his previous season best.
Southern Virginia also had throwers score in both the men and women's shot put. Derek Blasko came in third with a final attempt of 14.26m. Mesi Havea and Madeleine Maher both finished in the top six with throws of 12.62m and 11.38m, respectively.
Michael Myers also had a productive weekend, competing and scoring in four different events. In the men's 800-meter race, Myers was seeded ninth in a competitive field. On the homestretch, Myers caught Matthew Morgan of York and leaned forward at the finish line to secure a victory by 0.04 seconds. His time of 2:01.74 landed in the top five overall.
Head coach Elizabeth Wilson is extremely proud of the team's performance on such a big stage.
"This year we had seven individuals score in nine different events, as well as in two relays," she commented. "Seeing our athletes crack into those top spots this year has shown our conference that as Southern Virginia University continues to build our numbers, we will have high-quality athletes to compete among the very best."
The Knights will close out their indoor season when they travel to participate in the Roanoke Last Chance Qualifier Meet on March 3.