The men’s and women’s track teams focused on individual improvement at the Darius Dixon Memorial Invitational held Feb. 2-3 at Liberty University.
The invitational opened Friday with the men’s weight throw where Kennesaw State made its presence as a group known early. Junior Chuck McConville led the way for the Owls, placing sixth with a throw of 16.21 meters.
He was followed closely by teammates Quan Grady and Daniel McKune with tosses of 15.74 and 15.26 meters respectively, and the trio was able to grab three of the top eight spots for the event.
The women’s 5K was held shortly after the weight throw, and junior Caitlyn Farrell made an impressive showing with a personal best of 17:48.40, putting her in the top three for the competition. Farrell also broke her personal record for the mile later in the meet with a time of 5:17.1.
De’Von Johnson of the women’s team kept Sunday night’s pace going into Saturday morning, finishing second overall in the long jump at 5.75 meters. Not to be outdone, Ashley Thomas and Trezha Berryman of the Owls finished just behind her at 5.70 and 5.43 meters respectively, claiming the fourth and fifth positions.
Johnson would go on to continue her dominance throughout the day, breaking into the top five in the triple jump with a distance of 12.14 meters while Berryman notched a distance of 11.44 meters.
Alex Andrews and Jocselyn Powell of the women’s team both found career bests at the meet. Andrews placed 6th in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.73 seconds, only three-hundredths of a second from second place. Powell finished within the top five of 35 competitors in the 400-meter dash, clocking in at 56.57 seconds while also logging a time of 25.40 seconds in the 200-meter dash.
Dayo Akindele for the men’s team participated in three events and placed no lower than third. The junior finished second in the 60-meter hurdle with a time of 7.95 seconds, setting a new personal best, third in the triple jump at 14.61 meters and second again in the long jump at 7.26 meters.
Freshman Tyler Jones also took part in the final event and placed fourth with a jump of 7.15 meters.
Despite the acknowledgment of this season being a difficult one by director Andy Eggerth, the improvement of the team on an individual basis will set up the team for success down the road, whether it is sooner or later.
“We had a number of PR’s today which was good to see,” Eggerth said. “We continue to move the right direction, but unfortunately, our team as a whole is down quite a bit this year, and we’ve got some rebuilding to do.”
KSU’s next meet will be Tuesday, Feb. 6, at Queens University where they will compete in the heptathlon and pentathlon.