December 5, 2011

VCU MEN'S AND WOMEN'S TRACK & FIELD TURNS IN IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCES AT CNU HOLIDAY OPEN

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The VCU Men's & Women's Track & Field teams made the short trek to Newport News on Sunday morning for the 2011 CNU Holiday Open at the Freeman Center.

The Rams turned in a number of impressive performances, even breaking one school record in the process.

"I'm really pleased with how the athletes performed today," said VCU Head Track & Field Coach Jon Riley. "They took the things we have been working on and started to apply them under the pressure of a meet. If they keep working hard and staying patient, we will be in really good shape at the end of the season."

VCU freshman sprinter Alexis Stroman impressed in her first meet with the Rams, as she broke a school record and claimed first place honors in the 60-meter hurdles. After posting a time of 9.34 in the preliminaries (good for ninth place), Stroman sped past the field in the finals crossing the finish line in 8.68 seconds. The freshman broke current teammate Rachel Montague's record (8.85 seconds in 2011).

In the same event, the Rams captured a pair of top ten finishes with Chaneka Perry coming in eighth (9.27) and Nneka Ogwu finishing in 10th place (9.36). 

Perry also took part in the triple jump, claiming first place honors with a jump of 11.47 meters. Perry next's closest competitor was William & Mary's Grace Oxley, who cleared 11.26 meters. Junior Jennifer McAvoy gave the Rams a third place finish in the same event, as she jumped 11.23 meters.

Redshirt sophomore Jaleesa Williams garnered a second place finish in the women's shot put, as she was one of only three competitors in the field to clear 14 meters. Williams toss traveled 14.17 meters for the Rams only second place finish on the women's side. 

The Rams had a number of athletes earn fourth place finishes, including senior Brandy Preston (weight throw – 15.71 meters), redshirt senior Stephanie Newing (pole vault – 3.20 meters), senior Jazlynn Finney (women's long jump – 5.54 meters), senior Nicole Walters (600 meter run – 1:39.66) freshman Nicole Grasty (400 meter dash – 1:00.02)  and freshman Niema Eaves (800 meter run – 2:23.28).

The VCU Men also turned in a number of impressive performances, with freshman Khalid Khamis leading the way with a third place finish in the mile (4:28).

After coming in fifth in the prelimaries of the 60 meter hurdles, sophomore Chase Turner moved up one spot in the finals to earn a fourth place finish. Turner crossed the finish line in 8.33 seconds in the finals. 

Junior Alex Hinton turned in a sixth place finish in the 600 meter run, crossing 1:24.17.   

The Rams had three student-athletes finish in the top 10 in the 5000 meter run, with junior Brenden Leavitt leading the way in sixth place (15:12.88). 

Both teams will shut things down until after the New Year, starting things back up at the Father Diamond Invitational hosted by George Mason University on January 7th.

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