YOUTHFUL RAMS FINISH THIRD IN FIRST MEET OF 2010

ANNAPOLIS, Va. – In order to build anything, a solid foundation is needed.

Virginia Commonwealth University women's track & field Head Coach Jon Riley is starting to pour the cement on that foundation as his youthful roster posted 12 top-finishes to earn third place at the Rams' first meet of the 2010 calendar year, the Navy Invitational.

"I am extremely pleased with the effort we got from our girls," Riley said. "Anytime there is a holiday break, you never know what to expect when they return. This showed our coaching staff how much fight and determination we have on this roster. My assistants and I thought we had a really good fall of preparing our athletes and it hopefully continues to carry over for the rest of the spring."

The Black & Gold won four different events, highlighted by junior Quina Fortune's (New Orleans, La.) (above) school-record breaking 200-meter dash. In all, seven personal bests, from six different athletes, were posted at the meet.

Fortune broke the school record, the Navy Fieldhouse record and qualified for the ECAC Championships with her victorious time of 24.52 in the 200m.

A heralded freshman class is paying dividends already with Chaneka Perry (Newport News, Va.) and Dionna Hayes (Bowie, Md.) combining for four top-two finishes, including three wins.

Perry picked up victories at the meet. Her leap of 37' 8 ¾" captured the triple jump title, while her time of 9.18 picked up the win in the 60m hurdles. Her leap of 37' 8 ¾" was tops Hayes captured the 60m dash title with an ECAC qualifying time of 7.64, while finishing second to Fortune in the 200m with another ECAC qualifying time of 24.96.

Finishing right behind Perry in the 60m hurdles was senior Sernarra Archie (Winston-Salem, N.C.), who clocked in with a personal best time of 9.19. Sophomore Theresa Trader (Purcellville, Va.) (left) gave the Black & Gold three of the top four spots in the event with a personal best of 9.42, good enough for fourth place.

Freshman Jalessa Williams (Virginia Beach, Va.) added to the strong weekend for the first-year athletes with a second-place showing in the shot put with a toss of 41' ½". Sophomore Samantha Mosley (Farmville, Va.) garnered third place behind Williams with a mark of 41' ¼".

Senior Whitney Key (Goochland, Va.) posted two personal bests at the meet with a time of 6.86 in the 60m dash and 25.84 in the 200m. The veteran finished sixth in both events.
Sophomore Nicole Walters (Orange, Va.) rounded out the personal bests for the Rams with a second-place showing and a time of 5:07.10 in the mile run.

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