BLACKSBURG, Va. – There is a phrase
used in sports known as the "sophomore slump."
That phrase does not pertain to the Virginia Commonwealth University women's track & field team as a group of second-year standouts led the Black & Gold at this weekend's Virginia Tech Last Chance Meet.
Sophomores Jazlynn Finney (Leesburg, Va.) (above) and Nicole Walters (Orange, Va.) were outstanding on Friday afternoon. Finney posted a personal best of 19' 2 ½" in the long jump, a mark good enough for a victory in the event. Walters also posted a personal best of 2:54.29, which set a new school record in the 1000-meter.
"I was really impressed with our sophomores after day one," Head Coach Jon Riley said. "Nicole is really coming into her own and she has much more left in her, I can't wait to see her let it go.
"Jazlynn did what I've always thought she was capable of doing and I think that this meet gave her a confidence boost. Having Verniece [Johnson] around with her success in the jumps last year gave Jazlynn a good picture of what it means to be a champion. I think she's getting a little of that swagger."
Freshman Chaneka Perry (Newport News, Va.) (right) had another great weekend as well, setting a school record in the triple jump with a leap of 39' 6". It was nearly a foot over Brandy Butler's old record of 38' 6 ¾". The mark also qualifies her for the ECAC Championships in two weeks.
Junior Quina Fortune (New Orleans, La.) grabbed a top-five finish in the 200-meter dash, then joined Finney, Whitney Key (Goochland, Va.), Rachel Montague (Marlton, N.J.) in the 4x400 relay and bested their own school record with a time of 3:51.53. It was the second straight week that the group set a school-record in the event.
One more sophomore got into the act as Samantha Mosley (Farmville, Va.) posted a personal best in the shot put with a toss of 43' 6", good for a top-10 finish at the prestigious meet.
"We are improving every weekend in each event," Riley said. "We will have one more week of much needed preparation and then we're on to the ECAC Championships. At the Championships, we will attempt to put our athletes in the best position to be successful."
The Rams will have one more week of competition, the Mason Last Chance Meet, on Feb. 28th, before heading to ECAC Championships in the beginning of March.