FORTUNE LEADS RECORD-BREAKING RAMS AT ECAC CHAMPIONSHIPS

BOSTON, Mass. – Prior to the 2009-10 season, the Virginia Commonwealth University women's track & field team compiled a list of goals, one of which was to break seven school records between the indoor and outdoor seasons.

With only the indoor season wrapped up, the Rams are already on pace to shatter that goal after breaking four school records at ECAC Championships to move the overall clip to six broken records already this year.

"I'm extremely proud of this young group," Head Coach Jon Riley said. "We struggled through one of the worst winters in recent memories in regards to snowfall here in Richmond and yet they continued to come to practice with snow boots on, ready to work. No finish the indoor season just one school record away from our goal is outstanding. I may have underestimated the determination and focus of this group."

Leading the way was standout junior Quine Fortune' (New Orleans, La.), who finished second in 200-meter dash with a blistering time of 23.88, good enough for an NCAA Provisional Qualifying mark. So far this year, Fortune' has broken the school record in the 200-meter three times, bettering the original school record (Shaunette Davey -2004-24.58) by nearly a second.

Fortune' was not done as she teamed with senior Whitney Key (Goochland, Va.) and sophomore Jazlynn Finney (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Rachel Montague (Marlton, N.J.) to set a new school record in the 4x400-meter relay with a time of 3:50.72.

"This group has done a nice job this year and it's great to see that we've made progress with breaking the school record, however, we always know there's still a lot of work to do," Riley added.

Finney then headed to the jumping area, where she got the Rams on the scoreboard with a seventh-place leap of 18' 11 ¾" in the long jump.

Other record-breaking performances included sophomore Nicole Walters (Orange, Va.) in the 1000-meter run and freshman Jaleesa Williams (Virginia Beach, Va.) in the shot put. Walters bested her own record with a time of 2:54.07, while Williams toss of 44' 9" also bested her own school record.

"As a coaching staff, we've really been impressed with Nicole's progress during the indoor season and feel that she will only get better as she continues to train at a high level," Riley said. "For Jaleesa, although she fell short of making the finals, I really feel like her being able to gain the experience of competiting at this ECAC Championship will go a long way in her young career."

The Rams will take a couple weeks off before returning to the track to their indoor season opener at William & Mary on March 20th.

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