RICHMOND, Va. – Prior to this weekend's CAA Championships, Head Coach Jon Riley talked about the importance of senior leadership at this time of year.
Senior Quina Fortune (pictured, right) was apparently paying attention as she blistered the track for three victories to earn Most Outstanding Performer at the meet. Unfortunately, some injuries dealt to the Rams hinder their title chances as they finished seventh overall.
"I'm proud of the way Quina came out and showed great leadership by example, but unfortunately we were dealt some obstacles with Dionna's injury," Riley said. "We're a very young group that will learn from this experience."
Fortune was stellar all weekend for the Black & Gold, claiming gold medals in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and the 4x100 meter relay.
Her championship Saturday started by teaming with freshman Niaimani Aduma, sophomore Dionna Hayes and junior Jazlynn Finney to set a new school record in the 4x100 with a time of 45.27.(pictured, left)
The New Orleans, La. native then took over on the individual side with victories in the 100-meter (11.57) and 200-meter (23.77).
It was in the 100-meter dash that the Rams were dealt a brutal blow. Hayes, who has been one of the top sprinters in the conference all year along with Fortune, had to pull up with a hamstring injury that would keep her out for the rest of the meet. She was still able to finish seventh in the event.
"All teams have to deal with injuries, today it just happened to be us and it happened at a crucial time," Riley said. "The person I feel the worst for is Dionna because she has put so much hard work to get to this point in the year."
Finney (pictured, right) would try and step up as she finished sixth in the 200-meter dash for three points and then leaped 5.99m to claim second in the long jump for eight points for the Black & Gold.
Junior Allison Morris, who is graduating early from VCU, finished her collegiate career by garnering silver medal honors in the high jump by clearing 1.66m. Classmate Julia Anyaugo, who had a breakout year for the Black & Gold, was the other Ram to grab a silver medal with a toss of 45.51m in the discus.
Samantha Mosley, another outstanding junior for VCU, scored in two events for the Rams with a third-place finish in the shot (13.36m) and an eighth-place finish in the discus (37.91m).
Aduma, who had a great debut season for the Black & Gold, also scored in two events with a fourth-place finish in the long jump (5.91m) and a seventh-place finish in the 400-meter dash (57.96).
The Rams will now finish up final exams and prepare for the ECACs, which take place next weekend in Princeton, N.J.
FINAL TEAM STANDINGS
1) Georgia State 133
2) George Mason 105
3) Northeastern 100.5
4) James Madison 98
5) Delaware 96
6) UNC Wilmington 81.5
7) VCU 79.5
8) William & Mary 61
9) Towson 60.5