April 21, 2012

VCU SENDS ATHLETES TO VANDERBILT AND CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It has been a busy weekend for the VCU Track & Field program, with athletes competing at both the 2012 Vanderbilt Invitational and CNU Captain's Classic.

In Nashville, freshman Kiara Porter had an impressive showing in the 200 meter dash on Friday afternoon. The Yorktown, Va., native placed third in the event, with a personal best time of 23.60 seconds, which is the second fastest time in school history.

Porter would claim top honors in the 400 meter dash the next day, crossing the finish line in 54.59 seconds.

"I was impressed with Kiara's performance," said VCU head coach Jon Riley. "I see the work she puts in each day at practice, so I am not really shocked by the times she has put together this season."

Another freshman to put together a personal best in an event, was Nicole Grasty. Grasty ran a personal best 24.64 seconds in the 200 meters, for an eighth place finish. Junior Dionna Hayes also placed in the event, coming in 10th in a time of 24.68 seconds.

The next day, Hayes picked up a fourth place finish in the 100 meter dash, with a time of 12.07 seconds.

The women's 4x400 meter relay turned in a stalwart performance, defeating their next closest competitor by six seconds. The relay squad made up of freshman Porter, senior Jazlynn Finney, Grasty  and freshman Amethyst Polk finished in 3:46.30.

The women's 4x100 meter relay came in second, crossing the finish line in 46.33 seconds. The relay squad consisted of freshman Alexis Stroman, Porter, Finney and Hayes.

Freshman George Moore placed sixth in the 400 meter dash, crossing the finish line in 48.62 seconds, while junior Alex Hinton earned second place honors in the 800 meter dash (1:50.66).

At Christopher Newport, the Rams had a number of impressive showings.

In the high jump, the Rams had two student-athletes tie for second in the event, and one finish in fifth. Sophomores Shanita Glenn and Megan Simpson tied in the event, leaping 1.55 meters. Freshman Sarah Fulgham grabbed fifth place honors, falling just shy of the 1.55 meter mark.

"They are all making positive steps to have a major impact as a group later this spring at the CAA Championship," said VCU assistant coach Allyson Thomas.

Senior Stephanie Newing continues to surpass her previous school record in the pole vault, clearing 3.62 meters, on her way to second place honors. Sophomore Justine Dutton finished shortly behind, with a vault of 3.46 meters for third place.

"I am really pleased with both of these ladies, as things are really starting to click for them," adds Thomas. "It is going to be really exciting to see them perform at CAAs."

Senior thrower Brandy Preston earned top honors in the women's hammer throw, as she was the only competitor to with a toss over 50 meters. The Rocky Mount, Va., native's heave traveled 50.18 meters.

Sophomore sprinter Nneka Ogwu placed second in the 400 meter hurdles, crossing the finish line in 1:05.10.

Senior Cameron Morse won the 400 meter hurdles on the men's side, finishing in 54.69 seconds. The Sumerduck, Va., native also placed second in the 110 meter hurdles, with a time of 15.86 seconds.

Morse was joined in the 400 meter hurdles by teammate Chelo Abbe, who placed fifth overall (58.17 seconds).

Redshirt junior Kevin Parkhurst placed third in the men's hammer throw on his way to setting a personal record in the event. Parkhurst's heave landed 47.56 meters.

The Rams will conclude their performance at the CNU Captain's Invite on Sunday, in the second and final day of the event.

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