ATLANTA — WKU Track and Field earned 12 top-5 finishes at the Georgia Tech Invitational on Friday and Saturday, including two titles claimed by Ventavius Sears in the long jump and Eli Minor in the 200-meter dash.
“We saw some things we need to improve upon as we round out the regular season, but overall we had a good weekend and I look forward to us competing next week,” head coach Erik Jenkins said.
To kick things off on Friday, Jenessa Jackson once again finished in the top-10 against her competitors for the third-straight meet, tallying a 14.14m (46’4.75”) mark in the shot put, good for fifth place, and in the hammer posting a fourth place finish with a mark of 54.30m (178’2”).
Moments later in the 100-meter hurdles, senior Kaila Smith posted the 16th-best time (14.36) in the event and redshirt senior Catika Slay followed with a time of 14.89 finishing in 30th. Slay also competed in the long jump placing sixth with a jump of 5.74m (18’10”).
Three Hilltoppers competed in the 110-meter hurdles led by Jonathan Hayden and his third place finish. The Florida native ran it in 14.18 seconds, marking the second-fastest time in his career. Maor Seged crossed the finish line at the 14.70 mark to finish 13th and Denzel Villaman placed 27th with a time of 15.94.
WKU had two players with almost identical times in the 100-meter dash as Eli Minor (10.482) and Julius Morris (10.489) finished third and fifth in the race. Will Bush tallied a 10.70 mark finishing 13th, which is a new personal record.
The 100-meter dash on the women’s side saw two players set personal records as Khadijah Valentine placed seventh (11.85) and Ariel Terrell tallied a 12.11 time to finish 21st.
To finish up the night, Sears won his second title of the outdoor season in the long jump launching for a mark of 7.73m (25’4.5”). Teammate Desmond Mobley wasn’t far behind finishing with a jump of 7.07m (23’2.5”), good for eighth place.
To start things on Saturday, the 400m hurdles were well represented by the Hilltoppers as Smith (1:00.40) placed fifth, Terrell (1:00.77) placed seventh and on the men’s side Hayden (53.10) tallied a seventh place finish and Seged (53.54) finished right behind in eighth.
“I thought our hurdlers competed well as both Ariel Terrell and Jonathan Hayden both ran personal best in the long hurdle race. As a pair, they competed well in the 400-meter hurdles.”
Sears pulled out another top-5 finish in the triple jump, jumping a 15.99m (52’5.5”) mark. Desmond Mobley earned 13th with a mark of 14.23m (48’8.25”).
“Ventavius (Sears) had a good weekend in both the long and triple jump. 25’4” and 52‘5” are good marks.”
WKU shined in the 200-meter dash on both the men’s and women’s side, starting with Valentine. The junior crossed the finish line in 23.62 seconds to finish in second place. Julius Morris took the crown on the men’s side with a time of 20.66 and Eli Minor followed suit placing second in 20.99 seconds.
“Julius Morris and Eli Minor both put together a solid weekend in the short sprints. Khadijah Valentine continues to make positive strides in the sprints as well.”
To finish off the weekend, WKU’s ‘A’ team, consisting of Maor Seged, Eli Minor, Denzel Villaman and Austin Hayes, took fourth with a time of 3:16.53 in the 4x400m relay.
WKU will hit the track again on April 28-29 by splitting up and sending athletes to the Memphis and Louisville Invitational.
Long Jump – Ventavius Sears – 23.56
200m – Eli Minor – 20.99
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