By: Muhammad Waheed, Staff Writer
Photo by Brendan Felch/ The Towerlight
Towson track and field won the annual TU Invite with 189 points Saturday morning at Johnny Unitas Stadium.
The Tigers had eight total first-place finishes at the event, with three of those first-place finishes coming during throwing events.
Junior Phontavia Sawyer placed first in the shot put with a 50-5.5 mark.
“She had a personal record here last year with her previous team when they came to our meet,” Head Coach Mike Jackson said. “Then she had a personal record again in the shot put with us, so just again she’s getting better and better every single week. She’s showing how great of a competitor she is.”
Senior Ksenia Safonova came in first-place in the hammer throw with a 192-5 toss while junior Taylor Giles finished second with a 168-6 mark.
“Safonova won by a mile in the hammer throw, and working on being the conference champion is her main focus,” Jackson said.
Giles also placed first in the discus throw with a distance of 148-3. Several Tigers also had strong performances on the day.
Junior Naja McAdams won the high jump with a 5-3.75 leap.
Sophomore Jamila Brown won the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.93 seconds, while junior Jaina McLean placed second timing 12.11 seconds.
Junior Victoria Jones-Alleyne won the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.89 seconds, while sophomore Helnsarah Penda came in second-place with a time of 14.19 seconds.
Sophomore Shelby Francis placed sixth in the same event with a time of 15.18 seconds.
Senior Megan Kelly won the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:00.46, and fellow senior Emily Johnson won the 1,500-meters with a time of 4:41.39.
“I think that our hurdlers did an amazing job,” Jackson said. “There’s still so much more room for improvement for them. I’m very excited about how they’ve progressed. Emily had an outstanding year and I’m just really proud of her efforts.
Jackson was excited about how his team performed in the lone home meet of the season.
“It’s always important to protect the home base, and I think we did a great job competing overall,” Jackson said. “It was a long and hot day, but I think, as a team, it was great to come out on top.”
Jackson celebrated a ring ceremony Friday night with Towson’s 2017 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) championship team.
“It was an outstanding event,” Jackson said. “It was so great to see all of our team from last year with the alums and also their parents and friends. It was great to experience that with them.”
The Tigers look to continue their strong performance as they will compete in the Larry Ellis Invitational, James Madison Invitational and Morgan State Legacy this weekend.
“We will have a handful of student-athletes going to Princeton to run some distance events on Friday night, and then we will go down to JMU on Saturday to compete with them,” Jackson said. “They’re one of our conference foes and I know they’re going to bring out the best in us.”