Towson takes second at Liberty

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By: Jordan Cope, Staff Writer

The Tigers competed in the Liberty Collegiate Invitational on Friday and Saturday in Lynchburg, Virginia.

The meet, which wasn’t scored, featured 14 schools including the host Flames and Colonial Athletic Association rivals Elon and James Madison.

“Overall I was pleased, we did a lot better in the field events then we did in the running events,” Head Coach Roger Erricker said. “The game was windy which had a negative impact on our times, but overall we competed and we were a lot stronger in the field events.”

Senior distance runner Ashley Simmons and sophomore distance runner Megan Knoblock highlighted the Invitational with individual event wins.

Simmons won the 5,000-meter run with a time of 18:31.48 and Knoblock won the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 11:37.30.

“The wind was extremely challenging to push through so everyone’s times were slower than usual,” Simmons said. “But pulling out the win again was awesome.”

Towson had 13 other top 5 finishes during the meet. That included three runner-up finishes in track events.

Sophomore sprinter Zanae Freeland finished second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.39.

The Tiger’s 4×100-meter relay team, featuring Freeland, freshman Brittany Shields, junior Kaitlyn Davis and junior Kelsey Fiddes, finished in second-place with a time of 48.29.

Senior middle distance runner and Towerlight contributor Kara Bucaro also finished in second-place in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:54.61.

Junior hurdler Katelynn Williams said that being mentally strong and coming to compete were major keys to the team’s strong performances.

Sophomore distance runner Michelle Vanagas finished in third-place in the 1,500-meter run, right behind Bucaro, with a time of 4:55.54.

Also finishing in third place was Towson’s 4×400-meter relay team with a time of 4:04.81. Junior high jumper Emerald Vickers took third with a height of 5 feet, 3 inches and junior multi-event performer Ashleigh Stallings did the same with a 134’03” javelin throw.

“Ashleigh Stallings really had her work cut out for her,” Erricker said. “She was pulling double duty and she had a really good day.”

Junior pole vaulter Maggie Rampolla tied for fourth place in the pole vault event with a height of 11’5.75” while sophomore pole vaulters Courtney Rose and Brynn Warrington tied for sixth place with a height of 10’11.75”.

“It was pretty windy, but their track is really well designed and has tall bushes along the pole vault area making it a lot less windy than the other side of the track,” Rampolla said.

Shields and senior hurdler Emily Wenger finished in fourth-place in the hurdle events. Shields came in fourth-place in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.66 while Wenger came in fourth in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:03.79.

“Each meet we compete in we figure out what we need to improve on so that we can have our best peak performance at the CAA meet,” Wenger said. “As long as we stay on track for our goal we’ll continue to improve and have strong performances.”

Junior hurdler and jumper Wilhelmina Austin also finished in fourth-place in the triple jump with a height of 37’5.75” while Davis finished in fifth place in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.42.

The Tigers will look to carry the momentum from its previous three meets into the Delaware Classic in Newark, Delaware, which will take place April 11.

“I expect that the team will continue to improve, especially if the weather is good and we get a good week of practice in,” senior distance runner Elisabeth Tauber said. “We will be seeing some more CAA opponents there as well.”

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