By: Muhammad Waheed, Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of Towson University Athletics
Towson placed third in the 2018 Eastern College Athletic Conference Track and Field Championships Sunday hosted by Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey.
Head Coach Mike Jackson was pleased with his team’s performance.
“It was the very best performance in team history, so [I’m] really excited as the team finished on a high note,” Jackson said. “I think we really established respect within our sport.”
Towson was given a team trophy for its performance at the championships.
“They were even more excited than I was,” Jackson said. “Some of them didn’t feel that they had great individual performances, but it’s all about the team and they were really pumped up about it.”
Junior Lauren Coleman won the shot put and took fifth in the hammer throw with a personal best toss of 187-7, which ties her for 47th in the NCAA East Region.
“She was named the outstanding performer of the entire meet, so she did outstanding and she’s really primed and ready for NCAAs first round,” Jackson said.
Senior Ksenia Safonova placed second and set a new school record in the hammer throw with a 204-7 toss, which is 11th in the NCAA East Region and 28th nationally.
“She waited till the last meet before regionals to really show what she can do, so she’s been having a year where she’s just trying to get it together and she finished well with a personal best and school record,” Jackson said. “She’s been to regionals before and experienced it, so now she’s ready to try to qualify… for the national championships,”
The 4×100-meter relay team of sophomores Jamila Brown and Helnsarah Penda and juniors Liz Reid and Arianna Waller placed second timing 46.00 seconds. George Mason won the event timing 45.89 seconds.
“We have never had a good performance in the 4×100 until this weekend, so I’m just glad we were finally able to pull one out,” Jackson said. “We were really close to the win, but disappointing to not get the win, but we’ve never had a successful performance in the 4×100 at ECACs until this year so I’m really proud of that.”
Safonova, Coleman, Phontavia Sawyer and Megan Kelly will be competing in two weeks in the NCAA East Preliminary Round.
“We have four athletes who are qualified for the NCAA first round which is in Tampa, Florida,” Jackson said.
Safonova will compete in the hammer throw and Coleman will compete in the shot put and possibly hammer throw, while Sawyer will compete in the shot put and possibly discus. Senior Megan Kelly will compete in the 400 meter hurdles.
Jackson has high expectations for the four athletes who will compete at the University of South Florida Track and Field Complex in Tampa, Florida May 24-26.
“I expect them to compete to advance to the national championships to be able to keep represent Towson,” Jackson said. “They’ve been working for it all year and I know they’re excited about it, and I believe they’ll get the job done.”