GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Races were won and records were broken as the JU track & field kicked off the 2013 indoor season in Gainesville, Fla. at the Florida Gator Invitational. In total, five Dolphins won individual events in what was an impressive all-around team performance in the opening meet of the year.
Sophomore Shanique Walker (San Jose, Calif.) started the day off winning her heat in the 55 meter hurdles with a time of 7.91 seconds and setting a new school record in the event previously held by Dolphin great Natasha Harvey. She returned in the final to post a time of 7.98 to win the event.
"We got a good evaluation of each event group," said JU head coach Ron Grigg. "Shanique's record and win has to be the highlight."
In what was the most dominate performance of the day, senior distance runner Joane Pierre (Immokalee, Fla.) blew away the competition in the mile recording a time of 4:57.46 and finished 11 seconds ahead of the next closest finisher.
Walker and Pierre were not the only Dolphins that would come away from the meet victorious as Bienna Freeman (Newark, Del.), Svenja Meyer (Appen, Germany), and Courtney Walker (Jacksonville, Fla.) would all win their respective events.
Freeman made a late charge coming from deep in the pack to overtake the other competitors and just edge out North Florida’s Audrey Maheu to win the 800 meter with a time of 2:11.95.
Meyer ran an impressive 10:16.05 in the 3000 meters to claim first place over Florida’s Grace VanDeGrift by two seconds.
Courtney Walker capped of the dominant day for the Dolphins by jumping a meet-best 18’04” in the long jump on her second attempt of the day.
"The middle distance group won the 800m, mile and 3k in solid opening performances," said Grigg. "We ran two solid 4x4's which shows we have a lot of options for running fast at the end of any meet. Akeela (Bravo) was a bright spot for the throws group, but i think all of the field events will benefit from more time with their coaches. All in all it was a good start, but we must keep building from here if we want to reach our individual, relay, and team goals."
The Dolphins will look to build on the momentum and strong performance as they return to Gainesville on January 26 for the Jimmy Carnes Invitational.