Four records broken as Dolphins excel at the Sykes & Sabock Challenge Cup

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.-- For the third consecutive meet a JU school record was broken as new bests were established in the pentathlon, 60 meter hurdles, 800 meters, and distance medley.  The Dolphins enjoyed great success at the talent-filled Sykes & Sabock Challenge Cup in State College, Pa. winning four events along with several season and career best marks being set.

Senior Charlene Charles dominated the field to win the pentathlon and improve on her own school record by tallying 4,049 points.  She won four out of the five events, with victories in the 60 meter hurdles, high jump, long jump, and 800 meters.  Charles finished nearly 400 points higher than the next closest competitor.

Sophomore Shanique Walker set her second school record this season by winning the 60 meter hurdles in a time of 8.37.  She now holds the JU all-time best performance in all of the indoor hurdles events.  Walker also jumped 40 feet nine inches to finish third in the triple jump.    

Senior Bienna Freeman broke her own record by over a second to win the 800 meters by posting a time of 2:08.17.  She was able to hold off the second place finisher by .61 seconds to claim the victory.  Fellow senior Joane Pierre also ran 2:12.95 to finish sixth.

The team of LaTonya Payne, Shadaey Campbell, Joane Pierre, and Freeman finished fourth in the distance medley with a record time of 11:36.48.  They beat the previous record by almost six seconds. 

The Dolphins claimed a victory in a field event as well as sophomore Taylor Story jumped a season best 19-06.25.  She, along with Charles are the only two people in the A-Sun to have jumped over 19 feet this year.  Courtney Walker jumped 18-08.50 to finish fifth while freshman Kaitlyn Taylor recorded her collegiate best and finished eighth with a jump of 18-03.75.  Story also recorded personal bests in both the 60 and 200 meter dashes.  Her 7.79 was the 15th fastest time in the 60 meters while her 24.91 was good for ninth overall in the 200 meters. 

"We had a very good meet,” said Dolphin head coach Ron Grigg.  “Certainly this was the best collection of team performances that JU has ever had in one day.  We had so many highlights it would be hard to mention them all.  Our goal as always moving forward is to get a little better each week.  We still have ample time to get even better prepared for the ASUN Championships in a few weeks."

In addition to the overall victories and school records, a multitude of Dolphins recorded their best performances of their careers.

Throwers Akeela Bravo and Sara Schunter both had new career highs in the weight throw and shot put.  Bravo’s 43-11.25 mark in the shot put was a new indoor career best and was good enough for eighth place in the event while her 53-11.75 in the weight throw was also an indoor best. Schunter broke the 40 foot mark for the first time in her career in the shot put when she recorded a throw of 40-01.50.  She also improved on her career record in the weight throw with a 49-01.50 toss.

The sophomore pair of Campbell and Alexis Taylor set new personal marks in the 400 meters.  Campbell’s 56.08 was good enough for seventh place while Taylor’s 57.62 was the fastest time she has ever recorded in the indoor event. 

Sophomore Sarah Bailey ran the fastest mile of her career when she recorded a 5:04.76 to finish 13th. 

As a team, JU recorded an impressive 61 points to finish fifth overall.  

With their nonconference schedule completed, the Dolphins will now turn their attention to the Atlantic Sun Championships taking place on February 22 in Johnson City, Tenn.