Marino, Parker Win Individual Titles on Day 1 of ASUN Champs

Noelle Parker - ASUN Champion in Shot Put, Caitlin Marino - ASUN Champion in Steeplechase

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University women's track and field brought home a pair of individual titles and four additional all-conference honors on day one of the ASUN Conference Outdoor Championships on Friday afternoon at North Florida's Hodges Stadium.

"This team knows how to compete come championship time. We exceeded our day one expectations. Now we need to get refueled and rested for tomorrow," stated Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Ron Grigg.

Redshirt-senior Caitlin Marino won the 3,000-meter steeplechase by over six seconds with a time of 10:56.47, while junior Noelle Parker took first in the shot put with a mark of 14.47 meters (47 feet, 5.75 inches). Parker also placed fourth in the hammer throw (45.26m/148 ft., 6 in.).

Added Grigg, "Caitlin Marino arrived five years ago as a walk-on; she is leaving an individual conference champion while earning a master's degree. That is a fairy tale come true from a coach's perspective."

Additionally, freshman Sade Meeks set a pair of new personal bests and earned runner-up finishes for Second Team All-ASUN honors in both the hammer throw (53.73m/176 ft., 3 in.) and shot put (14.35m/47 ft., 1 in.).

Classmate Grace Artis took third in the hammer throw (48.90m/160 ft., 5 in.) to round out the Dolphins' top-five finishes in the throwing events. Artis also placed eighth in the shot put with a mark of 11.54m (37 ft., 10.5 in.), while freshman Erika Earwood set a new personal best in the hammer throw (43.21m/141 ft., 9 in.) to finish sixth in both the hammer and the shot put (12.83m/42 ft., 1.25 in.).

"The throwers have been our steady ship all year and they continued tonight," commented Grigg.

Finishing 3-4-5 in the long jump – and all within two inches of each other – was freshman Adja Sackor (5.74m/18 ft., 10 in.), junior Brittany Bowald (5.70m/18 ft., 8.5 in.), and gradute student Stormm Phillips (5.69m/18 ft., 8 in.), respectively.

Graduate student Tia Smith finished 10th in the long jump with a mark of 5.14m (16 ft., 10.5 in.).

"The long jumpers were steady, but I know they are looking forward to the triple jump tomorrow."

After the first day of competition, Jacksonville sits in second place with 60 points behind Kennesaw State with 75. North Florida (26), Lipscomb (23), and USC Upstate (1) round out the top five women's teams.

The Dolphins close out the ASUN Championships tomorrow, May 12. Field events begin at 3 p.m., followed by track events at 6 p.m.