DMR Win, Personal Bests Highlight Season Opener

DMR Win, Personal Bests Highlight Season Opener

PHOTO GALLERY (courtesy of Michael Wade)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Jacksonville University women's track & field team opened the 2019 indoor season with a win in the distance medley relay, two personal bests, and seven top-10 finishes at the UAB Blazer Invitational, Friday at the Birmingham CrossPlex.

"It is great to get the season started; being on the road with the team is always an enjoyable experience," stated Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Ron Grigg. "This competition is really an assessment and a starting point. We saw a whole lot of average, which is to be expected after being away from campus for three weeks for winter break. There were some highlights including personal bests and an event win and we showed some depth in the long sprint group as well. Tomorrow we hope to continue our progression."

The DMR team of senior Nora McUmber, freshman Serena Gadson, sophomore Lauren Polimeno, and freshman Hayleigh Palotti took first in 11:56.47, nearly 10 seconds ahead of the second place team from Mississippi State (12:05.39). The Dolphins also crossed the line ahead of teams from Auburn, Alabama, and Troy for the win.

Highlighted by sophomore Adja Sackor's new personal best in the triple jump, the Dolphins' jumping contingent had much to be proud of Friday evening. Sackor set her PR on her third attempt for a distance of 12.06 meters (39 feet, 7 inches), eclipsing her former PR by 3.75 inches for fourth place overall.

Along with Sackor, sophomore Sade Meeks added a new personal best on her second attempt in the weight throw with a distance of 17.11 meters (56 ft., 1.75 in.) – 1.75 inches further than her PR last season – good for 15th place in a field of 41 throwers.

The Dolphins' 4x400-meter relay team of sophomore Pashen Williams, senior Lyric Schmalz, freshman Sadae Davidson, and sophomore Savyon Toombs came within three seconds of the program record and placed fourth overall in 3:44.59.

Rounding out the Dolphins' top-5 finishers was senior Brittany Bowald, who placed fifth in the triple jump behind Sackor with a distance of 11.99 meters (39 ft., 4 in.).

Parlette added a top-10 finish in the long jump with a leap of 5.40 meters (17 ft., 8.75 in.) for seventh place, while Schmalz took ninth in the 60-meter hurdle prelims in 8.86.

Jacksonville's second 4x400m relay team, composed of junior Shalah Smiling, sophomore Amelia Reynolds, freshman Nicole Smith, and sophomore Adreanna Parlette crossed the line in 3:57.54, good for ninth overall out of 17 teams.

The Dolphins return to the track tomorrow for the UAB Vulcan Invitational.