TIGERBELLES EARN FOURTH AT OVC OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. --- Six points kept the Tennessee State women's track and field team from rounding out its stellar year with a third-place finish at the Ohio Valley Conference Outdoor Championships over the weekend. The Tigerbelles took fourth overall with 90 points, behind Southeast Missouri State, Eastern Illinois and Samford. The Tigerbelles ended the weekend with 12 top-five finishes. The team also had 31 top-five finishes in the preliminary rounds. Junior Ashley Byrd narrowly missed claiming the triple jump title for the second consecutive year. April Howell of Samford tied with Byrd of with a jump of 38-9.75, but Howell won the tiebreaker, jumping a distance of 38-6.75. Sophomore Margertha McLean was tabbed an All-OVC First Team selection after winning the gold in the 400m hurdles with a time of 1:02.39. Senior Larisa Ray and junior Jillian Brown took third (1:04.62) and fourth (1:04.78) in the event, respectively. Junior Jennifer Lawson also narrowly missed taking home the gold in the 100m and 200m, after winning her heats in both events. Also coming away with top-five finishes in the running events were sophomore Rebekah Robinson (4th, 400m, 58.74), and sophomore Mildred Rachel (5th, 110m hurdles, 14.77). Juniors Shereka Roby, Jillian Brown and Byrd and sophomore Scherrie Jackson all tied for fifth in the high jump with a measurement of 1.58m. The Tigerbelle 4x100m (Ray, Buckner, Robinson) and 4x400m (Joycelyn Gardiner, Robinson, Buckner, Lawson) relay teams took home bronze medals after finishing with times of 46.68 and 3:53.15, respectively. In field action, junior Shaniqua Hector took fifth in the pole vault with a height of 2.90m and was third in her flight in the long jump with a distance of 5.30m. Roby also was fifth in her flight in the long jump with a measurement of 5.17m and second in her flight of the triple jump with a measurement of 11.50m. Freshman Latoria Swindell was fifth in her flight of the shot put with a toss of 11.99m. She also finished ninth in the discus with a throw of 29.82m. Several Tigerbelles set season-bests in their events including Lawson in the 100m (11.88) and 200m (24.29), Rachel in the 100m (12.59), freshman Porsche Buckner in the 200m (25.40), sophomore Rebekah Robinson in the 200m (25.79), sophomore Rae'Ven Richard (2:20.95) in the 800m, Ray in the 100m hurdles (14.68), and Brown in the 100m hurdles (14.97) and 400m hurdles (1:04.50). Sophomore Tara Wallace improved in the 800m (2:23.67) and the 100m hurdles (14.77).