NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee State Tigerbelle track team is off to a fast and early start to the indoor season with its appearance in the Middle Tennessee State Christmas Invitational held over the weekend in Murfreesboro.
The meet is the first for the Tigerbelles this season and the team will not compete in another event until after the holidays. The event, which included host MTSU, Western Kentucky, Vanderbilt as well as several unattached athletes, served as a starting point for competition for the team. There was no team scores kept for the meet.
Tigerbelle Naquanza Alfred captured the 800-meter run with a time of 2:19.56, winning by more than a second over the second-place finisher. Alfred had earlier finished third in the mile run with a time of 5:25.18.
Shaniqua Hector took first place in the pole vault with a 10-06.00 while teammate Abby Champion was second at 9-00.00. In addition, Hector was fourth in the long jump with a best effort of 17-05.50.
"I was pleased with Naquanza's and Shanique's first place finish and the team's overall first competition this season," said Tigerbelles' coach Chandra Cheeseborough. "This meet allowed us to compete against other and set stands that we can now work on during the remainder of the season. This competition also allows the young ladies to personally see where they are and showed them what they most do to improve to reach their goals."
Along with the first place finishers, the Tigerbelles displayed their team depth in other running and field events at the meet held in the MTSU Murphy Center.
Sprinter Jennifer Lawson was second in the 200-meter dash (25.00) and posted a third place finish in the 55-meter dash (7.29). Porsche Buckner was third in the 400-mter dash with a time of 49.48 while Dominque Ward was fourth at 59.91.
The Tigerbelles also posted a pair of third place finishes in a pair of other field events. Shereka Roby had a high jump best 5'00-00 while Lateria Lewis had a throw of 44'07.00' in the shot.
The indoor season is the first action for many of the athletes since last spring. However, the distance runners competed in the OVC Cross Country Championships earlier this fall, posting an eighth place finish. Junior Rae'ven Richards was TSU's top finisher on the 5-K course with a time of 20:54.37. Felecia Jeffers was 44th (21"37/92) Alfred 48th (22:16.37), and Rebekah Robinson 53rd (22:10.90).
The Tigerbelles will be back in action on Jan. 9 when they host their own Ed Temple Indoor Meet on the Wilma Rudolph Track in the Gentry Center.