The nationally ranked men’s and women’s track and field teams competed at the Rod McCravy Invitational this past weekend. The Jackets have been improving upon their already high marks in preparation for the conference and national championships later on in the season.
“We’re pretty much there for each other. Everybody gets injuries…. I guess since I’m the only one I get questions for things. We try to help our teammates out and we try to do the best that we can,“ said senior hurdler Fatmata Fofanah.
Fofanah had another successful meet, solidifying her place as the top nationally ranked 60-meter hurdler in the nation. The New York native finished with an NCAA Championship provisional qualifying time of 8.17 in the finals of the 60m hurdles event. Teammate and fellow senior Shantia Moss is also ranked very highly in the same event. She is the defending national champion and is ranked No. 4 on the national ranking.
“I haven’t really ran since that first meet [at Ky.] but everything has really been coming along like it should and hopefully I’ll be peaking right around the ACC’s,“ Fofanah said.
The ranked men’s team also passed several noteworthy milestones. Senior Derek Hoye finished the 800-meter run with an NCAA Championship provisional qualifying time of 1:50.47 while teammates junior David Ford and sophomore Alphonso Jordan finished back-to-back in the 60m hurdles.
“Our men’s team is doing really well this year. Our jumpers are doing really well this year…We have a very strong men’s team going into the ACC’s and a lot stronger than in the past couple of years. I’m so proud of them,“ Fofanah said.
The competitors in the long-distance events also found success. The former cross-country captain David Herren crossed the finish line in the 3000-meter event with a season-best time of 8:21.92.
At the field, Andy Powlen placed fourth in the men’s shot put with an NCAA Championship provisional and personal-best mark of 58 feet, 3 1/4 inches. In addition, Nigel Orr placed third in the triple jump with a mark of 48 feet, 8 3/4 inches.
“Our throwers are doing really well this season. We have some talent out there. I think we’ll be fine going into the ACC’s,“ Fofanah said.
The Jackets hit the track and field again this weekend for another competitive match-up in Blacksburg, VA at the Virginia Tech Elite meet.
The upcoming meet could be a preview to the ACC Championships because of the great number of conference rivals entering the meet.
“This is probably going to be the closest thing we have to the ACC’s because a lot of ACC schools are going to be there. I’m excited about it and it will be a very good meet and very tight,“ Fofanah said.
They next come home for the Yellow Jacket Invitational at the end of March for their only home meet.