Track competes in Kentucky Invite

On Friday Jan. 14, Tech’s track and field team headed to the University of Kentucky to compete in the Kentucky Invitational. The meet would last from Friday night through Saturday evening and host 12 men’s and 14 women’s teams.
Tech finished the invitational with 13 top-10 finishes. Eight of these top-10s came from the field team.
The Jacket’s lone first-place finish came from the field team courtesy of senior Joanna Wright. Wright won the pole vault with a height of 3.85 meters. This would be her third straight win in the event. Senior Erica Penk grabbed a top-10 in the pole vault as well capping out at 3.70 meters to clinch fifth place.
Junior Aaron Untenberger tied for second place in the pole vault with a height of 5.05 meters for the men’s team.
Both the women’s and the men’s team did well with their jumping squad. Junior Jhanelle McLeod took fourth place in the triple jump at 12.39 meters, just beating out freshman Julienne McKee who finished in fifth place with her season best of 12.35 meters.
Junior Mykhail Chambers took seventh place in the high jump at 2.04 meters for the men’s team. Freshman Jonathan Gardner managed eighth place in the men’s triple jump with a jump of 14.41 meters.
Five of the 13 top-10 finishes were found on the track. After junior Melanie Akwule and senior Leslie Njoku made it to the 60-meter hurdle finals, Akwule walked away in eighth place with a time of 8.53 seconds. This was .06 seconds slower than her season best run during the preliminaries. Though Njoku was able to improve her time from 8.77 to 8.63 seconds she was only able to come in 12th.
The men’s team also got another high placing from junior Paul DeVito in their 60-meter hurdles. DeVito finished in ninth place with a time of 8.45 seconds.
Moving from the 60-meter hurdles to the 60-meter dash, three of Tech’s women runners made it to the finals. Senior Jenae Anderson, senior Taylor Davidson and sophomore Perron Jones took 11th, 18th and eighth respectively. Jones not only ran a 6.89 in the 60-meter dash but a 22.24 in the 200-meter dash. This 200-meter dash run was a season best and gave him seventh place in the event.
The last top-10 finish of the day came from senior Mark Mendrek-Laske in the 3000 meter run. Mendrek-Laske placed ninth with a time of 8:23.80.
Tech will return to Kentucky for another invitational on Jan. 28 and 29 after a weekend off.


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