Track team earns three victories at home

The Tech men’s and women’s track teams hosted the Yellow Jacket Invitational the weekend of March 25-26 at the Georgia C. Griffin Track Facility.

However, the weather was not suitable for the event, causing the Invitational to end early. Through the events that could be played though, the Jackets earned three victories and 14 top-three performances.

The opening night of the Invitational began with the hammer throw and 5000-meter run for the Tech men’s team.

Junior Duncan Thompson threw for 51.35 meters in the hammer throw to put himself in third at the finish.

The Jacket’s placed five out of the top six runners in the 5000 meter run with senior DJ McMillan pacing himself to come in at a time of 14:53.42.

The rest of the team also fared well with Niall Longovardi finishing with a time of 15:14.21, senior Nathan Tew finishing fourth with a time of 15:17.74, freshman Obiandu Igwe finishing fifth with a time of 15:28.22 and Doug Black finishing sixth at 15:28.60.

The Jackets’ women’s team managed to grab second place in the 5000 meter run, highlighted by junior Mary Kate BuDard crossing the finish line at 17:17.80.

Day two of the event showed great success for the Jackets. Tech had some of the top performances in the 1500 meter run when senior Mark Mendrek-Laske ran in at 3.50.04, freshman Alec Clifford ran in at 3:52.21 and sophomore Eric Powers finished at 3:53.90 to give them the top three times, respectively.

Mendrek-Laske finished with his best performance to date, cracking one of the top-ten 1500 meter times in the nation.

Senior Mary Kownack came in fourth place in the women’s 1500m run with a time of 4:42.71.

The men’s team was almost able to grab the 1-2-3 victory again in the 800m but was unable to capitalize on sophomore Shawn Robert’s and Clifford’s 1:51.44 and 1:52.42 times that placed them first and second.

Mendrek-Laske came in fourth with a time of 1:54.41.

Junior Jade Sims finished the event in fourth place for the women’s team at 2:18.93.

The 400-meter dash showed great promise for the Jackets as well when senior Hunter Clasen earned a top three time of 48.69.

The field events for the weekend had some of the best performances of the season for the Jackets.

Junior Aaron Unterberger launched a height of 4.75 meters to finish second in pole vault for the men’s team.

The women’s long jump was another strength on the day, with freshman Julienne McKee placing third with a 5.99 meter leap.

Sophomore Jasmine Kent finished sixth in the long jump with a 5.71 meter jump, and freshman Monique Pate finished 10th with a 5.25 meter jump of her own.

Day two’s weather forced several events to be canceled including the women’s pole vault, men’s discus, men’s high jump and men’s and women’s 4×400 meter relay.

The Jacket’s will next make a trip from their home meet to Auburn, Ala. for the Auburn Tiger Track Classic on April 1-2.

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