Tech track and field off to fast start

Nicole Fegans, pictured here, set yet a this weekend with her blazing 2:48.51 mark in the indoor 1000m race. Fegans adds to a long list of records that she already holds. // Photo courtesy of GTAA

Tech track and field kicked off 2022 at the Orange and Purple Elite on Jan. 8, competing with Clemson and South Carolina. Four Jacket women earned the top spot in their respective events, and Tech swept the top five spots in the 1000m. Freshman Riley Perlakowski had the top overall time at 2:52.47, while freshman Sarah Copeland, senior Liz Galarza, senior Claire Moritz and freshman Katherine Byrne took spots two through five. 

Senior Olivia Moore finished first in the pole vault with a 3.87m success. Senior Taylor Grimes paced all attached runners in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.50 seconds. Sophomore Sheleah Harris came first in the 60m dash on her 7.60 second time, setting a personal record in the process.

On the men’s side, sophomore Cameron O’Neal leaped to a second place finish in the long jump with a 7.39m mark. Junior Jameson Miller secured a second place finish of his own with a 48.90 time in the 400m.

O’Neal and Harris each won ACC weekly awards for their performances. O’Neal was the ACC Men’s Co-Field Performer of the Week while Harris was tabbed the ACC Women’s Track Performer of the Week.

Tech then traveled to Nashville for the Vanderbilt Commodore Challenge on Jan. 14-15. Day one saw two Tech women break the previous school record in the 1000m. Senior Nicole Fegans set yet another Tech record with her 2:48.51 mark in the event, and Perlakowski finished at 2:50.08, which would have been a record if not for Fegans’ own record-setting run.

Sophomore Shanty Papakosta beat out all other attached athletes in the high jump, clearing 1.80m. Grimes’ 5.89m long jump earned her a second place finish. O’Neal jumped 7.33m for the top men’s long jump spot, and sophomore Alex Thomas and freshman Zack Truitt took the first and second spots respectively in the men’s 1000m.

Tech women dominated the mile, taking four of the top six spots, highlighted by Fegans and Copeland’s first and third place finishes. Jacket women also took four of the top five spots in the 3000m, with Moritz and Galarza’s second and third place finishes leading the way. 

The men’s mile concluded in similar fashion, with junior Zach Jaegar, junior Cole Miller and sophomore Myles Collins finishing first, second and fourth respectively. Tech men swept the 800m event as well, taking the top five spots including Thomas’ second first place finish of the weekend.

Moore and Perlakowski won the pole vault and 800m events respectively. Four more Jackets earned individual podium appearances, and both the men’s and women’s 4×400 teams earned top-three finishes, rounding out a successful weekend. The next action for the Jackets is the Carolina Challenge on Jan. 21 and 22, hosted by South Carolina.