Senior Gabe Pickett took first place in the men’s triple jump with a distance of 14.58 meters at the North Carolina Invitational. The Owls came away with 14 Top 5 finishes and 18 Top 10 finishes.
Pickett tore his meniscus in August, an injury which required knee surgery. The rehab was a five-month process and he was just recently cleared to compete.
“It was exciting because all of my hard work in rehab paid off today,” Pickett said. “This was a pretty big stepping stone in giving me confidence in the future.”
The competing teams were North Carolina, East Carolina, Duke, Pittsburgh and North Carolina State.
The Owls finished inside the Top 10 in six relay events. The men got things started in the 4×100 meter relay when the team of Adam Hasan, Elijah Hargrove, Alimamy Kallay and Jamal Williams took second place with a time of 42.48.
The women’s team of Bionca St. Fleur, Demeshia Davis, Courtney Mitchell and Jimmia McCluskey placed third with a time of 47.89 in the same event.
A second group of women also finished for the Owls in the 4×100 for fifth place with a time of 50.69. Johvonna Mayo led the group and was joined by Simone Brownlee, Simone Chapman and Sydnee Jacques.
Later in the day the men continued their success in the relays with a third place finish in the 4×400 meter relays. The team of AJ Singh, Joe Sulon, Jeff Craskey and Marcus Roberston finished with a time of 3:27.92.
The women finished two teams again in the 4×400 as they claimed second and sixth place. The team of Davis, Hollis Coleman, Kaitlyn McScurdy and Michelle Timothy Davis finished with a time of 3:54.166. The second team of St. Fleur, Jamila Janneh, Jacques and Mayo finished with 4:20.958.
The running events also had Hasan finishing in 10th in the 200 meter dash at a 22.53 time. Close behind was Williams, who had a personal-best time of 22.80 to place 14th. Kallay also recorded a personal-best, placing 18th in a time of 23.02. Picket also placed in this event in 21st.
The 200 meter dash was one of the more successful events for the women as five owls finished in the Top 25. St. Fleur led the way in 11th place followed by McClusky in 15th place Demeisha Davis in 17th and Coleman in 21st place.
Margo Britton continues to dominate the throwing events as she finished in second in the shot put and fourth in discus throwing. The shot put was a distance of 14.70 meters and the discus throwing event landed at 48.18 meters.
LaRoche also fared well in the throwing events placing sixth in discus throwing 12th in shot put and 13th in the javelin throw.
“I was pretty happy with the events,” LaRoche said. “The weather has not allowed us to practice too much outside so I am sure I will do better as the season moves along.”
The men also had success in the throw events as Sean McAneney placed 11th in the javelin throw and Evan Battalio placed ninth in the shot put event.
The hurdles were another point of success for the Owls as they had big winners on both sides. Joseph Ho finished 8th in the 110 meter hurdles and then came back to finish nine in the 400 meter hurdles.
The women had Brownlee, LaRoche, Mayo and Chapman take 10th, 11th, 18th and 19th place in the 100 meter hurtle. McSurdy also took fourth place in the 400 meter hurtle.
The triple jump event was not solely owned by Pickett as Jamilia Janneh, Jacques and Chapman took third, fifth and sixth place in the women’s events.
Other notables in the men’s running events were Singh placing 9th in the 400 meter dash, Williams and Kallay finishing seventh and eighth in the 100 meter dash, and Craskey, Sulon, and Roberston finishing fifth, seventh and ninthin the 800 meter run.
For the women, other notable runners were Coleman, Demeshia Davis and LaRoche finishing third, fourth and ninth in the 400 meter dash. McCluskey, ST. Fleur, Mitchell Brownlee finishing ninth, 14th, 16 and 20th in the 100 meter dash.
The event was without distance stars like Will Kellar, Alex Izewski, Jenna Dubrow and Anna Pavone, but still proved fruitful in the end. The reason was that the weekend served as a training weekend since the four have had a longer season then some other runners.
Head coach Eric Mobley was pleased with the events, but said he hopes to get better going forward.
The next event is on March 28 and 29th at the Fred Harvey Invitational.
Stephen Godwin Jr. can be reached at email@example.com.