Temple wrapped up its indoor track & field regular season on Friday at the Artie O’Connor College Invitational in New York. The Owls earned 69 points to place third out of 19 teams.
The meet was the Owls’ last before Friday and Saturday’s American Athletic Conference championships in Birmingham, Alabama.
“We didn’t go there with the intention of trying to do too much,” coach Elvis Forde said. “We were just trying to get one last competition in before conferences. We wanted to stay sharp and put a lot of the kids in their regular distances.”
In the distance events, freshman Millie Howard came in third in the 1000-meter, freshman Grace Moore placed sixth and junior distance runner Katie Pinson placed seventh. Howard’s time of two minutes, 52.02 seconds broke the school record set by Assata Cowart in 2011. All three runners set personal bests.
Freshman distance runner Megan Schneider finished 15th in the one-mile with a time of 5:31.07. Freshman distance runner Caitlin O’Brien ran the 3000-meter in 10:46.42 to finish fourth.
The Owls also had success in shorter distances. Senior sprinter and jumper Jimmia McCluskey ran the 60 in 7.81 seconds to tie her personal best and finish fourth. Sophomore multis competitor Crystal Jones finished second in a field of 18 in the 60 hurdles with a time of 9.06 seconds.
“We’ll be counting on people like Crystal Jones [at the conference meet],” Forde said. “She had a great freshman year and has continued to improve in all aspects of her performances.”
The Owls had seven sprinters compete in the 200, and all seven placed in the Top 25 in the field of 45 runners. Senior sprinter Kenya Gaston led Temple with a ninth-place finish, and senior sprinter and jumper Biona St. Fleur came right behind her in 10th. Freshman sprinter Mariah Slade and McCluskey placed 12th and 13th, respectively. Freshman sprinter Madison Beecher finished 15th, followed by Jones at 24th and junior sprinter Re’ona Pettway at 25th.
St. Fleur also competed in the long jump and came home with a third-place finish. Senior hurdler and jumper Simone Chapman’s 11.35-meter leap earned a second-place finish in the triple jump.
Freshman sprinter Jazmyne Williams finished eighth in the 400, while Jones and Pettway placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 500.
Coach Elvis Forde liked what he saw from his team throughout the indoor season but wants the Owls to strive for more heading into The American’s championship meet.
“Some good things happened,” Forde said. “But, I don’t want to become confident and say we did good enough as we continue to build the program here.”
Addison Hunsicker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @AddHunsicker11. Follow The Temple News @TheTempleNews and @TTN_Sports.