Jackson qualifies for hurdles final on first day of Penn State meet

Freshman sprinter and hurdler Ebonee Jackson competed in two events on the first day of the Penn State National Invitational on Friday.

Ten track & field athletes traveled to compete at the Penn State National Invitational on Friday and Saturday.

Fifteen Temple entries were accepted into the invitation-only event.

Freshman sprinter and hurdler Ebonee Jackson was the only Owl who competed during the first day of the invitational.

“Ebonee showed great poise as a freshman today,” assistant coach Tramaine Ellison said. “This was her first time running at this type of collegiate meet with this type of caliber of athletes, and I think she performed well.”

Jackson finished third in her heat in the 60-meter hurdles and 10th overall with a time of 8.80 seconds to move on to the semifinals. She also ran in the 60 dash but missed the cut for the semifinals.

In the next round of hurdles, Jackson finished fourth in her heat. Her seventh-place finish was enough to help her move on to the finals.

Jackson was the only freshman to qualify for the finals in that event, but didn’t compete because she felt like she was injured, Ellison said.

Senior sprinter and jumper Jimmia McCluskey was also supposed to compete in the long jump and 60-meter dash on day one of the invitational, but a mix up with the officials forced her to sit out.

“She was supposed to be in one flight and she was in a different one,” Ellison said. “So it was just a tough day as far as them not allowing her to compete.”

Distance runners senior Katie Pinson, sophomore Katie Leisher, and freshmen Grace Moore and Millie Howard will compete. Senior sprinter Kenya Gaston and freshman sprinter Jazmyne Williams will also run. Sophomore multis competitor Crystal Jones will participate in the high jump and senior hurdler, and jumper Simone Chapman will compete in the triple jump.

“I am expecting the ladies to have a good showing,” Ellison said. “From the jumps to the middle distance. to the distance, to the sprint group. I’m looking for everyone to show up.”

This meet will also be helping the athletes prepare for the American Athletic Indoor Conference Championships which will take place in February.

“We’ve got several young ladies who had made it into the invitational section which is the more competitive section, so they will be running with the best competition at the meet,” Ellison said. “Anytime you are running with the best it gives you the best opportunity to perform at a high level.”

Tessa Sayers can be reached at teresa.sayers@temple.edu. Follow The Temple News on Twitter @TheTempleNews and @TTN_Sports.

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