Temple track and field opens winter season

The Owls earned 11 medals in their first two events of the winter season

Temple University track and field began its 2019-2020 indoor track and field season in Staten Island, New York this weekend as they competed at the Fasttrack Season Opener on Friday and at the Bill Ward Invitational on Sunday. 

The Owls won a combined 11 events during the weekend, with four on Friday and seven on Sunday.

“We didn’t bring a lot of our seasoned veterans and gave the younger kids who have been training all year a chance to compete,” coach Elvis Forde said. “With that being said it was a good start to the season. A number of them impressed us and we’re looking forward to the progress everyone makes from now until we get back from break.”

Fasttrack Season Opener 

In the 60-meter hurdles, junior Sydney Williams finished in third place in the finals with a time of 8.90 seconds. She ran her career-best time in the preliminary of 8.81 seconds. 

Sophomore Marissa White won the 400-meter sprint with a time of 55.76 seconds. Last year, she won three races. 

“The continued progress of Marissa has been fantastic,” Forde said. “She opened up her season with a very, very solid run in the 400. It gives a good indication as to where she is and what can be expected of her as we go through the year because what she did yesterday is how she ended last indoor season.”

Junior Candus Burks and freshman Zowie Dahn both finished in the top-five in the long jump. Burks finished in third place with a distance of 5.27 meters, while Dahn had a mark of 5.20 meters. 

Burks later went on to win the triple jump with a mark of 10.87 meters. 

Redshirt-senior Alanna Lally and freshman Mikaela Vlasic finished in second and third place in the 1000-meter with times of 2:57.39 and 2:57.7 respectively. 

“And then we had [Lally] and [Vlasic] compete for the first time for us after they transferred in,” Forde said. “They both started their career at Temple in an impressive fashion at 1000 meters. We were very happy with how they performed in regards to the rest of the season.”

Junior Aisha Brown took first place in the high jump with a final mark of 1.70-meters.

In the 4×400, White, Williams, Lally and junior Mallorie Smith combined for a time of 3 minutes, 51.47 seconds which gave the Owls another victory for the day. 

Bill Ward Invitational 

Sophomore Lexi Walsh won the 3,000-meter run with a time of 10 minutes, 52.30 seconds. The next fastest runner came in at 11 minutes, 44.70 seconds. 

White won the 500-meter dash with a time of one minute, 14.68 seconds. Freshman Sophia Gulotti and Vlasic recorded times of one minute, 19.98 seconds and one minute, 20.28 seconds to come in third and fourth place respectively. 

In the 60-meter dash, freshman Chelby Elam finished in second place with a time of 7.93 seconds. The Owls had six runners rank in the event’s top eight. 

Burks, freshman Tannekee Strachan and Dahn finished in the top-three in the long jump. Burks had a mark of 5.25-meters, Strachan’s was 5.06-meters, and Dahn’s recorded 4.88 meters. 

Smith and freshman Deyona Banks finished in first and fourth place in the 400-meter dash, with times of 57.47 seconds and one minute, 0.52 seconds respectively.

The Owls also won the 4-x-400 with a time of four minutes, 2.92 seconds. Smith, Gulotti, Brown and Burks grouped together for the win. 

Brown won the high jump for the second competition in a row. She finished with a final mark of 1.75-meters. 

“Aisha just gave up soccer and is now competing with us full time,” Forde said. “Around this time last year, she was just coming off of the soccer season, so we got to see where she is. We were very impressed with her first meet of the year. The ceiling is going to be pretty high for her and she’s gaining more and more confidence each time she performs which is great.”

The Owls will be back in action on Jan. 18 when they compete at the Penn 8 Team Challenge in Staten Island.

“Overall it was a little bit more of a lowkey meet today, we wanted to give a lot of kids that have been training, like [Gulotti] and [Banks], a chance to compete again,” Forde said. “They’re making some headway and we’re happy with them, so we have a lot to look forward to.”

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