Rock Hill, S.C. - Taylor Cook won the women's pole vault, Mike McClay took first in the men's 5,000 meters, Tyler Samotis took the men's pole vault crown, and Alex Young triumphed during the men's shot put as Gardner-Webb track & field turned heads at the 2013 Winthrop Invitational in the squad's third meet of the Outdoor season.
As a team, GWU showed significant strides, recording twelve Top 5 showings from the men's and women's squads combined. The squad also saw two school records go down at the Winthop Outdoor Invitational.
GWU's effort on the women's side was paced by Cook, a senior from Boone, N.C., who won the women's pole vault on during Friday's portion of the competition this weekend. Cook took first place by clearing 3.50 m (11'5.75").
Freshman Megan Melton (Riverside, Calif.) and senior Bethany Wright (Clayton, Ga.) tacked on 5th and 9th place finishes, achieving heights of 3.20 m (10'6") and 2.90 m (9'6.25") respectively.
Ivana Hughes led GWU in the women's 400 m dash, turning in the third fastest time in the event at 57.34. The performance, which marked a season best fro the senior, was one of three Runnin' Bulldogs to crack the Top 20 of the event, as senior T'Keyah Bell (Cherryville, N.C.) and sophomore Nicole Saxton (Tampa, Fla.) used season best performances to take 11th (59.60) and 13th (1:00.03) place in the event respectively. Saxton's run marked a new personal best.
Hughes (Evans, Ga.) also took 2nd in the 800 m run, racing to a season best time of 2:15.25 to lead GWU in the event. Fellow senior Leah Steinke (Green Cove Springs, Fla.) raced to a personal best time of 2:21.43 to finish 8th, and senior Ariel Zimmerman (Williamsburg, Va.) took 12th the in the event with a time of 2:27.36.
In the heptathlon, Kristen Hurley (Columbia, Conn.) finished eighth overall, amassing 3,464 points in the eight-part event. The junior highlighted her effort in the heptathlon by recording the top shot put mark in the event at 10.18 m as well as turning in a personal best performance in the high jump (1.49 m). Junior Olivia Moody (Plano, Ill.) also competed in the heptathlon and recorded season bests during the 100 m hurdles (16.42), shot put (9.75 m), and javelin (29.36 m) portions of the event.
High jumper Kaylan Myers (Lexington, N.C.) recorded a Top 10 finish to lead GWU in the women's high jump. The Runnin' Bulldog rookie cleared 1.50 m (4'11").
Zimmerman placed 6th in the 1,500 m run, adding to a stellar weekend by leading GWU in the event with a season best time of 4:52.70.
Junior Katie Spiro (Sylva, N.C.) led Gardner-Webb in the women's javelin throw, placing ninth in the event with a distance of 33.27 m.
In the women's 100 m hurdles, GWU's Sarah Perkins (Gorham, Maine), achieved a 10th place finish and a season best time of 15.58. Fellow freshman Claire Cates (Hillsborough, N.C.) added a seventh place finish in the 3,000 m steeplechase, turning in a time of 13:32.91.
The Runnin' Bulldogs put throwers in the Top 3 of the women's shot put, discus, and hammer throw at the Winthrop Invitational. Senior Yazzming Lee (Paterson, N.J.) used a season best performance put up the third best distance in the shot put (12.03 m, 39'5.75"), junior Jasmine MIles (Amelia, Va.) threw a season best to mark third furthest in the discuss (41.05 m, 134'8"), and senior Ashlei Alexander (Queens, N.Y.) placed third in the hammer throw (53.09 m, 174'2") to lead an outstanding weekend for the hurlers.
Alexander's throw, a personal best, also shattered her own school record in the event, re-setting the best performance for Gardner-Webb all-time in the event. The senior bettered her previous best mark of 51.49 m, set last season.
Junior Kyntoya Hansford (Miami, Fla.) also showed out, placing seventh in both the shot put (11.32 m, 37'1.75") and discus (38.25 m, 125'6") this past weekend in Rock Hill, S.C. Miles added an eighth place finish in the hammer throw after tossing 46.03 m (151').
Gardner-Webb achieved a fifth place finish in the women's 4x400 m relay behind the quartet of Bell, Perkins, Hughes and Saxton, who combined for a time of 4:02.09.
For the men, McClay (Lawrenceville, Ga.), Samotis (Hendersonville, N.C.), and Young (LaVergne, Tenn.) recorded individual event wins on the weekend. McClay held off Radford's Brian Gorwitz to win the 5,000 m run in a time of 15:12.73, while Young threw 17.18 m (56'.4.5") and Samotis vaulted 4.55 m (14'11") to win their respective events.
Young's performance in the shot put not only won the event, but set a new school record in the process. The Runnin' Bulldog rookie bettered the previous mark of 16.35 m (53'7.75").
Sprinter Brandaun Addison recorded Top 20 finishes in both the 100 m and 200 m dash over the weekend. The Easley, S.C. native placed 13th in the 100 m dash after finishing in a season best 11.05, and finished 18th in the 200 m dash with a time of 23.02 to lead the Runnin' Bulldogs in both.
In the men's 400 m dash, sophomore Miles Harris (Atlanta, Ga.) took 13th, recording a season best time of 51.08.
Rock Hill, S.C. native Tyler Marsengill added a seventh place finish for GWU in the men's pole vault, clearing 4.25 m (13'11.25") for a season best performance.
GWU's Trey Crook (2:00.60), Nick Rogers (2:05.24), and Will Cottrell (2:06.66) all recored Top 20 finishes in the men's 800 m run, placing 7th, 15th, and 16th respectively. Crook and Cottrell ran season bests, and Rogers' time in the event marked a new personal best time.
Junior Justin Loy (Burrington, N.H.) finished with a time of 17:00.32 in the men's 5,000 m run, good enough for 18th in the event.
In the 3,000 m steeplechase, Drew Ford led the Runnin' Bulldog men, giving the squad a sixth place finish. The junior from Wasilla, Alaska raced to a season best time of 10:42.07.
A great effort in the men's triple jump from Terry Davis landed the junior a second place finish. The Wilson, N.C. native leaped a personal best 14.27 m (46'10"), second to first place finisher Miles Lebby's 14.36 m by only .09 m.
Freshman A.J. White (Hurricane, W.Va.) helped add to GWU's success in the throwing events with a fifth place finish and season best performance in the men's shot put (13.96 m, 45'9.75"), eighth place showing in the discus (42.50 m, 139' 5"), and 13th place finish in the hammer throw (41.16 m, 135').
Young, a freshman, tacked on a third place finish in the hammer throw in addition to his event win in the shot put. Throwing 57.88 m (189'11"), Young was followed by sophomore Nathan Padfield (LaVergne, Tenn.), who put up the eighth best distance in the hammer throw (45.76 m, 150'1") as well as the 11th best distance in the discus (39.56 m, 129'9"). Padfield's discus performance marked a season best.
GWU's Ben Bell (Greensboro, N.C.) and Titus Hamilton (Blair, Neb.) finished 14th and 17th in the men's shot put after throwing 11.42 m (37'5.75") and 11.11 m (36'5.5") respectively. Bell added a fifth place showing in the javelin throw at 43.07 m (141'4").
Hamilton achieved a season best performance in the men's long jump, using a distance of 6.04 m to take 11th place in the event.
The Runnin' Bulldogs are working to have this weekend's success carry over into it's next meet as the 2013 Outdoor season progresses. GWU's track & field squad's next competition comes at the Duke Invitational in Durham, N.C. April 5-6.