Johnson City, Tenn. - GWU's men's and women's track and field traveled to compete at the 34th running of the Niswonger Invitational, hosted by East Tennessee State University, putting up several impressive performances both Friday and Saturday.
Highlighting the performances on the women's side were second place finishes by junior Ivana Hughes and senior Ann Marie Howell. Hughes raced to a second place showing in the 400 m dash, holding on to the second place seed she earned in prelims with a personal best time of 57.30 during finals. Howell rose up to finish second in the women's pole vault, tying Gardner-Webb's school record with a height of 3.65 m.
Howell tied the record of former GWU Track & Field standout Carrie Long.
Senior Sarah Herd cracked the top three in the High Jump, placing third with a jump distance of 1.68 m. The performance ties her career best in the event.
Junior Ashlei Alexander grabbed fifth place in the shot put, throwing a distance of 13.05 m in the event. The junior from Queens, N.Y. also finished eleventh in the Weight Throw (15.45 m) this weekend.
Sophomore Jasmine Miles led GWU in the Weight Throw, placing sixth with a long distance of 15.45 m. Junior Yazzming Lee achieved a personal best time in the event, throwing 14.75 m to finish in thirteenth place.
The women's shot put saw four Runnin' Bulldogs crack the top 20. In addition to Alexander's fifth place showing was junior Stephanie Hamilton (13th, 11.87 m), Lee (17th, 11.41 m), and Kyntoya Hansford (19th, 11.21 m) for Gardner-Webb in the event.
Sophomore Kristen Hurley ran to a seventeenth place finish in the 60 m hurdles, as her time of 9.75 m narrowly missed a personal best.
The Gardner-Webb women saw great efforts from its relay teams, as both the Distance Medley and 4x400 m relays finished in the top 15. The quartet of Sawyer, Ashley Slate, Spiro, and Steinke finished thirteenth with a time of 13:27.70. The 4x400 m relay team of Olivia Moody, T'Keyah Bell, Cherish Richardson, and Hughes raced to a sixth place finish in a time of 4:04.13.
On the men's side, GWU again saw stellar performances from its throwers, as seniors Travis Rogers and C.J. Wise as well as sophomore Carson Sears put up impressive showings. Rogers led the Runnin' Bulldogs with a fifth place finish in the men's Weight Throw, chucking a distance of 17.21 m. Sears was seventh at 17.21 m, and Wise was twelfth, throwing a personal best distance 15.66 m.
Sears placed sixth in the shot put, throwing a distance of 14.77 m. Rogers grabbed a twelfth place finish at 14.03 m.
In the Pole Vault, junior Clint McManus achieved a max height of 4.60 m, good enough for fifth place. The performance marked a personal best.
Gardner-Webb got a sixth place showing in the 3000 m run from distance specialist Mike McClay, who finished the race in a personal best 8:43.36.
Freshman Chris Darden led Gardner-Webb in the men's High Jump, reaching a top height to 1.85 m in the event. Darden also achieved a tenth place finish in the Long Jump, leaping a distance of 6.79 m.
The men's 4x400 m relay turned in a stellar performance, finishing third with a time of 3:21.31. Johnathan Parks, Terry Davis, Miles Harris, and Stanton-Brooks combined to lead the Runnin' Bulldogs to the top three showing.
Gardner-Webb will be back on the track February 10-11 for the Tiger Paw Invitational in Clemson, S.C.