Feb. 9, 2014
AKRON, Ohio- The Florida Atlantic University track and field team faced more than 500 athletes from 17 schools across the country over the weekend for the 10th annual Akron Invitational at the University of Akron’s Stile Athletics Field House. The Owls recorded multiple wins, a tie for a school record set in 2006 and several personal records at the two-day meet.
The events were classified as either the gold division or blue division. Saturday’s Gold Invitational included athletes posting faster times.
Chloe Sell’s finish in the gold division 5k on Friday was the start to FAU’s successful performance in Akron. Sell finished second with a final time of 17:55.52, just seconds behind her indoor personal record for the event. The sophomore currently holds the fourth-best time in the program’s history at 17:47.58#, which she set last season at the Sun Belt Indoor Championships. The Owls’ first day was also highlighted by a win in the distance medley relay. The team that consisted of Kia Heller-Spencer, Amanda Worley, Hannah Neustadt and Tara Cripe crossed the finish line in 12:50.57.
Competing against 31 athletes in Saturday’s gold division 60 meter dash, Deja Jones got off to a fast start by placing runner-up. Jones finished third in the preliminaries with a time of 7.69 before improving her finish to 7.61 for second-place in the finals. The freshman set a new personal record and tied with FAU’s school record of the event set by former FAU great, Yanique Booth during the 2006 indoor season. Jones now sits in a three-way tie for eighth-place in Conference USA. Regina Wilkerson finished fourth in the finals clocking in at 7.73, a personal record and the fifth-best time on FAU’s all-time top-10.
Jones went on to record a third-place finish in the gold division 200 meter dash with a final time of 24.95. Her finish is now ranked eighth in school history. Wilkerson competed in the blue division 200 meter dash earning eighth-place and setting a personal record of 25.78. Teammate Danielle Aromashodu followed in ninth-place with a time of 25.80. Sophomore Tanisha Coppin finished seventh in the gold division 400 meter dash finishing in 56.17, a personal record and the third-best time for FAU. Coppin’s finish puts her in sixth-place for the conference. Sitia Martinez competed in the blue division for the event, earning second-place with a final time of 57.25. Martinez is now ranked 10th on FAU’s all-time list.
Cripe picked up her second win at Akron in the blue division 3k by running a time of 10:37.74 ranking ninth on the team’s all-time top-10. Heller-Spencer and Clare Brinkman both set personal records in the event, finishing in 10:54.54 and 11:19.64, respectively. Rounding out the Owls’ top finishers was Lauren Walton in the gold division 60 meter hurdles. Walton set a personal record and is now ranked fifth in the programs history with a time of 8.86 in the preliminaries, good for eighth-place. She finished the finals seventh.
FAU wraps up their indoor track regular season schedule at Southern Miss on Friday, Jan. 14 in Birmingham, AL. The team will then return to Birmingham for the two-day Conference USA Track and Field Indoor Championships on Friday, Feb. 28.