BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The two-day, two-meet opening weekend for Florida Atlantic University track and field wrapped on Saturday with the conclusion of the 2018 Vulcan Invitational at the CrossPlex Arena.
- The 4x400 combination of Sherline Valentin, Ana Holland, Berneta Boldin and Anne-Catherine Wasser ran to the fifth-fastest time in school history, 3:49.93, and was seventh of 25 teams competing
- Three Owls placed in the top 14 in the 800 meter run, led by Erica Lersch with a sixth-place showing (the fourth finisher among collegiate runners) and new personal best that is ninth-fastest on the FAU all-time list (2:16.80). Mikaela Jonsson came in in 10th (2:18.67) and Megan Giovanniello slotted 14th (2:19.81)
- Christina Schultz and Sophia Clark each finished in the top 14 in their race as well, in the 3,000 meters. Schultz was eighth overall and had a near-PR (10:33.37 on Saturday, 10:33.12 previously), and Clark crossed in 14th (11:05.73)
- In the first event of the day, the team had back-to-back finishers, fourth and fifth, in the 5000 meters: Kelsey Meltzer (19:49, another PR) and Johanna Freeman (20:15)
- Bethany Hardcastle ran a 5:20 mile, placing 12th, in the top third among a pack of 39
- In the 60 meter hurdle preliminaries, Crystal McDougle was just 0.11 seconds off of the final qualifying time, coming in 10th at 8.79 (which was just off her 8.76 previous best), and she was just milliseconds away from her fastest time in the 60 meter dash as well (7.78 compared to 7.74)
"We are happy with what we saw today, but certainly not satisfied yet," said Head Coach Alex Smolka. "But based on this weekend, the future looks bright."
The women head to the Big Apple in two weeks' time, to compete in the Dr. Sander Invitational. The meet will take place on Friday, Jan. 26 at New Balance Track and Field center at the Armory in New York City.