Feb. 8, 2013
CLEMSON, S.C. - The Western Carolina Indoor Track & Field Record Book was not safe Friday afternoon on day one of the Tiger Paw Invitational held at Clemson University's Indoor Track Facility. The 28-year-old 5000m record was erased Friday along with the women's 60m dash record. The Catamounts tallied two wins and a host of top-five finishes as Western Carolina got off to a good start in the meet.
The first distance event was a solid one as a pair of Catamounts finished in the top-three in the men's 5000m run. Josey Weaver returned to Clemson to pick up his second victory of the season at the Clemson Indoor Facility as the senior ran a Western Carolina record of 14:46.60, outrunning the second place finisher by nine seconds. Weaver finished a whisker ahead of the previous WCU record (14:46.80) run by Robert Baker back in 1985. Sophomore Travis Alfaro earned third place in the event running his personal-best time in the event, 15:00.60. Alfaro knocked 25 seconds off his previous top time to earn his fourth top-five finish of the season.
The 60m dash - as was several of the sprint events - was split into two groups: the invitational and the dash. In the women's invitational, reigning Southern Conference Track Athlete of the Month - Tayla Carter - set a new Western Carolina record in the event, running a 7.43 to place fourth and advance to the event's final. Carter previously held the record with Tangelia Johnson (7.48) as she now sits alone atop the record book. In the final, Carter again ran the fourth-fastest time, this time running a 7.47.
Carter was not done as another Catamount record was threatened in the 200m dash. The freshman earned her second fourth place finish of the day - another personal best, running a 24.61. The Western Carolina record in the 200m is 24.51, run by Raquel Ramseur in 2006 which, ironically, is the same year Tangelia Johnson set the 60m dash record.
Western Carolina tallied another win as Ashley Wala cleared a personal-best, 3.63m, in the pole vault to finish the event in a tie for first place with Central Florida's Erica Weiss. Teammates Kayla Heineike and Devyn Ressler also notched a tie, placing third with personal-bests of 3.48m.
In the men's invitational sophomore Jerry Wickerson also qualified for the final as he ran the seventh fastest time (6.91). Teammate Ron Duncan narrowly missed the final as his 6.92 time was the first one out. Wickerson improved his standing by one in the final as he placed sixth, running a 7.02.
The 60m hurdles also featured an invitational in addition to the regular event. WCU's Marquis Bailey ran the fastest time of the season in the invitational, running the tenth fastest time - which also was a personal record for Bailey - as the sophomore from Greensboro ran an 8.24. Teammate Tyler Bentley also ran a career-best as he crossed the line in 8.37. Both runners did not advance to the event's final.
The women's 800m invitational run was an exciting finish as the top three finished within a second and a half of each other. Clemson's Brianna Blanton (2:10.70) won the race, narrowly escaping WCU's Jocelyn Keen who placed second with her career-best indoor time of 2:11.01. Hayley Tomlinson also earned a top-10 placing as she finished seventh with a season-best time (2:14.86).
In the men's 200m invitational, Brandon Hairston placed fourth crossing the line in 22.37.
Raven Parrish earned her second top-five finish in the long jump with her jump of 5.58m. Sophomore Michaela Birek earned a tenth place finish, jumping a 5.31m. On the men's side, Bob McNeil (fifth-6.96m) and Sam Lusty (tenth-6.72m) also earned top-10 finishes.
"It was a good start for the weekend, especially with Tayla [Carter] and Josey [Weaver] each setting records," said head coach Danny Williamson.
"We had a lot of our team perform all-time and season-bests. We hope to keep that momentum going tomorrow and have more performances like we did on Friday."
The Tiger Paw Invitational continues tomorrow with the remainder of the events. A recap and complete meet results can be found at CatamountSports.com.