April 25, 2009
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -
The Auburn men's and women's track and field teams had a strong finish at the Penn Relays Saturday, earning second- and fourth-place finishes in the championship division as well as a college division title in front of 47,904 fans at Franklin Field.
The Auburn women's 4x200-meter relay team of sophomores Joanna Atkins and Cache Armbrister and freshmen CeCe Williams and Nivea Smith clocked the fifth-best time in Penn Relays history in that event, but unfortunately went up against a Texas A&M team that posted the second-best time ever. Still, Auburn's time of 1:31.19 broke the school record of 1:32.42 set in 2003 by more than a second.
Freshman Ryan Fleck finished fourth in the championship division of the men's high jump, matching his season best with a mark of 2.16 meters (7-1). Fleck was second in the competition after his last clearance, but dropped out of the competition at 2.19 meters (7-2.25) and finished fourth.
In the men's 4x400-meter relay in the college division for teams that qualified ninth through 16th in the prelims, Auburn's team of sophomores Michael DeHaven and Bernard Spivey and freshmen Nick Green and Marcus Rowland finished first with a time of 3:06.34 that eclipsed their previous season best by nearly three seconds.
finished 13th in the men's college division triple jump with a mark of 14.13 meters (46-4.25).
"I thought we had a pretty solid competition this weekend," said head coach Ralph Spry. "We ran some good races against some of the top teams in the country. I was hopeful that we would get a few more regional qualifiers but all in all I'm happy, and we still have a chance to compete for the SEC title. Now we just have to get a little sharper and get our minds ready for the conference meet."
Meanwhile at the Triton Invitational in San Diego, junior Eric Werskey finished fifth in the shot put (17.97 meters, 58-11.5) and 13th in the dicus (55.20 meters, 181-1), and freshman Wesley Wright was 15th in the shot put (15.22 meters, 49-11.25) and 16th in the hammer throw (55.90 meters, 183-5).
The Tigers also sent a group of athletes to compete at the Coach O Invitational hosted by Troy University on Saturday.
Jhak Keegan won the men's 400-meter hurdles with a time of 53.18 seconds, while Johnathon Haynes was second in 54.56. Becca Bell and Allison Smith also had a 1-2 finish for Auburn, completing the 3,000 meters in 10:35.83 and 10:37.39, respectively.
Ben Cheruiyot won the men's 3,000 meters in 8:32.46, and Luke Gaines finished second in the men's javelin with a throw of 60.01 meters (196-10).
The Tigers will take the next two weekends off before competing at the SEC Outdoor Championships May 14-17 in Gainesville, Fla.