NASHVILLE – Caleigh Lofstead narrowly missed setting a personal best in the pole vault, but provided one of several Commodore individual highlights at the Vanderbilt Invitational Saturday.
Lofstead, a sophomore from Camas, Wash., cleared 4.07 meters (13-4.25) on her first attempt to register a fifth-place finish in the vault. It matched the second highest indoor clearance ever for Lofstead.
On the track, sprinters Jenn Edobi and Regan Clay, and middle-distance runners Courtney Clayton and Reagan Bustamante posted solid performances for the Commodores.
Vanderbilt head coach Steve Keith was pleased with the overall effort of his squad, saying the team needs to continue improving as it moves deeper into the indoor season.
“Generally, I like how we competed and we’ve shown some improvements. We definitely have some areas where we need to keep working and improving, but that’s why you need early-season meets,” Keith said. “We have a two-week training block in front of us that we help as we go forward in the indoor season.”
Lofstead’s clearance in the pole vault missed her personal best by just one inch. She was the last Commodore out of the competition after three unsuccessful attempts at 4.17 meters (13-8.25).
Lofstead remains the Commodores’ second highest indoor vaulter ever behind only Sarah Bell, who went 4.25 meters (13-11.25) last year.
Vanderbilt's newest addition to its vault contingent, redshirt sophomore Kristen Denk from North Royalton, Ohio, just missed behind the fourth Commodore to reach 13 feet in the event. She finished the competition tied with sophomore teammate Margaret Ollinger with a clearance of 3.85 meters (12-7.50.)
Edobi, a senior from Union, N.J., earned a fourth-place finish in the 400 meters, running an indoor season best of 54.66. Edobi also finished the invitational with a strong leg on the Commodores’ 4x400-meter relay.
Clay, a freshman of Rossford, Ohio, trailed Edobi in the 400 but finished 15th overall with a time of 56.37. The performance moves Clay to No. 10 on the team’s all-time indoor 400-meter charts.
Clayton, a senior from Roscoe, Ill., showed excellent form in the mile, running 4:48.13 to claim fourth place. A senior from Roscoe, Ill., Clayton was just .46 off her indoor personal best.
Bustamante, a sophomore from Springfield, Va., added an eighth-place result in the 800 meters. She was clocked in 2:10.43, just ahead of teammates Becca Schulte and Kendall Derry.
Keith was pleased to see distance runner Sara Tsai back in competition after a 14-month layoff due to injuries. The junior from Eugene, Ore., a former All-SEC performer in cross country, ran 5:03.49 in the mile.
Sophia Falco, a freshman sprinter-jumper from Lakewood Ranch, Fla., ran 7.73 in the 60 meters, then came back to leap 11.61 meters (38-1.25) in the triple jump.
A full summary of Saturday results by Vanderbilt participants follows:
60 meters – 27. Sophia Falco 7.73
400 meters – 4. Jennifer Edobi 54.66. 15. Regan Clay 56.37
800 meters – 8. Reagan Bustamante 2:10.43. 12. Becca Schulte 2:12.38. 18. Kendall Derry 2:13.76. 26. Ginger Hutton 2:17.31
Mile run – 4. Courtney Clayton 4:48.13. 20. Sara Tsai 5:03.49. 24. Reagan Anderson 5:05.97. 26. Gillian Mortimer 5:06.97. 36. Anna Grace Morgan 5:10.64
3,000 meters – 15. Megan Huebner 9:52.25. 37. Devon Grisbaum 10:16.02. 40. Kacie Breeding 10:19.39
Pole vault – 5. Caleigh Lofstead 4.07m/13-4.25. T-12. Margaret Ollinger 3.85m/12-7.50. T-12. Kristen Denk 3.85m/12-7.50. T-18. Sarah Bell 3.72m/12-2.50
Triple jump – 16. Sophia Falco 11.61m/38-1.25
The Commodores’ next competition is the Michigan Power Five Invitational, scheduled Feb. 2-3 from Ann Arbor, Mich.