Vanderbilt's Faith Washington.
Feb. 15, 2014
Several members of the Vanderbilt track team got this weekend off to promising start on Friday as the Commodores continue to gain momentum for the upcoming SEC Championships.
Courtney Clayton, Faith Washington, Skyler Carpenter and Lily Williams all produced impressive showings on Friday -- with all four athletes recording either career-bests or season-bests -- during the opening day of the two-day Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark.
"It was a good day at the track," said Vanderbilt head coach Steve Keith.
Williams captured first place in the mile run and set a new season-best time by finishing at 4:50.98, and Washington set a personal record in the 400, finishing at 55.93 and moving up to No. 4 on Vanderbilt's all-time performers list in that event.
Carpenter, meanwhile, shaved a couple of seconds off her previous best in the 800 by posting a time of 2:10.14 -- which ranks No. 6 on the VU all-time performers list -- and Clayton continued her impressive freshman season by taking fourth place in the 800 with a time of 2:08.13.
Keith said Clayton's strong run allowed her to "gain valuable experience (against) a high-quality field."
Courtney Kriegshauser took ninth in the one-mile run with a time of 5:01.02 as the Commodores potentially set the tone for a big weekend.
Other top-30 performances on Friday included Sarah Goodale taking 25th in the long jump at 5.32m, and Jennifer Cannon finishing 27th at 5.27m. Washington finished 36th in the 400 with a time of 55.93.
The Commodores will now be looking to cap off the weekend with another solid showing on Saturday, when two separate groups of Vanderbilt athletes will be in action. Some will continue competing in the Invitational in Arkansas, while a handful of other Commodores will be competing in the Husky Classic in Seattle.
Keith said he is looking forward to finding out what the day will hold at both venues for his team.
"I'm excited to see our relays step up tomorrow, as well as Brionne (Williams) in the high jump, Simone (Charley) in the triple jump and I look for some good 3000 races as well," he said.
Keith said he is also hoping to see "some solid performances" from the Commodores who are in Seattle as the Vanderbilt squad finishes up its final tune-ups for the SEC Championships.
"(Saturday) should be a good day to lead us into the next phase -- the championship phase -- of our season," Keith said.