March 28, 2014
Friday night was almost like homecoming for the Vanderbilt track team, and a pair of Commodores -- Erin Edmond and Sara Barron -- made certain that the home team was well-represented.
Competing on the opening night of the Black and Gold meet at the Vanderbilt track complex, Edmond and Barron helped the Commodores get off to a solid start in their only home meet on their outdoor schedule.
Edmond, a junior who has battled her way back from double shin surgery, took sixth in the 200 with a time of 25.11, and Barron, a sophomore, capped the Commodores' night by taking third place in the 1500 with a time of 4:26.70.
Their strong performances potentially set the tone for what could be a big weekend for the Commodores at the two-day event, which has brought more than 600 athletes -- along with track supporters from all of the nation -- to the Vanderbilt campus.
"Home meets are definitely my favorite," said Barron. "My family is here from Michigan -- my parents and my sister -- so that was special for me."
Barron almost posted a second-place finish, but Bradley's Emily Delvo nudged ahead of her at the finish line to claim second at 4:26.66. Lipscomb's Dani Walker won the event at 4:21.34.
Although the pace at the beginning caught Barron a little bit by surprise, she resolutely remained among the top-3 throughout the duration of the race.
"We went out a little faster than we planned," said Barron. "That was a little bold for this point in the season."
Along with Barron's solid work, another encouraging development of the day was Edmond's performance in the 200.
"Considering everything she's been through -- in terms of battling back from her injury -- it was a really good day for her," said Vanderbilt assistant coach Donnie Young. "She ran a really good race."
Although there were initially some concerns that the weather would not cooperate on Friday, the conditions proved to be nearly ideal: Warm temperatures -- and no rain.
"We couldn't have dodged a bigger bullet, weather-wise," said Vanderbilt head coach Steve Keith, "and the meet's going really well."
Keith said he hopes his team will continue to shine on Saturday on the final day of the event.
"Hopefully we will have some more solid performances," he said. "We are six or seven weeks away from the (SEC championships), so we want to be making progress and also want to leave some room to progress."
Saturday's action begins with the resumption of field events at 10 a.m., followed by running events at 11:30 a.m.
The team will salute four seniors -- Brionne Williams, Megan Yohe, Kara Slavoski and David McAdams -- during a ceremony on Saturday at 11:15 a.m.