Commodores ride wave of momentum in California

Amira Joseph helped fuel Vanderbilt's impressive showing this week in California.

April 19, 2014

The Vanderbilt track team had plenty of reasons to celebrate during their trip to the West Coast.

Putting together nine personal records -- and mixing in a couple of school records for good measure -- the Commodores made a big impact while competing in the Mt. SAC Relays and the Long Beach Invitational.

All told, the Commodores had eight times/distances that ranked among the top-10 on the school's all-time list.

The strong showing allowed the Commodores to gather plenty of momentum as they head into the final stretch of the season. After taking next weekend off (following final exams), the Commodores' next action will come in the Tennessee Challenge on May 3.

"We took quite a few strides forward with the team's performances this weekend," said head coach Steve Keith. "A number of our marks will qualify for the NCAA first round as well as help our seeding for the upcoming SEC Outdoor Championship in a little over three weeks."

Keith said his team's performance in California was "exactly what we wanted to accomplish going into an off weekend and finals."

Sophomore Lily Williams helped provide the exclamation point on the productive three-day stretch by setting a new personal record on Saturday in the 800 with a time of 2:09.99.

It was the second big performance of the trip for Williams, who set a season-best time of 4:24.05 in the 1500 on Friday to earn a 10th-place overall finish.

Also on Saturday, Erin Edmond posted a time of 25.30 in the 200.

Here's a quick look at some of the other highlights for the Commodores:

** Senior Liz Anderson shaved 12 seconds off her personal best and clocked a time of 16:07.34 in the 5k to set a new Vanderbilt record in the event.

** Amira Joseph and Rebecca Chandler both set personal bests -- and broke the school record that had stood for 12 years -- in the 3000 Meter Steeplechase. Joseph had a time of 10:27.72, and Chandler finished at 10:33.79 as they each broke the previous school record of 10:34.15 set by Kylene Kownurko in 2002.

** Junior Erin Edmond had a big performance in the 400, posting a time of 55.45. It was a personal record for Edmond and ranked as the No. 4 best performance on Vanderbilt's all-time list.

** Skyler Carpenter posted a personal-best time of 58.98 in the 400 hurdles to capture first place in her section and the top time among collegians.

** Freshman Reagan Anderson had a personal-best time of 4:34.29 in the 1500.

** Freshman Simone Charley took second place in the triple jump with a distance of 12.65m.

** Sara Barron posted a season-best time of 4:22.69 in the 1500.

** Claire Benjamin and Vanessa Valentine each delivered fine results in their debuts in the 10k. Benjamin posted a time of 35:30.76 -- the fourth-best time on Vanderbilt's all-time list -- and Valentine had a time of 36:42.92.



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