Young stars lead the way

Courtney Clayton took first place in the 800-meter run on Saturday.

Jan. 19, 2014

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The Vanderbilt track team will be depending heavily on its upperclassmen this season.

But during the Auburn Indoor Invitational on Saturday, it was several young stars who led the way.

Vanderbilt freshman Courtney Clayton took first place in the 800-meter run, finishing in a time of 2:11.07, to pace the Commodore contingent of underclassmen who stood out at the CrossPlex in Birmingham, Ala.

Freshman Sarah Bell continued her series of solid early-season performances by finishing sixth in the pole vault at 3.85m, freshman Simone Charley took third in triple jump at 12.42m, and freshman Tierney Price took eighth in the triple jump at 11.72m.

Those strong showings -- along with a fourth-place finish by senior Brionne Williams in the high jump (1.77m) -- highlighted the day for the young Commodores, who were in action for the third time this season.

Head coach Steve Keith said the Commodores are using these early-season meets as building blocks for what they hope will be a series of impressive results in the days ahead. "We've still got a lot to work on, and the kids know it," said Keith. "In the technical events, it's all about just getting more reps."

Clayton's first-place finish punctuated an outstanding effort by Vanderbilt in the 800, as four Commodores finished among the Top-10.

Katherine Delaney took third place with a time of 2:11.57, followed by teammates Skyler Carpenter in sixth (2:12.45), Sara Barron in eighth (2:13.36) and Lily Williams in ninth (2:14.26).

"Our 800 group ran really well," said Keith. "They ran competitive, and that was good to see." The Commodores -- who will host the Vanderbilt Indoor Invitational next weekend in the school's new multi-purpose facility -- had numerous other Top-15 finishes on Saturday.

A pair of freshmen, Courtney Kriegshauser and Carmen Carlos were 13th and 14th in the 1-mile run. Kriegshauser finished with a time of 4:59.85 and Carlos came in at 5:00.10. Vanderbilt sophomore Hannah Jumper was 19th with a time of 5:04.72.

Vanderbilt had two Top-15 finishers in the 3000-meter run, with junior Claire Benjamin taking 11th (9:59.19) and Vanessa Valentine taking 13th (10:05.33).

Junior Erin Edmond finished 15th in the 400-meter dash with a time of 58.09.



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