April 3, 2014
The members of the Vanderbilt track team are a close-knit group, but this weekend the Commodores are splitting up -- and they'll be separated by more than 2,600 miles.
While some Vanderbilt representatives are headed to Palo Alto, Calif., to compete in the Stanford Relays, another group is destined for Gainesville, Fla., to participate in the Florida Relays.
The competition will be stiff at both ends of the country for the Commodores, who are coming off a strong showing at last weekend's Black & Gold meet and have reached a pivotal point in their outdoor schedule.
"This is a big weekend for both groups as we try to improve our performances and hit NCAA preliminary round marks," said head coach Steve Keith.
Vanderbilt is sending 10 athletes to the Stanford event: Carmen Carlos, Vanessa Valentine and Claire Benjamin will compete in the 5k; Sara Barron, Lily Williams, Katherine Delaney and Reagan Anderson will compete in the 1500; Rebecca Chandler and Amira Joseph will run the Steeplechase, and Liz Anderson will be in the 10k.
Meanwhile, in Florida, the Commodores will be represented by Brionne Williams, Ellie Tidman, Courtney Clayton, Erin Edmond, Sarah Goodale, Sarah Bell, Tierney Price, Skyler Carpenter and Simone Charley.
"We are looking forward to great competition as we continue on our quest of putting as many athletes on the national stage (as we can)," said assistant coach Clark Humphreys.
Last weekend, the Commodores had an impressive showing at the Black & Gold event, which was the team's only home meet of the outdoor season.
The list of highlights included first-place finishes by Williams in the high jump, Carpenter in the 400 hurdles, Delaney in the 800 and a dominating victory for Vanderbilt's 4x400 relay team.
In the 400 hurdles, Carpenter posted a time of 1:00.98, which ranks sixth on Vanderbilt's all-time outdoor performers list.
In the 3000 meter race, Anderson's time of 9:38.36 -- which earned her a second-place finish -- ranked as the third-best time on Vanderbilt's all-time performers list.
Valentine took sixth place in the 3000 with a time of 9:56.84, Benjamin was eighth at 9:59.55 and freshman Courtney Kriegshauser was 22nd at 10:28.11.
Other top-10 finishes for the Commodores included: Bell earning second place in the pole vault at 3.70; Clayton taking third in the 400 with a time of 56.61; Barron finishing third in the 800 at 2:12.53 and third in the 1500 at 4:26.70; Anderson posting a 10th-place finish in the 800 at 2:15.94; Joseph taking third in the 2000m Steeplechase with a time of 7:01.72 and Chandler taking fourth in the Steeplechase at 7:04.95.