The USF track and field team was able to capture many top finishes at the Jacksonville Invitational on Saturday despite wet and windy weather conditions. It was raining on and off all day, and due to lightning in the area, the men’s 200-meter dash, men’s and women’s steeplechase, and men’s and women’s 4×400-meter relay were canceled.
“It was just a ‘do your best’ type of meet,” coach Greg Thiel said. “There were no great, unbelievable times, despite many running personal bests.”
The women’s team was able to capture the top three finishes in the 5000-meters race – Jen Walczuk (18:24.53), Ashley McComas (18:24:53), Melissa Tuccio (18:33.44), respectively. Carmen Crespo and Alexis McGaffagan also finished first and second, respectively, in the high jump. Chandra Brewer took first place in the shot put with a distance of 13.93 meters, while Erin Cecil took second in the javelin (34.42m).
The field events were also strong for the men’s team. Robert Fennel placed first in the shot put (15.65m) and second in the discus throw (42.46m). Stephan Ketterl won the high jump, successfully clearing 2 meters. Jim Vitale finished 2nd (4:05.90) in the 1500-meters, while Andrew Smith finished 3rd (14:47.59) in the 5000-meters. Xeorick Hall finished 3rd in the 400-meters hurdles.
It was a very difficult meet for the Bulls, coping with the weather, in their first outdoor meet of the season. The team will travel to Coral Gables on March 16 for the Hurricane Invitational.