Track and field stars setting records at C-USA

The USF track and field teams finished the season strong at the Conference USA Championships this past weekend in Louisville, Ky., including a pair of record-setting individual performances. The women’s team finished third for the second consecutive year with a team score of 85.5 points, finishing behind Marquette (119 points) and first-place Houston (144 points).
The Bulls set two C-USA championship meet records as Dayana Octavien broke the meet mark in the discus throw, and Tara Quinn set the record in the 10,000 meters.
Octavien took first place in the discus on Saturday with a throw of 48.1 meters. Tara Quinn placed first in the 10,000 meters with a time of 35.05.71.  
For the championship meet, many of the athletes had to compete in multiple events. The 10,000 meters was run on Thursday and the 5,000 meters on Saturday.
Along with running in the 10,000 meter, Tara Quinn also finished third in the 5,000 meters with a time of 17:10.97. Christa Benton finished fourth in the 10,000 meters and seventh in the 5,000 meters. Tiffany Quinn finished ninth in the 10,000 meters and 14th in the 5,000 meters.  
“We generally don’t double-up like that during the season. It’s a hard double, but it’s doable if you are in good shape, ” Tara Quinn said.  
Along with her record-setting performance in the discus throw, Octavien also finished fifth in the hammer throw and sixth in the shot put. Chandra Brewer took first place in the shot put with a throw of 15.39 meters. Bente General finished third in the 800 meters. Alexis McGaffagan finished fifth in both the heptathlon and the high jump, and Cori Kill took sixth the 1,500 meters.  
The men’s team finished eighth, in large part because of Jimmy Baxter, who led the team with his performance in the high jump. He finished first for the second year in a row after winning last year as a freshman. Baxter won with a jump of 7-feet, 1/2-inch. 
Andrew Smith finished third in the 1,500 meters and fourth in the 5,000 meters. Russ Gerbers placed third in the 10,000 meters and fifth in the 5,000 meters. Jim Vitale finished sixth in the 1,500 meters. Robert Fennel took fourth place in discus throw and fifth in the shot put. 
The teams will next compete at the Reebok Invitational this weekend in Atlanta. It will give some athletes a final chance to qualify for the NCAA Championship, which will take place in two weeks from Baton Rouge, La.

James Tai covers outdoor track and field and can be reached at