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Women return to the spotlight at Gatorade

One week after the men’s track and field team stole the spotlight at the Bulls’ only home meet of the season, the women turned in the most impressive performances this weekend at the Miami Gatorade Invitational.

The women’s team broke three school records, and three more individuals posted regional qualifying marks, compared to just one new regional qualifying mark for the men.

“The girls are definitely going to be ahead, and they are going to be a little more (prepared) because they’ve had more opportunities,” USF coach Greg Thiel said. “(The men) don’t have the advantage of the indoor season. It’s really only their third meet, so I expect them to keep going.

“Nothing takes the place of live competition.”

Alexis McGaffagan was the only person not to break her own school record, as she bested teammate Carmen Crespo’s record in the high jump at 5 feet, 8 3/4 inches.

Amber Delpino broke her school record in the 400-meter hurdles for the third time this season, claiming second place in the event in 58.82.

Chandra Brewer was the third Bull to break a record, going five inches longer than her previous record in the shot put at 52 feet, 11 1/2 inches.

Symone Whittaker was one of three Bulls to post regional qualifying marks, finishing third in the 400-meter hurdles behind Delpino in 1:01.28.

Bente General and Dayana Octavien each posted regional qualifying marks in their third event during the weekend. General did so in the 1,500 meters in 4:27.49, helping the Bulls sweep the top three spots in the event. Octavien qualified in the hammer throw and finished third at 172 feet.

The lone person to post a regional qualifying mark on the men’s team was Stephen Ketterl, who cleared 6 feet, 9 1/2 inches in the high jump and finished second overall.

However, several men had impressive finishes.

Robert Fennel posted second-place finishes in the shot put and discus, while Derek Lincoln (3:55.63) and Jim Vitale (3:55.95) finished first and second in the 1,500 meters.

Brandon Carey narrowly missed a regional qualifying mark in the shot put by .01 meters (1/4 inch) en route to a first-place finish, and Andre Bondurant finished second in the javelin at 190 feet, 9 inches.

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