Despite it being a windy weekend, the USF track teams met coach Greg Thiel’s expectations at the USF Invite.
“As a team, we competed better this weekend than the weekend before, so I think we are headed in the right direction, for sure,” Thiel said.
The Bulls placed in the top three 16 times in two days, which consisted of five first-place finishes, four second-place finishes and nine third-place finishes. Despite the great showing, some Bulls struggled to get their second or third-place finishes.
“We had a lot of good performances, but there were a lot of good people at the meet,” Thiel said.
One athlete in particular who was performing exceptionally just to show was Dayana Octavien. Octavien placed third in the hammer throw with a USF record of 201-feet-7-inches. Octavien also finished third in the discus.
If the stiff competition wasn’t enough to face, the windy weather added just one more obstacle to this weekend’s competition. Jimmy Baxter, who won his event the last four matches, won the high jump with a surprisingly low mark of 6-feet-8 1/4 inches. The women’s high jump athletes who were regularly jumping over six feet did not reach the six-foot mark all weekend, Thiel said.
“That wind was just too much,” Thiel said. “The wind was just too tough.”
Competitors who did not seem affected by the wind included Brandon Carey and Robert Fennel. Carey placed first in the hammer with a throw of 175-feet-8 inches while Fennel claimed third place in the discus with a throw of 175-feet-6 inches.
“We were really happy with Brandon Carey in the hammer throw and Robert Fennel in the discus,” Thiel said. “Those are two guys that we are really excited about.”