Though USF’s women’s and men’s track and field teams finished second and third, respectively, on Saturday, there was a strong showing from the senior class.
Both the men and women were edged out by Miami University of Ohio, which swept the USF Quad, but the Bulls had 26 athletes post Big East qualifying marks in 12 events, with five posting NCAA qualifying results, bringing USF’s total to nine for the NCAA championships in June.
Junior Greg Fontus took first place in both the men’s 100- and 200-meter dashes, and junior Josh Wimbley took first in the 400. Senior Vanetta Randle took first in the long jump, and senior Errol Blackmon won the high jump.
Senior Glenn Fowler was named Big East Athlete of the week March 23 for his NCAA qualifying times in the 110- and 400-meter hurdles, in which he placed second and fifth, respectively, on Saturday. The senior did help USF win the men’s 4-by-100 relay, though.
“It was my worst meet. It was hot and windy, but there is no excuse,” Fowler said. “We really had to go get (the relay) and bring the team back from behind.”
Battling winds upward of 25 mph, senior Grant Scelzi helped USF sweep the vault event, clearing a personal-best 15 3/4 feet.
“We had a great team effort,” said USF coach Warren Bye. “We knew it was going to be a windy day, but we told everybody that it was about the team today and not about the individual numbers.”
Junior hurdler Yvana Hepburn managed to set a new personal record for the third time in her last three events after hitting her first hurdle. She finished with 13.72 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles and improved her time by nearly half a second.
“I was angry when I started in last. I was sitting too low and that’s why I hit a hurdle,” Hepburn said. “You can’t hit them if you want to win the NCAA’s.”
The USF Quad was the final home event of the year for the Bulls. USF has three events remaining, including meets against Florida and LSU, before the Big East Outdoor Championships begin in Philadelphia on May 1.