Hilltoppers finish regular season, shift focus to C-USA Championships


Tory Bowling

WKU track and field wrapped up its regular season this weekend at the Lenny Lyles/Clark Wood Invitational hosted by Louisville, where WKU brought home 16 top-five finishes.

Hilltopper seniors Jonathan Hayden and Julius Morris each earned two first place finishes for WKU. Hayden ran a 14.11 in the 110-meter hurdles to take first place, while Morris ran a 20.45 in the 200 dash for first place.

WKU succeeded in the relay events by finishing in the top three in four different events. In the 4×100 relay, a team composed of juniors Austin Hayes and Kymari Gates along with seniors Morris and Eli Minor earned first place with a time of 39.99 seconds. The second team, made up of freshmen Alec Tanksley and David Saruni, along with juniors Will Bush and Maor Seged, finished third with a time of 41.32 seconds.

In the 4×400 relay, junior Oliver Alexandre competed with Tanksley, Gates and Hayes to place second with a time of 3:13.16. Sophomore Denzel Villaman teamed up with Hayden, Bush and Morris to finish third with a time of 3:14.77.

Bush, Hayes and Gates finished second, third, and fourth in the 100 dash. Bush clocked a time of 10.52 seconds, just shy of his personal record of 10.51 seconds. Alexandre finished third in the 400, running a 47.98-second time. Bush finished fourth in the 200 dash with a time of 21.44 seconds.

WKU continued its strong showing as Tanksley placed fifth in the long jump with a personal record of 7.21 meters. Senior Desmond Mobley earned fourth in the triple jump with a mark of 14.4 meters.

Sophomore Taylor Scarbrough and freshman Alex Schell both recorded personal records in the 1,500 meter run with times of 4:02.30 and 4:08.05, respectively.

The Lady Toppers earned three top-four finishes for the weekend, led by senior Morgan McIntyre’s tie for first place in the pole vault. After a jump-off, McIntyre tied for second with a mark of 3.87 meters. Freshman Nicole Ogorek placed third in the open pole vault with a jump of 3.57 meters.

Junior Juannae Lewis placed fourth in the 200 dash with a time of 24.30 seconds. Senior Savannah Ames notched a personal record and season best for WKU in the 1,500 with a time of 4:34.70.

With the regular season coming to an end, WKU will now get two weeks of rest before heading to the Conference USA Outdoor Championships in Houston, Texas. The WKU men finished eighth in the indoor championships in February, where the women placed 11th. McIntyre won the women’s pole vault, as WKU took home five All-Conference honors in total. The C-USA Championships will take place May 10-13.

Reporter Tory Bowling can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @Tory_Bowling24.