WKU takes home 11 first-place finishes in the Hilltopper Relays

Johnathan Hayden (center) runs toward the finish line after toppling the last hurdle during the Hilltopper Relay event which took place on Friday, April 6 at the Charles M. Rueter Track and Field Complex. Hayden took first place in the 110m hurdles.

Tory Bowling

WKU track and field hosted the Hilltopper Relays this past weekend at the Charles M. Rueter Track and Field Complex, where the Hilltoppers took home 11 first-place finishes.

It was also senior day. The men’s team celebrated Jonathan Hayden, Eli Minor, Desmond Mobley, Charles Shimukowa and Julius Morris. Every senior that competed took home a first-place finish except for Morris, who did not compete this weekend.

Minor ran a personal record of 10.32 seconds in the 100-meter dash. He took first place in the event. Minor spoke about what his senior day accomplishment meant to him.

“It’s a great experience for me,” Minor said. “Western gave me a chance coming out of junior college, so running here my last time I wanted to go out with a bang, and I won the 100-meter, so it was a good day.”

Fellow senior Desmond Mobley also had a big day Friday, when he set a personal record of 7.84 meters in the long jump, which was also good enough for first place. Mobley later went on to set another personal record in the high jump at 2.11 meters, which also earned him a first-place finish.

The Hilltopper 4×100 relay team set a new season best with a time of 39.97 seconds, which earned first place. That team was composed of Minor, juniors Oliver Alexandre, Austin Hayes and Kymari Gates. Hayes would go on to win the 200 dash with a personal best time of 21.20 seconds. Shimukowa ran a personal best time of 1:53.28 in the 800 dash, which earned him first place.

In the men’s hurdling events, junior Maor Seged finished first in the 400 hurdles with a time of 52.80 seconds. Hayden ran a time of 14.09 in the 110 hurdles, giving WKU yet another first-place finish.

On the women’s side, Morgan McIntyre marked a personal record of 4.17 meters in the pole vault, notching her a first-place finish. She commented on the feeling of setting a personal record in her last meet on the Hill.

“I was so excited at the time, I didn’t really know what was going on because it was such a huge PR,” McIntyre said. “I hadn’t had very good meets coming into this, so I was like, ‘I need to come in here, do what I need to do,’ this is my last meet at Western, so I was really excited.”

The Lady Toppers celebrated four seniors: McIntyre, Khadijah Valentine, Savannah Ames and Ariel Terrell. Terrell set a personal record in the 400 hurdles at 59.84 seconds, which was also first place. Ames finished fourth in the 800 relay with a time of 2:16.53. Valentine placed 11th in the 100 dash with a time of 12.49 seconds. Junior Juannae Lewis wrapped up the first-place finishes for WKU as she set a personal record of 55.92 seconds in the 400 dash.

Head coach Erik Jenkins was very happy for his seniors Friday.

“We had quite a few things happen for some great people,” Jenkins said. “Whenever you can come out and perform in front of your family and friends as a senior, that’s a very good day for you.”

WKU’s next meet will be this Friday and Saturday in the APSU Invitational.

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