Hilltoppers kick off outdoor season with three titles at Vanderbilt

WKU pole vaulter Getter Lemberg runs to jump during the Hilltopper Relay on April 08, 2016 at Charles M. Rueter Track and Field Complex in Bowling Green, Ky.

Tory Bowling

WKU Track and Field began its outdoor season this past weekend at the Vanderbilt Black and Gold Invitational. The Hilltoppers debuted the season with three event titles and 20 top-10 finishes.

Six Hilltoppers posted first place finishes Saturday as junior Desmond Mobley, freshman Chard Muhwanga, and the 4×400-meter relay team all came in first in their respective events. Mobley posted a 7.49 meters mark in the long jump, beating all other competitors by nearly half a meter.

Muhwanga earned a first-place finish in the discus event as he threw 49.03 meters. The 4×400 team made up of graduate student Charles Shimukowa, junior Kymari Gates, sophomore Denzel Villaman and junior Austin Hayes earned first place with a time of 3:11.89.

The weather was not ideal, but I believe we managed it well,” head coach Erik Jenkins said in a press release. “We had several personal and outdoor season bests this weekend. We have a lot of work to do, but positive strides were made at Vanderbilt.”

The men’s squad accounted for 13 of WKU’s top-10 finishes, with Hayes running a time of 21.42 seconds to finish second in the 200. Gates ran a time of 21.52 seconds to finish third, and junior Oliver Alexander ran a time of 21.62 seconds to finish fourth. WKU earned two second-place finishes in the hurdles, as senior Jonathan Hayden posted a 14.26-second time in the 110 hurdles, and Villaman posted a 53.55-second time in the 400 hurdles.

Shimukowa finished eighth in the men’s 800 with a time of 1:55.48. The 4×100 relay team finished third with a time of 41.08 seconds. WKU’s second 4×400 relay team finished second with a time of 3:14.20. Mobley tied for fourth in the high jump with a clear of 1.95 meters, and freshman Alec Tanksley earned fourth with a length of 6.82 meters.

The Lady Topper squad finished the weekend with seven top-10 finishes, highlighted with senior Ariel Terrel’s second-place finish in the 400 hurdles with a time of 1:00.81. In the 200 dash, junior Juannae Lewis ran a time of 24.74 seconds to finish second, and the 4×400 relay team finished third with a time of 3:54.63.

Freshman Nicole Ogorek finished eighth in the pole vault with a height of 3.55 meters, and junior Getter Lemberg finished ninth in the event at 3.55 meters. In javelin, two Lady Toppers placed in the top 10, as freshman Kira Harman placed third with a throw of 36.7 meters, and sophomore Adarian Gray placed seventh with a throw of 33.98 meters.

WKU will continue its season with a meet this weekend. The team will travel down to Gainesville, Florida, to compete in the Pepsi Florida Relays.

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