Track squads advance in Florida Relays

Jonah Phillips

The majority of the WKU track and field program set out to Gainsville, Fla. this past weekend for the nationally-prominent Florida Relays.

Coach Erik Jenkins brought his squads down to his native state to a meet that featured a combined 13 nationally-ranked programs between the male and female teams.

“We did well, but we still have a lot of work to do,” Jenkins said.  “Obviously, it’s still very early in the outdoor season, but we are at a good place in our training to perform well in the future.”

The Toppers’ trip was highlighted by freshman Thomas Guerra, who earned runner-up honors in the javelin throw with a toss of 223-feet-2 inches.

The feat didn’t equal his throw at Vanderbilt of 225-feet-7 inches, a mark that leads the Sun Belt Conference by a staggering 31 feet.

“Thomas is a student-athlete with tremendous upsides,” Jenkins said. “He works hard, and he listens well.  I expect him to continue to find success as long as he continues to work.”

Sophomore Kamohelo Mangojeane set a personal record in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 52.79 seconds, good for a No. 19 finish and moving him into fourth place in the Sun Belt.

Sophomore Cyrus Johnson and junior Derrick Hill finished 11th and 12th, respectively, in the jump events. Johnson cleared 6-feet-9 inches, while Hill was just 2 inches behind.

Three WKU throwers — senior Houston Croney, sophomore Travis Gerding and sophomore Zach Michaud — all surpassed the 170-foot marker in the hammer throw, finishing 12th, 13th and 14th, respectively.

Senior Sharika Smith leaped 19-feet-4 ¼ inches in the long jump for a in an effort that earned her ninth place.

Sophomore Karleigh Parker pole vaulted her way to sixth place with a vault of 12-feet- 9 ½ inches.  This broke her old record that she set Vanderbilt’s Black and Gold Invitational two weeks ago by an inch and a half.

Junior thrower Satrina Oliveira ended the weekend with a six place finish in the discus with a heave of 150-feet-5 inches, a throw that ranks third in the Sun Belt.  

Freshman Lindsey Hinken placed 13th in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 17:36.47.  Her time ranks fourth in the Sun Belt.

Jumper Ana Camargo earned runner-up honors at the Bellarmine Invitational in Louisville in the triple jump with a leap of 39-feet-11 ½ inches.

Sophomore Maikea Davis also performed well in Louisville, running her best time of 24.57 in the 200-meter dash, a mark ranking among the top five in the Sun Belt.

“This weekend we had individuals who performed very well,” Jenkins said. “We look forward to a successful rest of the season.”

The WKU track and field teams return to action next Saturday at home, as the school will host the Hilltopper Relays.