Track teams compete against pros at Mt. SAC

Jonah Phillips

The WKU men’s track and field team gained some national attention this weekend, compounding three performances that currently rank among the top 10 in the NCAA at the Mt. SAC Relays held in Walnut, Cal.

The Toppers found this success on the highest stage — the Mt. SAC Relays is widely considered one of the biggest meets in the world, showcasing athletes at the collegiate, professional, and international levels.

“Our men did a very good job of going out and running against very elite-level competition,” coach Erik Jenkins said, “Not only the best in the NCAA division I, but also against the professional ranks.”

Junior Joseph Chebet highlighted the Toppers’ trip at Mt. SAC, finishing second in the men’s elite 10,000-meter run with a time of 29:01. Chebet’s time ranks seventh in the NCAA this season and leads the Sun Belt Conference in the event by two minutes and 50 seconds.

Senior David Mokone etched the largest national footprint of WKU athletes.

Mokone ranks fifth in the NCAA in the 800-meter run after finishing fourth in the event with a time of 1:47.51.  The mark broke his previous school record by more than half a second, and also ranks first in the Sun Belt by almost two seconds.

WKU’s 4×400-meter relay team — consisting of junior Elvyonn, Bailey, freshman Ja’Karyus Redwine, junior Marcus Winstead and junior Chris Chamness — earned runner-up honors, posting the eighth fastest-time in the NCAA of 3:06.09. This mark is also the third-fastest in WKU history and leads the conference by more than a second.

Chamness also mustered a career-best 21.40 seconds in the 200-meter dash to move into seventh-place in the Sun Belt.

Sophomore Kamohelo Mangojeane now holds two of the top five 400-meter hurdles times in the Sun Belt after he placed sixth with a clocking of 52.56 seconds.

“We did a really good job of representing the University at a high caliber meet,” Jenkins said. “We just have to keep working hard in classes and on the track.”

The Toppers also led a charge into Nashville’s Vanderbilt Invitational where the throws team made their presence known.

Junior Jessica Ramsey earned gold and junior Satrina Oliveira earned bronze in the hammer throw.

Ramsey’s heave of 171 feet ranks fourth in the Sun Belt this season.

Oliveira found success again in the discus, placing second with a toss of 161-feet-6 inches. The mark was a personal record for Oliveira and the second-longest throw in the conference this season.

Throws coach Ashley Muffet-Duncan competed unattached in the shot put and emerged victorious with a toss of 51-feet-6 ½ inches.

“The heavy lifting has been done,” Jenkins said about WKU’s training moving forward. “The work moving forward goes to dealing with the task at hand.”

The WKU track and field teams will be stretched thin this weekend, competing at the prestigious Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Penn., the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa and the Bellarmine Classic in Louisville, Ky.