WKU takes home two wins in Samford Bulldog Invite, Heckman has fastest 5k time in C-USA


Arthur H. Trickett-Wile

WKU Hilltoppers’ senior Kaison Barton competes in the weight toss at Lenny Lyles Invitational track and field meet Saturday, Jan. 28 of 2022 at the Norton Healthcare Sports and Learning Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

Adi Schanie , Sports Reporter

WKU Track & Field secured eight top-five finishes including two event wins and a new program record at the Samford Bulldog Invite Friday and at the Vanderbilt’s Music City Challenge Friday and Saturday. 

Samford Bulldog Invite 

The Samford Bulldog Invite went well for WKU’s throwers. Freshman Ajla Basic won the women’s weight throw with a PR of 17.78m. Sophomore Kaison Barton recorded an indoor personal best of 16.78m to win the shot put event.

Senior Brett Brannon’s 18.07m 18-meter-plus throw in the weight throw earned him second place. Senior John Elam placed second in shot put reaching 15.57 meters and fifth in weight throw with a personal best of 16.63 meters. 

In the pole vault, junior Grace Turner finished second after clearing 3.66m. Junior Devon Montgomery finished fourth in the men’s event with a mark of 4.52m. 

Freshman mid-distance runner Elyssa Toal ran a personal best time of 2:21.22 in the 800, finishing in 16th place. Sophomore Zackery Martinez recorded a personal record in the 400 with a time of 50.32. Freshmen Trey Kraimer and Collin Pruitt logged new PRs in the 800 and mile, respectively. 

Vanderbilt’s Music City Challenge 

Senior Dedrick Troxell ran the fifth-fastest mile in the conference at Vanderbilt’s Music City Challenge with a time of 4:08.89, a new personal best for the runner. Senior Clint Sherman also ran a new personal record in the mile with a time of 4:14.47. Sherman competed again Saturday morning, recording another personal record in the 3k. 

Senior Savannah Heckman recorded the fifth-fastest time in program history in the 5k of 16:45.61. Heckman not only secured a PR with this time, but also claimed the fastest 5k time by any Conference USA female this season by 48 seconds. This finish earned her 16th place.

WKU Track & Field will wrap up its indoor season at the C-USA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Birmingham, Ala. Feb. 19-20.

Sports Reporter Adi Schanie can be reached at [email protected].