Track earns five first place finishes
By Catherine George, Assistant Sports Editor
Five Lady Braves took home event champions to help the women place third overall at the Peach Belt Conference Championships held in Montevallo, Ala. April 16-18.
Freshman and Florida native Jeanna Cube led the field in almost every event that took place in the heptathlon to earn the number one spot on the podium and a new school record of 4017 points. Cube also earned the honor of 2015 Freshman Field Athlete of the Year.
Along with earning 2015 Women’s Field Athlete of the Year, senior Hanna Metzinger was event champion in the discus throw 40.36m, and in the javelin throw with a distance of 42.79m to earn the Lady Braves 20 points in just two events.
Freshman Jeonna Taylor was event champion in the triple jump with a leap of 11.65m also placing third in the heptathlon with 3762 points, fifth in the long jump (5.20m), and seventh in the 100m hurdles with a time of 15.31 seconds to earn all-conference laurels.
Another event champion was junior Jaynell Brown in the shot put with a mark of 13.39m.
Brown also took fifth in the discus throw with a mark of 36.19m, and seventh in the hammer throw (38.00m) earning 16 team points overall.
Sophomore Lea Tardanico earned 12 overall points for the Lady Braves with two school record breaking times and personal-bests.
Tardanico placed second in the 5000m run dropping almost 20 seconds with a time of 18:16.76, while also earning fifth place in the 10,000m run, running the event for the first time in her career with a time of 38:50.52.
Cube also took all-conference laurels in the long jump with third place (5.29m), fourth in the high jump (1.52m), and fourth in the javelin throw (32.20m).
In the hammer throw, Onya Daye and Metzinger finished back to back with Daye finishing on the podium in third place (44.30m), with a new PR and Metzinger right behind in fourth (44.10m) adding 11 combined teams points.
Fatima Funderburk led the Lady Braves in the 100m dash finals to cross the line in fourth place (12.15 seconds), followed by teammate Jani Perez close behind in fifth (12.16 seconds) and a new personal record.
Freshman Briana Taylor was selected as 2015 All-Sportsmanship team, and earned four team points with a personal-best time of 57.53 seconds in the 400m dash.
Bri Gorrell earned three team points and a personal best distance in the shot put for a sixth place finish and distance of 11.71m, while Daye earned one point with an eighth place (11.42m).
Funderburk also earned two points for the Black and Gold in the 200m dash with her seventh place performance crossing the line in 25.26 seconds.
The women’s 4x100m relay team of Brianna Taylor, Perez, Cube, and Funderburk added three team points with their sixth place finish and time of 47.93 seconds.
The 4x400m relay team of Erica Williams, Briana Taylor, Olivia Lowman, and Funderburk followed in seventh place matching their season’s best time of 4:08.03 to earn two team points.
Alexus Grey added one point in the 400m hurdles with eighth place (1:07.52).
Junior Kyndal Boykin and sophomore Lowman although in different heats; finished back to back with personal best times in the 800m run. Boykin crossed the line in seventh place (2:19.15), and Lowman finished in eighth (2:19.29) to earn a combined three points.
Junior Savannah Fornshell earned one point for the Lady Braves with her eight-place finish in the 3,000m steeplechase.
Fornshell crossed the finish line with a new personal best time of 12:05.53.
Lakezia Skyes added one team point in the heptathlon for an eighth place finish with 3087 points.
Despite being placed fifth to begin with, the Lady Braves proved themselves and ended the three-day meet with 109 points over GRU Augusta’s 104.5 points, Shorter took first place with 159 points.
Only a handful of athlete’s will be attending the last few meets of the season to try to improve on personal bests and earn a spot at Nationals.
Photo courtesy of UNCP Sports Information. Senior Hannah Metzinger leans back to throw the javelin in a meet earlier this season.