Inaugural UALR Open takes place on the Coleman Sports track
The Trojans were off to the races early on Saturday Apr. 12 for the inaugural home track meet at the Coleman Sports & Recreation Complex.
Rickitha Hicks sealed the win for the women’s team in the 4 x 100-meter relay. The men’s 4 x 100-meter relay team showed promising fight holding an early lead, but were bested in the end for first by Harding University.
Next was the 5000-meter run, which the women ran first. UALR runner Tori Copeland finished strong in sixth place, gaining points, despite Harding University’s first and second place runners’ wide lead.
The 5K runners for the men were John Vodacek, George Gathuru and Markus Pearson. Vodacek started out to a slow pace, around seventh or eighth place, playing it smart and waiting for the right time to show his cards. Gathuru held second for most of the race, while Pearson held his own close behind.
In the last stretch, Vodacek turned the corner and unleashed his last bit of energy, snagging the second place position from Gathuru and giving the Trojans the power play of second, third, and fourth (Pearson).
This strategy is how meets are won: by being strong in numbers, snagging consecutive places and taking a great amount of points away from the other teams. This was a great move for the Trojan men.
In the field events, Rebekah Grissom was the star clinching the first place position in the javelin with a throw of 38 meters. Grissom also went on to get first in the discus throw and a close second place for shot put making her a powerhouse of points.
Back on the track in the 800-meter dash, Cheryl Nolan grabbed first with Brittany Brasuell finishing sixth. Nolan also placed high in the 1500-meter run with second place and Rebekah Gibbons not far behind in seventh. In the 100-meter dash there was a dominating time set from Terrence Goodwin with 10.81, but he ended with fifth place.
The lady Trojans held a strong lead in the 400-meter dash, with Shanavia Cole in fifth, and also the 400-meter hurdles where Bree Walker and Ashtin Boykin got second and third. Alex Ebmeyer lead the way for the men in the 400-meter dash with a 49.18 time giving him second place overall.
This inaugural meet was against UCA and UAPB and was scored as a tri-meet. The Lady Trojans faired well, behind UCA 159-126, but beating UAPB 145-121. Our men faired a little worse, trailing UCA 236-84 and finishing behind UAPB with 134-100. Despite the losses, the teams won many events and even broke several UALR records. This weekend the Trojans will be spreading their efforts and participating in three meets, two in California and the other in Conway.