Myrtle Beach, SC. – The Transylvania track and field opened up their outdoor season on Friday and Saturday by competing against a loaded field at the Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational at Coastal Carolina University.
Continuing the tune from an overall successful indoor circuit, the Pioneers set a collection of personal records as they tested their mettle against a large slate of NCAA Division I schools and a variety of other entrants.
The reigning men's Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Indoor track athlete of the year Cole Green faced an impressive row of sprinters from schools including North Carolina, Albany, Purdue, Soutch Carolina, and Coastal Carolina among others in the 100 meters. The outdoor race was the first time Green had partaken in the event in official competition since last spring. Green ran the preliminaries in a wind-aided time of 10.83 s, a personal record for Green (but one ineligible for the Transylvania record books because of the wind).
Green also participated in the 200 meters and ran a time of 22.14 s. Perhaps Green's most successful race came in the 4x100 relay. The junior joined Transy's 4x100 relay team of Nicholas Johnston, Malik Jackson and Jake Erpenbeck run a time of 44.59 s, becoming the highest-placing Division III team in the race.
Johnston had a strong personal showing in the men's 400 meters on Friday, finishing in 51.90 s. The freshman followed up that race with a time of 11.64 s in the 100 meters. On Saturday, Johnston ran the 200 meters in 23.90 s; all three finishes were personal records for Johnston.
Finishing ahead of Johnston in the 200 m finals was freshman Jake Erpenbeck, who placed fifth in 23.08 s. Junior Giovanni Hernandez also posted a strong finish in the 200 meters, completing the race in 24.98 s.
In men's distance events, Kyle Sprague was the standout of the weekend for Transylvania, finishing fifth in the one-mile run in 4:45.32 s, a personal best for the junior and a new school record. Sprague partook in the 3000 meters, completing it in 9:47.76 s.
Adding to his performance in the 4x100 relay, Malik Jackson participated in the long jump, finishing 12th among the field with a jump of 5.64 m.
The Transylvania women's side posted a slew of strong performances as they commenced their outdoor season.
One of the main highlights came in the 400 meter hurdles where the record was shattered twice. Newly crowned HCAC indoor track women's athlete of the year Jordin Fender ran the 400 meter hurdles, a rare event for the junior in a furious 1:10.04 s to set a women's school record in the event. Before the record could be inscribed, freshman Olivia Kee broke the record in a following heat in 1:09.13 s.
In the 200 meters, Fender completed her first try at the event in the outdoor season in 26.33 s. Fender also teamed with Kee, sophomore Savannah Hemmer, and sophomore Bethany Herron to complete the relay in 51.15 s.
Shelby Lewis began her outdoor season with a solid showing in the 200 meters, completing the event in 30.41 s. Lewis was followed closely by Herron who finished in 30.65 s.
The race against some of the best runners in the nation marks a fine tune-up for next week's only home meet of the season to be held Saturday, March 26. 18 teams are set to join Transylvania's squad at the Pat Deacon Stadium at the Transylvania Athletics Complex.