May 14, 2011
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – On the final day of the UNF Invitational at Hodges Stadium, senior Leslie Njoku won her second straight 400-meter hurdle title and set a career best mark with a time of 57.64. Eleven other athletes set season best marks at the meet with another two recording career bests.
Njoku’s time was the first time she has gone under the 58 second mark in her career and was the lone sub-1:00 mark on the day. Her time helped her into the top-20 in the country entering the week before NCAA East Regionals and ranks third in the school record books.
Also doing well on the day in the 400 hurdles was Jasmine Isley who finished in third place with a season best time of 1:00.38 seconds. Hurdler Melanie Akwule also succeeded on the day with her second place finish in the 100 meter hurdles in 13.92 seconds.
Jade Sims excelled at the meet finishing fifth in the 800 meter run with a career best time of 2:13.57 while Alec Clifford recorded the same position on the men’s side of the race with a time of 1:53.29. Mark Mendrek-Laske (1:53.46, seventh), Joseph Stowe (1:54.44, 11th) and Cameron Reid (1:57.27, 24th)all also had season best marks on the day.
In his first race in the 400 meter dash of the year, Antonio McKay, Jr. set a season best, and near career best mark with a second place time of 46.67 seconds. The mark was just .08 seconds shy of his career best time set at NCAAs last season and was his first sub-47 second mark of the year. Subbu Sivanesan took 10th in the same race setting a season best time of 49.07 seconds.
Sprinter Taylor Davidson finished sixth in the 100 meter dash finals with a season best time of 11.99 seconds while Jonathan Gardner had an outstanding day on the field side of things improving his triple jump mark by nearly a meter setting a career best distance of 15.34 meters which was fifth on the day and first among college athletes. Gardner moved himself up about 50 spots in the national rankings with his performance.
The Jackets will have a week off before some of the team will head to NCAA East Regionals in Bloomington, Ind.