May 16, 2009
ATLANTA – Sophomore Joanna Wright cleared a school-record in the pole vault as the Georgia Tech track & field teams posted 11 NCAA regional qualifying performances on the final day of competition at the Georgia Tech Invitational Saturday.
After rain forced a two-hour delay in events on Saturday, the meet crew made up for time with a rolling start. Wright, who began the day at 11 a.m. returned to the pole vault finals around 2:45 p.m. to eclipse the school-record with the clearance of 13’1.50″. She topped the previous record of 12’11.50″, held by herself and teammate Erica Penk, by exactly two-inches.
With over 65 teams and 1,000 athletes in competition on the weekend, the most dramatic finish came in the final event of the meet – the men’s 4×400-meter relay. In third place for most of the race, the Tech squad of Matt DiDia, Hunter Classen, Subbu Sivanesan and Antonio McKay Jr. took the lead on the final two turns to hold on for an NCAA regional qualifying time of 3:08.88 and the win.
The Jackets will now compete in 28 events at the NCAA East Regional Championships, which begin in two weeks.
Senior Jerome Miller also picked up a win on the day for the Jackets, tying his school-record clearance of 7’3.25″ in the men’s high jump. Miller broke the record last weekend at the Seminole Twilight Invitational.
Junior Alphonso Jordan finished first-among collegiate performers in the triple jump, as he hit a personal-best distance of 52’10”. The Charlotte, N.C. native beat his previous best mark by two-inches set at the 2009 ACC Outdoor Championships. Jordan finished fourth overall behind world-class athletes Brandon Roulhac, Kenta Bell and Samyr Laine.
Tech’s fifth first-place finish on the day came from junior Steve Marcelle in the discus. Marcelle’s toss of 187’3″ was an inch further then the next best competitor, and his second win in two days at the meet.
Senior David Ford finished fifth in the finals of the men’s 110-meter hurdles with a 14.29 race.
In the men’s 400-meter dash, McKay Jr. dashed to a PR time of 46.66 which was the fifth-best among the field. McKay has an outstanding day in the 400, as he also posted a PR as apart of the final leg of the relay.
Along with the relay team, senior E.C. Gibbs and freshman Jasmine Isley became Tech’s latest regional qualifiers, as Gibbs ran a 1:50.40 in the men’s 800-meter and Isley clocked a personal-best 59.94 in the women’s 400-meter hurdles.
Sophomore Leslie Njoku also had a strong run in the 400-meter hurdles, tying her personal-best performance of 59.02 while finishing fifth.
Freshman Bailey Wagner placed third in the women’s discus, hitting a mark of 157’2″.
Georgia Tech will return to competition at the NCAA East Regional Championships, May 29-30, in Greensboro, N.C.