March 18, 2011
ATLANTA – In their first meet of the 2011 Outdoor season, the Georgia Tech men’s and women’s track and field squads hosted the Georgia Intercollegiate Invitational at the George C. Griffin Facility Friday. The Yellow Jackets set some of the best times in the country on the day earning four first place finishes at the meet.
The 1,500 meter invitational run was the highlight of the day for the Yellow Jackets as sophomore Shawn Roberts set a career best time of 3:47.62 while four Jackets followed in succession as Tech finished in the top-5 spots in the race.
As of Friday night, the time for Roberts was the fastest in the nation in the 2011 outdoor season. Following Roberts was Mark Mendrek-Laske, Eric Powers, Morgan Stephenson, and Alec Clifford in second (3:51.57), third (3:51.88), fourth (3:52.03) and fifth (3:52.51), respectively.
On the women’s side, a late surge by Mary Kownack had the junior edge out teammate Mary Kate DuBard for third place, earning a time of 4:37.81. DuBard came across in 4:38.80. In the 1500 open run, Megan Brietbach and Lauren Young went 2-3 with times of 5:00.81 and 5:07.71 respectively.
Jade Sims continued the distance success with a second place, 800 meter performance, crossing the line in 2:15.78 for the Jackets. Jamie VanTassell came in seventh in a time of 2:20.80 while on the men’s side Christian Erdman took 10th in the race with a time of 1:59.75.
Jenae Anderson and Taylor Davidson had a successful day in the sprints as the duo came in fifth and sixth respectively in the 100 meter dash with times of 12.09 and 12.14. Currently, their times rank in the top-25 in the country. Their success continued into the 200 meter dash as Anderson took third place in 24.71, while Davidson crossed seventh in 24.88.
The men’s sprint trio of Perron Jones, Mike Simms and Joe Didia also saw much success on the day. Jones was the first Jacket across in both the 100 and 200 meter finishing third in the 100 with a time of 10.84 while racking up a fifth place finish in the 200 crossing in 21.74. Simms finished ninth in the 100 (11.00) while taking 13th in the 200 (22.18) while Didia earned a 12th place showing in the 100 (11.18) and 18th in the 200 (22.40).
Hunter Clasen edged his way into second place in the 400 meter crossing with a time of 48.48 while Joe Fulton and Patrick Barron went 2-4 in the 3,000 meter steeplechase, finishing in 9:23.48 and 9:40.62.
In the field events, pole vaulters Joanna Wright and Aaron Unterberger each earned a first place finish as Wright launched herself to a height of 4.11 meters, the best height in the nation as of Friday night. Unterberger’s height of 4.95 meters places him in the top-15.
Julienne McKee also earned a first place finish in the long jump, leaping to a distance of 5.89 meters, the second longest jump in the nation as of Friday.
The Jackets rounded the day out with the 5,000 meter run, which took place under the lights at 10 p.m. Doug Black paced Tech with a seventh place finish crossing the line in 15:05.07. Niall Longobardi was the next to cross for the Jackets in 10th with a time of 15:14.22, followed by Austen Gutierrez in 13th with a time of 15:26.66.
The meet will conclude on Saturday afternoon with all of the relays. The first relay of the day, the fast 4×100 meter relay will begin at 1:35 p.m.