Feb. 9, 2003
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Georgia Tech junior Kyle Rabbitt broke a 16-year-old school record in the 3000 meters and sophomore Shanta Smith eclipsed her own Tech mark in the triple jump Sunday, as the Yellow Jacket men’s and women’s track and field teams posted a solid showing at the University of Florida’s Gator Invitational at the O’Connell Center.
Rabbitt took fourth in the 3000 with a time of 8:11.98, breaking the previous mark of 8:12.51 set by Eric Smith in 1987. This mark is Rabbitt’s second school record of the season, as he established a new standard in the 5000 meters at the Terrier Invitational.
The defending ACC indoor champion in the triple jump, Smith leaped 41’11.25″ to finish fifth in the meet and break the record she set at last year’s conference championships (41’10.75″). Smith’s performance also provisionally qualifies her for the 2003 NCAA Indoor Championships. Tech’s women now have five different provisional qualifiers.
The Jackets lone victory on the day came from freshman Chaunte Howard, who won the high jump at the third consecutive meet. She equaled a season-best with a mark of 5’11.25″. Teammate Megan Byrd took 10th in the event with a season-best mark of 5’4.25″.
Tech’s women also had several other 2003 bests on the afternoon. Senior Amy Dock was third in the 3000 meters with a season-best time of 10:04.11, while sophomore Dana Rogers took sixth in the 55-meter hurdles in 7.91 and senior Jessica DeFreitas placed seventh in the long jump with a leap of 19’11.00″. In addition, freshman Jessica Graff took fourth in the pole vault.
The men also got several strong showings led by Brendon Mahoney’s fourth-place finish in the 800 meters. He ran a season-best 1:51.02. Freshman Rob Kuhn also had a season-best of 4:21.42 in a ninth-place finish in the mile. Additionally, sophomore Brian Ford ran 21.92 in the 200 meters, which ranks a best for this indoor season.
Tech returns to action next weekend at the Clemson Invitational before heading to the ACC Indoor Championships, February 21-22, in Chapel Hill, N.C.